InnOValley PoC 3rd Edition

The InnOValley Proof of Concept Fund is co-funded by the OeirasValley, FCG-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 (IP) 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 in line with the Technology Readiness Levels (TRL) 2-4

The total budget for the 2023 call is €200k. Awards are typically in the range of €40-50k directly incurred costs for up to 12 months. Projects seeking lower amounts could be considered. Each Institution will be awarded in proportion to the number of applications. The InnOValley PoC aligns with the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, namely SDSs 2, 3, 9, and 15.


Project Eligibility

IOV PoC provides funding for projects that

  • Propose new solutions to unmet needs in any of the scientific fields of IGC and ITQB NOVA: molecular, cellular, and populational biology, chemistry, biochemistry, plants, and bioinformatics;
  • Have already demonstrated successful results in the research environment and require further validation.
  • Have progressed beyond the stage where typical research funding opportunities are available, but securing capital from industry or an investment partner is unlikely at this stage.
  • Already have secured IP or have the freedom to operate to secure new IP through implementing the IOV PoC.

IOV PoC shall NOT provide funding for projects

  • That are basic research, to generate models, new ideas with no previous preliminary data, or assess the feasibility of a research project;
  • If the majority of the preliminary results are not owned by ITQB or IGC

Note: If your project had prior funding by any other source, i.e. industry sponsorship, an investment partner, or research grant support please confirm with Innovation Unit that you are eligible.


Applicant Eligibility

  1. Applicants can include one or more IGC or ITQB NOVA Principal Investigators or Post-Doc researchers.
  2. All applicants must agree to and comply with the internal rules of their affiliated institute.
  3. If a Post-Doctoral researcher serves as the lead applicant, it is mandatory for the respective PI to endorse this application.
  4. There is no limit on the number of applications allowed per research group; however, only one project can be awarded to the same research group.
  5. Co-investigators from other organizations can be added to the application under specific conditions:
    1. Such co-investigators must already share ownership of prior results or agree to share or assign future rights to IGC or ITQB NOVA as applicable.
    2. In these cases, a joint ownership or similar agreement must be in place, or minimum terms and conditions for joint ownership must be agreed upon in advance among institutions.
    3. Co-investigators from other organizations can contribute to a maximum of 10% of the project, and their associated costs are not eligible for funding from the IOV PoC.
  6. If an applicant leaves their institution, the award does not follow the applicant.


Project Submission and Selection

3rd edition launching Deadline for applications 1st stage evaluation 2nd stage evaluation Interviews and consensus meeting Awarding event Start of projects
October 3rd, 2023 December 15th, 2023, 5 pm GMT January-March 2024 April 16th, 2024 April 17th, 2024 May-July, 2024


Project Evaluation

  1. Applications will undergo evaluation by an external international panel of experts.
  2. The Innovation Unit, though involved, will not have voting rights in project decisions.
  3. The selection process will be based on the following factors:
    • Unmet need: Will the solution have a significant impact in fulfilling a market/social need?
    • Competitive advantage: What distinguishes this approach from that followed by others? What is the competitive advantage?
    • Feasibility: Does the proposed research appear achievable with a likelihood of success? Are the proposed resourcing, timeframe and budget realistic? Are the timeline and tasks realistic?
    • Intellectual Property: How novel is the intervention to be developed? Does it seem plausible that IP will be secured/reinforced by the end of the project?
  4. Projects will be ranked, and the top applications will advance to the second evaluation stage, involving interviews. During this stage, the panel will assess a brief presentation by the applicant and engage in a question-and-answer session.
  5. The announcement of awarded projects is scheduled for an event on April 17th, 2024.


Critical Elements for Funding

In addition to eligibility and selection criteria, a detailed plan is crucial for securing funding. This plan should encompass:

  • Clear steps and milestones.
  • At least one mid-term milestone.
  • Timelines.
  • A budget that identifies Go/No Go decision points and outlines alternatives for development.

Funding will be provided in two tranches.

  • The first tranche upon signing the declaration of acceptance of the award.
  • The second tranche follows the achievement of the proposed mid-term milestone.

Therefore, each project must define at least one mid-term milestone, as specified in section 5.2 of the application form.


Intellectual Property (IP) Considerations

  1. All IP related to the proposal must belong to IGC or ITQB NOVA, as applicable, and should be available for licensing (i.e., not encumbered by any prior obligations, such as existing licenses, sponsored research agreements, ongoing collaborations with industrial partners, licensing negotiations, or consulting agreements).
  2. In the case of jointly owned IP, there must be a joint ownership or similar agreement in place, with IGC or ITQB NOVA (as applicable) taking a lead role in commercializing the technology.
  3. Any new intellectual property developed as part of the funded PoC project must be assignable to IGC or ITQB (as applicable) unless matching funds from the other institution are in place.


Additional information

  1. Compliance with project progress reporting, written reports, and/or oral presentations is required to accept the InnOValley PoC award. These reports will be shared with members of InnOValley and possibly panel members.
  2. One page of supporting data as an appendix within your application is highly recommended. Make sure to reference these figures in the application text.
  3. The award will not include overhead charges. When completing the budget table, focus on the “directly incurred” total costs and exclude overheads. It is advisable to include costs related to intellectual property (IP) protection.
  4. There is no limit to the number of applications allowed per research group. However, only one project can be awarded to the same research group.
  5. Only projects surpassing the panel’s cut-off score will receive funding.

6. If your project involves using biological materials, such as animal work, human data, human samples, or pluripotent cell lines, you must submit a PDF copy of valid ethical approval as part of your project submission. If you haven't obtained approval yet, you should:

    1. Have an understanding of the rules and timelines for obtaining it.
    2. Consider this process when defining the project's starting date if awarded. Projects should not be delayed due to pending ethical approvals.

7. Please email the completed and signed application forms, including the budget and Gantt chart, along with any optional one-page supporting data, as a single PDF file to InnOValley at the following email addresses:



See Application Form Download form



Câmara Municipal de Oeiras               

Updated on 03 october 2023

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