The Pitt Innovation Challenge (PInCh®) is a competition supported by the Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI). The PInCh competition is designed to generate innovative solutions to challenging health problems by mitigating risk and providing financial and administrative support to move ideas forward. The PInCh program stimulates the translation of novel problem-focused research into the community by giving researchers a venue to be creative, develop new ideas, and work with people beyond their usual sphere of collaborators.
The PInCh program recognizes—even celebrates—that solving challenging problems sometimes require risky solutions. This program aims to mitigate that risk and support some of the early work necessary to move a few of those “wild ideas” forward. Each of the winning teams receive an award for direct costs and project management support to help execute a 12-month project to take the team’s solution one step further along the path of development.
Teams that enter must include at least one University of Pittsburgh faculty member, but can include individuals from other educational institutions or non-academic organizations such as community groups or businesses. The PInCh competition hopes to bring together a diverse group of problem solvers who may not otherwise have considered working on a team.
Up to $555,000 in total awards are available for funding for each PInCh contest. Winning projects are awarded $100,000 and select projects are invited to compete for $25,000 awards during a poster session at the final event. If a project receives an award and is eligible for a bonus award, the team may receive up to $25,000 in additional funding.
What is your innovative solution to a challenging health problem?
The PInCh program is a multi-round competition. For more information, click the hyperlinks for each round below.
This phase provides semifinalists with personalized input to help move the project forward, including several advisory meetings to discuss regulatory paths, contracting, IP, budget, data security, and more. The CTSI Innovation Core members facilitate the award initiation process to help you navigate the innovation ecosystem.
The Pitt Innovation Challenge: Driving Innovation in Translational Research Through an Incentive-Based, Problem-Focused Competition.
This CTSI-authored paper describes the development and implementation of the PInCh program.
Since 2014, the CTSI Innovation Core has received 787 applications and awarded $4.8 million across 103 projects. Subsequently, this has led to $27.6 million in post-award investments.
Project updates from previous winners. Learn about the success teams have had since receiving the PInCh award to move their projects forward.
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