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  • Ideas


    Our innovation ideas/initiatives run in five stages—Investigate, Design, Pilot, Scale, and Iterate, with the Design and Pilot stages being the critical components of UIDEA.

    Stage I: Investigate

    The preliminary work during Stage I can be done by the Strategic Innovation team for items in the pipeline, by users themselves who may be submitting applications, by tech firms who have already developed or scaled a minimally viable product to pitch as Stage III, etc. This pre-UIDEA refines ideas into preliminary intelligence about an issue or a quantification of the potential opportunity.

    During this stage, a preliminary business case or overview of the initiative may be developed, the analysis segment (a subset of the whole potential market) to investigate determined, and preliminary analysis performed, quantifying the market / potential and identifying leading stories. Attempts may also also made during this stage to assess data maintenance / integration opportunities for the advancement enterprise and to document data entry standards or system functional needs, if applicable.

    Information gleaned during Invesgitation will be shared as resources for potential applicants.

    Stage II: Design

    Teams can participate in the Accelerator in one of two stages, the first being design. During this stage, teams will focus their energy on deeper investigation and the refinement of preliminary intelligence into strategies, tactics, programs, and/or technologies to address that issue or opportunity.

    This design stage is finite, and the result should be either movement into Stage III in a subsequent batch or failure to develop a viable strategy, product, program, or process.

    Stage III: Pilot

    The second category of accelerator initiatives are those that are ready to pilot. These may be initiatives that have graduated from Stage II or those that have jumped straight to this stage, like third-party vendor pilots where investigation and design was done by the vendor, or pilots in which units want to vet a strategy quickly. During this stage, the team launches an initial proof of concept for a subset of the UIDP, adjusting and planning for scalability across enterprise or industry.

    This pilot stage is finite, and the result should be either scaling into normal business practices or failure of pilot. In rare cases with successful pilots, the Selection Committee may opt to retain an initiative in UIDEA during its first Scaling instance.

    Stage IV: Scale

    In most cases, the Scale stage extends the innovation initiative to the University of Illinois Development Program (UIDP) (either to additional adopters beyond the pilot group or across the entire UIDP). At this point, the initiative is no longer considered part of the accelerator—except in rare circumstances where the Selection Committee has opted to support the initiative through its first scaling—as the initiative becomes a normal business program. A scaled initiative is considered an Exit.

    The scale stage is not finite and may continue until the initiative is fully deployed across UIDP or is retired.

    Stage V: Iterate

    Once scaled, tweaks or modifications to the initiative are made by the normal UIF/UI business or technology teams, and all related expenditures are part of the normal budget cycle. Iteration requests follows the traditional UIDP procedures for implementing strategic / technology changes, like tickets, governance, budget requests, etc.