The InnOValley Proof of Concept Fund is co-funded by the OeirasValley, IGC and ITQB NOVA. The goal of InnOValley PoC is to identify and fund projects in a translational stage that have shown promising and exciting results with innovation potential and need further validation/proof of concept in any of the scientific fields of IGC and ITQB NOVA. All proposals should have a clear translational focus.
IOV PoC aims to help IGC and ITQB NOVA projects move forward in the translational pathway to stages where the data package is robust enough to fill for Intellectual Property Protection and/or be engaged in activities with industry and/or investors. The PoC is not intended to fund the creation of spin-off companies per se.
The scheme typically supports projects inline within the Technology readiness levels (TRL) 2-4.
The total budget for the 2020 call is €200k. Awards are typically in the range of €40-50k directly incurred costs only, for up to 12 months. Projects seeking lower amounts will be considered.
IOV PoC provides funding for projects that:
1. Propose new solutions in the fields of biology (molecular, cellular, populational), chemistry, biochemistry, plants, bioinformatics – i.e. any of the scientific fields of IGC and ITQB NOVA – and also project that promote science communication, public engagement, and outreach
2. Have already demonstrated successful results in the research environment and need further validation
3. Have progressed beyond the stage where research funding opportunities are typically available, but capital from industry or an investment partner is unlikely to be secured at that stage
IOV PoC shall NOT provide funding for proposals:
1. To fund basic research, to generate models, new projects, or assess the feasibility of a research project;
2. With prior funding by any other source, i.e. industry sponsorship, an investment partner, or research grant support, unless funds from such sources are devoted to match these of the PoC
Applicants can be one or more IGC or ITQB NOVA Principal Investigators or Post-Doc researchers.
Co-investigators from other organizations can be added to the application in cases where such co-investigators already share the ownership of prior results, or that agree to share with or assign future rights to IGC or ITQB NOVA as it applies. In such cases, joint ownership or similar agreement needs to be in place, or at least the minimum terms and conditions for joint ownership must be agreed in advance amongst institutions. Such co-investigators from other organizations can only perform up to 10% of the project and those costs are not eligible to request funding from the IOV PoC.
In case of leaving the institution, the award does not follow.
In the case of Post-Doc as lead applicant, the respective PI needs to be in agreement and compliance with either internal IGC or ITQB NOVA rules is mandatory.
Application launch – 13th December 2021
Application submission deadline – 1st April 2022, 17h00
Review Panel meeting – April 2022
Event for the announcement of awarded projects – May 2022
Start of projects – not before 1st June 2022, not after 3oth Set 2022
Applications will be evaluated by an external panel, the panel review will be supported by the Innovation Department, which will have no vote in the project’s decisions. Selection will be made based on a clear background IP, the commercial potential of the technology, as well as the commitment of the researcher and the feasibility and suitability of the suggested plan. Projects will be ranked and granted according to available resources. Final decisions for selected projects will be communicated by mid-May 2022.
Despite eligibility and selection, a detailed plan with steps, milestones, timelines and budget duly identifying Go/No Go decision points and alternatives for development will be critical for funding. Funding will be provided in two tranches, only to be provided based on the positive achievement of the proposed project milestones.
The following criteria will be considered during the evaluation of applications:
All the IP related to the proposal must belong to IGC or ITQB NOVA (as the case may be), and be available for licensing (i.e., not encumbered by any prior obligations, such as existing license, sponsored research agreement, ongoing collaboration with an industrial partner, ongoing licensing negotiation, or consulting agreement).
If IP is jointly owned, joint ownership or similar agreement needs to be in place, and IGC or ITQB NOVA (as the case may be) must have a lead role in commercializing the technology. Any new intellectual property developed as a part of the funded PoC project must be assignable to IGC or ITQB (as the case may be unless matching funds from the other institution is in place).
There is no limit on applications per research group. However, only one project can be awarded for the same research group.
Only projects evaluated above the cut-off defined by the panel will be financed.
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