How does the FIGs Committee define Innovation?
Innovation is the process of creating something new that has significant value to an individual, group or organization. J. Higgins, Innovate or Evaporate, 1995

Who can apply for a Fostering Innovation Grant (FIG)?
All University of Michigan Health System staff and faculty are eligible.

What kinds of ideas can be funded through a FIGs grant?

  • FIGs provides funding for innovative ideas that add value to our work!
  • An innovative idea introduces a new process, method, tool or device.
  • Ideas may be designed to be implemented in one area or may present opportunities to be spread system-wide after a pilot.
  • Potential outcomes of implementing an innovative idea may include:
    1. Improved safety, quality & service
    2. Improved patient & staff satisfaction
    3. Improved efficiency & reduction of waste
    4. Differentiation from competitors
    5. Improved financial performance

How much funding can I request?

  • There is no set limit to the amount of money per award
  • During each round there is about $125,000 available to be distributed
  • Average award amount: $6,929
  • Range of awards: $200 - $34,000

Can FIGs funds be used to cover salaries and benefits?
No, FIGs funds cannot be used to cover salaries and benefits of any UMHS employee (or non-UMHS employee). FIGs cannot support effort of UMHS employees.

Can FIGs funds be used to cover consulting costs?
Yes, external consulting services can be paid for using FIGs funds. Internal consulting services cannot be funded by FIGs. If you feel there might be a conflict of interest, please contact the Compliance Office.

What if I don't know exactly how much something will cost?
Providing us with an accurate estimate of funding needs is very important. We encourage you to get as close an estimate as possible before submitting, but if any changes occur, adjustments can be made to the budget.

I have an innovative idea, but I don't have any project management experience. Can I get help?
Yes, the FIGs coordinator is available to help awardees in designing and implementing their projects. We want all of our awardees to succeed in implementing their projects, and we are here to help in the process.

When is the next round of FIGs?
FIGs accepts applications twice a year (Fall and Spring). We will begin communicating the next round about a month prior to beginning.

How are projects chosen to receive FIGs awards?
The decision of which proposals will be awarded funds is made by consensus within the FIGs Committee after discussing the merits and challenges of each proposal. This process accommodates the great diversity in the types of proposals submitted.

When will I be notified if my project was awarded funding?
All applicants are informed of the decision made by the committee within 30 days of the application deadline.

What happens if I create a potentially commercializable invention using the FIGS funding?
Please contact the Office of Technology Transfer. Information for inventors may be found at: http://techtransfer.umich.edu/resources/inventors/index.php. If you are ready to report an invention, you can go to http://techtransfer.umich.edu/resources/inventors/invention_report.php and be sure to list the FIGs funding under the INVENTION SUPPORT section.

What if my invention becomes a commercial product?
Revenues received by the University from licensing inventions are distributed according to the University's technology transfer policy (http://techtransfer.umich.edu/resources/policies.php#revenue). Prior to receiving funding from FIGs, your department chair must agree to share 50% of the department's share of royalty revenue up to the total amount of FIGS funding.

Do I need to promote FIGs after receiving an award?
Yes! Awardees are expected to display the FIGs logo in any materials produced with a FIGs grant and all forms of communication regarding your grant, including newspapers, Web sites, posters, presentations, e-mails, announcements, etc. We also have FIGs stickers. Contact the FIGSs Administrator at figs-info@umich.edu should you have any questions, or need contacts or any marketing stickers.

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