COVID-19 Innovation Resources

COVID-19 Technology Acceleration

UPDATE: As of June 30, 2022, and with the end of the EDA CARES grant funding, this program has been retired.

The COVID-19 Technology Acceleration program provides statewide assistance to advance technology and commercialization that addresses challenges related to the coronavirus pandemic. Examples of technologies responding to COVID-19 include testing, data modeling, analysis, personal protective equipment (PPE), medical devices, therapies, prevention/safety, etc.

Researchers, entrepreneurs, and innovators in the State of Illinois who are working on products, ideas, or solutions that address the risks or impacts associated with COVID-19 are encouraged to apply for free assistance (NOTE: program has ended). Types of technical assistance and support may include:

  • counseling with technology, engineering, or business consultants
  • assistance with prototype design, engineering, fabrication, or testing
  • resources for small-batch production or micro-manufacturing
  • assistance with developing a commercialization or technology transfer plan
  • assistance with developing a project management plan
  • entrepreneurship coaching or mentoring
  • navigation of FDA approvals such as the Coronavirus Treatment Acceleration Program (CTAP), Ultra-Rapid Protocol Reviews (24-hour response), and Emergency Use Authorizations (EUAs)
  • navigation of federal funding opportunities and proposal development

Requesting Assistance

Important Application & Program Notes:

  • Eligibility is open to technology projects based in Illinois. Out-of-state requests are not eligible.
  • Applicants will be asked to provide a summary of how the proposed technology addresses challenges related to the coronavirus pandemic.
  • The application review process may involve a virtual meeting between you and our program staff. If that is the case, we will contact you by email or phone to schedule this meeting.
  • If approved for program assistance, we will refer you to the appropriate contracted providers. Please do not contact them directly for program services.

Consultants, Labs, and Resources

Below is a summary of the resources we have assembled for entrepreneurs.  If approved for program assistance, we will refer you to the appropriate contracted providers. Please do not contact them directly for program services.

BioPhia Consulting

BioPhia Consulting is a biotechnology, pharmaceutical and medical device consulting company dedicated to providing a wide array of critical scientific expertise focused on assisting clients in the discovery, development and commercialization of novel therapies. BioPhia mentors, coaches, and counsels startups and companies in strategy development and implementation. BioPhia is located in Lake Forest, IL, a north suburb of Chicago.

EIGERLab Center for Product Development

EIGERlab’s Center for Product Development (C4PD) offers a broad array of services and resources for experienced and emerging innovators and entrepreneurs. EIGERlab C4PD staff work closely with clients to transform their ideas first into computer models and then into prototypes. The experienced C4PD team helps clients every step along the way, from assessing an idea, design, engineering, prototyping, manufacturing, and commercialization. EIGERlab is affiliated with Northern Illinois University and is in the Rockford, IL area. Office hours are also available by appointment in northwest suburban locations.

Illinois Business Consulting/University of Illinois Gies College of Business

Illinois Business Consulting (IBC) is the largest professionally managed, student-run university consulting organization in the US. With 250+ members recruited across all colleges of the University of Illinois, 7 professional staff, and a history of performance since 1995, IBC can deploy multi-disciplinary teams to address a variety of business marketing, technology, or product development challenges. IBC teams can provide research, analysis, audits, and software development that contribute to technology development, commercialization, marketing plans, and business strategy.


TEKMILL provides custom electronic, mechanical, and optical design and fabrication services to clients in the automotive, biotech, agriculture, biomedical research, and medical device industries. TEKMILL’s design engineers transform client concepts into manufacturable products, experienced machinists and technicians convert client designs into high-quality assemblies, and business professionals provide services and mentoring to help technology entrepreneurs build successful companies. Located in Urbana, IL, TEKMILL is certified as an integrator for Fanuc robotics systems.

EDA CARES Act Funding

The COVID-19 Technology Acceleration program is funded by an EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance Award which is administered by the University of Illinois EDA University Center. This funding award ends June 30, 2022. The EDA University Center is led by EnterpriseWorks at the University of Illinois Research Park. Funding support for the Center is provided by the U.S. Economic Development Administration.

For more information regarding EDA CARES funding, contact Rebecca Motley, Program Coordinator/EDA CARES Grant at

Other COVID-19 Resources