Science Innovation


Program Mission

To open new pathways for scientific research, ideation, and innovation broadly and to promote the vitality of the scientific community in the greater Chicago area.

Read about how we are responding to COVID-19.

Request for proposals: Chicago Coronavirus Assessment Network (Chicago CAN)

The problem we want to address

Science discovery is foundational to understanding the world in which we live. It plays a central role in our lives: our health and well-being, the environment, and the technologies that we use. Yet there are critical gaps in the current science research ecosystem, such as a lack of effective communication, opportunities for creative innovation, and career security that compromise its productivity.

Our approach

Our funding will address systemic gaps in science so its practitioners can reach their full creative potential. Through progressive approaches to grantmaking, awards, programs and investments, we envision partnering with the most promising individuals and organizations in the Chicago region and globally to bring their ideas and research to the world.

Connection to the founders

Dr. Walder was a longtime professor of biochemistry at the University of Iowa where he established the University's first facility for nucleic acid synthesis. Early in his research career he made contributions to the field of antisense technology and is a holder of numerous patents. He founded Integrated DNA Technologies (IDT) in 1987 and in 1992 the company began offering high-quality custom oligonucleotide probes and primers as commercial products. Under Dr. Walder's leadership, the company became recognized as an innovator of a broad array of genomic-based solutions.