Invest Northern Ireland’s Proof of Concept programme is now open for applications. The programme aims to help researchers export their ideas and inventions from the laboratory to the global marketplace. HSC trusts are eligible.
According to Invest NI:
The basic objective of the Proof of Concept programme is to improve the level and quality of commercialisation from within Northern Ireland’s Research Organisations through the provision of funding for early stage development activity.
The programme focuses on a model where individuals or small groups work on short applied projects to develop an idea through to a stage where a route to commercialisation is clear, either as a spin out or by licensing to an existing company.
The funding will be aimed at supporting and developing new ideas, which would normally have secured or be in the process of securing patent protection or other appropriate forms of intellectual rights, but which have not reached full laboratory-scale demonstration, or “proof of concept”. Because of the embryonic nature of the ideas to be supported, they will generally not be capable of securing funding from commercial sources, such as venture capital funds.
Eligible costs include both a technical strand and a commercialisation strand. The funding will cover 100% of eligible costs up to £106,000 over 24 months.
There are two deadlines for applications in 2012 – the last Fridays in September and November.
Researchers in HSC trusts should contact HSC Innovations as soon as possible for further information. Note that all applications must be formally approved by the trust Research Office and HSC Innovations.