Imagine, Incubate, Ignite

i-Cubed is the center for clinical research innovation, powered by the unique expertise and resources of the Duke Clinical Research Institute (DCRI). i-Cubed supports individuals, teams, and organizations in turning their ideas into tools, technologies, and processes that transform how clinical research is done — for the benefit of people everywhere.

Focus Areas

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Research for all

Promoting equitable participation in research

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Clinical research everywhere

Engaging communities beyond traditional research sites

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New tech applications

Applying AI/ML and new technologies to accelerate research

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Unleashing the power of all data

Moving beyond traditional data collection

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Simplifying the complex

Streamlining processes to speed discoveries

Paths to Innovation

i-Cubed operates across two paths to innovation, offering a spectrum of support, collaboration, and mentorship services to empower stakeholders with the resources needed to bring their ideas to life.

Startup Innovations

Supports the development of sustainable, fundable solutions and startups

This path is dedicated to supporting innovators within the DCRI and Duke University by fostering collaboration and assisting them in transforming their ideas into thriving businesses.

Partner Innovations

Provides consultation and support to advance new products and initiatives

This path involves partnering with industry innovators, specifically those in the biopharma and health technology spaces, to refine and test groundbreaking ideas.


i-Cubed has developed a formal, yet simple and streamlined approach to ushering every idea through the Imagine, Incubate, and Ignite process.

An infographic demonstrating i-Cube's approach to start-up and partner innovations. The images shows how new ideas and products start move to problem and solution identification in the Imagine step of the process. It then proceeds to Incubate where the team nurtures and refines ideas, improving viability and potential through market and business analytics, expertise, access, and testing. The last step is the Ignite process where start-ups edit to funding.


Operations Director
Project Management - Partner Innovations
Associate Director
Project Management - Startup Innovations
Associate Director
Strategy Director