JCVI Innovation Fund


The biggest scientific breakthroughs developed at JCVI—including sequencing the first genome of a free-living organism, sequencing the first microbiome, and constructing the first synthetic cell—were funded outside the traditional grant system. The JCVI Innovation Fund provides early-stage funding for our most ambitious projects.

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Why Do We Need an Innovation Fund?

National Institutes of Health (NIH) and other public funding sources receive far more proposals than they can fund. This makes reviewers risk-averse—they tend to fund projects whose results are certain.

JCVI was built to follow a different path. JCVI’s mission is to accelerate the pace of scientific discovery and to pursue creative new ideas that leverage the power of genomics. We do this through fast-paced, high-risk/high-reward research—the outcomes of which are not always easy to predict.

JCVI depends on private funds to unleash scientists’ most groundbreaking ideas, moving them from mere plans to impactful programs that can later be supported by traditional funding sources.

How the Fund Works

A faculty committee, chaired by Dr. J. Craig Venter, reviews project proposals and makes funding decisions. Projects will vary in duration and budget, and the committee will evaluate progress and potential throughout the projects timeline.