Illinois Tech Secures $1 Million to Establish the Grainger Computing Innovation Prize

Inaugural Cross-Disciplinary Team-Based Competition Aimed at Solving Today’s Challenges Through Innovative Computing Solutions



By Howard J. Lee

Social Media Links

Illinois Institute of Technology (Illinois Tech) today announced the inaugural Grainger Computing Innovation Prize, an annual innovation competition that aims to solve critical societal challenges through innovative computing solutions and cross-disciplinary collaborations. A $1 million endowment grant funded by The Grainger Foundation of Lake Forest, Illinois, will support the Grainger Computing Innovation Prize, and student teams will receive substantial prizes for first, second, and third place.

“Illinois Tech was born to provide unrivaled opportunity and value to students from all walks of life, and we thank The Grainger Foundation for partnering with us to meet that mission with the Grainger Computing Innovation Prize,” says Illinois Tech President Alan W. Cramb.

The Grainger Computing Innovation Prize will launch during the 2021–22 academic year and will consist of team-based competitions centered on innovative computing solutions. In conjunction with Illinois Tech’s newly established College of Computing, teams will be composed of students across different fields of study and from various backgrounds. The goal is that this diversity of thought will lend itself to unique solutions and bolster cross-disciplinary collaborations.

“Students, faculty, and alumni of Illinois Tech have always been at the forefront of fueling innovations and revolutionizing modern technology in Chicago and beyond with inventions such as the cell phone, magnetic recording, and Amazon Alexa, to name just a few,” says Lance Fortnow, dean of Illinois Tech’s College of Computing. “The Grainger Computing Innovation Prize will be a premier avenue for our students to utilize what they’ve learned inside the classroom and to directly apply their skills to real-life challenges they face every day.”

The Grainger Computing Innovation Prize will culminate in a competition in which student teams will share their projects with attendees and present their findings to a panel of esteemed judges.

For more information on Illinois Tech, visit