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AAU PROOF OF CONCEPT
 

LATEST NEWS:


The next application deadline is June 10th, 2020. Any questions with the implications of  Coronavirus (COVID-19), please email Jens Frede Rasmussen from the Technology Transfer Office at  jfr@adm.aau.dk 

 

BACKGROUND FOR THE PROOF OF CONCEPT


AAU receives 50-70 new inventions each year, all which are actively sought commercialized. AAU has one of the highest success rates among Danish universities for the usuage of research, and the AAU Proof of Concept will contribute to continuing to ensure this, as well as to ensure that more research results across all major areas are sought commercially utilized.

Historically, approximately 10-15 inventions a year at Aalborg University have big commercial potential, but at the same time very early. They must be mature and documented further in order to be sold to companies and / or form a basis for research collaboration. It is often seen that private companies and investors are reluctant to invest in early university experiences due to the high risk.

As part of Strategy fund 2, funds were allocated for the period 2018-2021, and on this basis AAU Innovation has developed a concept for an independent AAU Proof of Concept scheme. Starting in early 2018, this scheme should close down some of the funding gap that is for the maturation of research results, and ensure that AAU continues to be successful in using research, focusing on inventions, software, and prospective research results in general. AAU Proof of Concept is anchored in AAU Knowledge for the World Strategy Point. 9.2.

Purpose

AAU will increase the number of successful commercializations. The AAU Proof of Concept should therefore run for an industry-close concept that will:

  • Secure funds for maturing and documentation of early, but promising technology and research results,
  • Move the technology to a stage where investors and businesses can take over so that early inventions and research results with great potential can be commercialized.

WHAT AND WHO CAN Apply?


Funds can be applied by all AAU employees regarding the following areas:

  • Inventions
  • Software
  • Research results that can not be IP protected as inventions

The above mentioned, where PoC funds are sought for, must furfill:

  1. AAU has 100% rights to, or
  2. Third party rights must be transferred to AAU in order to be eligible for PoC funds,
  3. Particularly for non-IP protectable inventions: An agreement must be entered into for transfer of parts of the inventive property to AAU before Proof of Concept funds may be granted.
  4. Have a specific business / partner's interest. As a rule, there must be a Letter of Intent / Interest (see section on expressions of interest) attached to the application.
  5. Have financial support from Institute/Faculty (see chapter about budget for more info)

Finally, ownership of IP rights must be determined at the time of application.

Applications are made jointly with Technology Transfer Office at AAU Innovation.

INTEREST:

In connection with PoC projects, we mature research-based inventions so companies, innovation environments and venture capital companies can gain an interest in bringing inventions to new / improved products, through license, patent purchases and spin-out companies together with AAU.

Interest expressions from companies in connection with application for funds must show that there is already commercial interest in the final product.

A good interest statement includes

  • Interest in the invention from the company, prospected against the market potential the company sees, in relation to the products the company delivers / produces.
  • Specific technical requirements for what must be met for the company to license / purchase rights respectively. join the spin-out company.
  • Examples of Letter of Interest / Intent can be seen here  and another here

 

HOW DO YOU APPLY ?


In cooperation with Technology Transfer Office, the application form will be filled out and completed.

Deadlines for applications in 2020: 20th of March, 10th of June and TBA around early october

Shortly after the deadline for application, the applicant will be contacted with either an offer to come to the pitch of the Proof of Concept board or with a reasoned refusal for the application.

funds CAN BE USED TO:

  • Reassigned time of researchers, ph.d. and scientific assistants from teaching and research so that they can concentrate for a while on developing their invention.
  • Employ project workers who can work focused on the invention together with the researchers.
  • Purchase, operation or lease of necessary equipment and materials.
  • Travel expenses for own staff and external consultants.
  • Purchase of external services - feasibility studies, trials, development of prototypes, market research, preparation of business plan, etc. and to involve external assistance for market assessment and commercialization of the invention.
Sidst rettet: 2016-06-17
reassigned time

BUDGET & FINANCIAL REQUIREMENTS

The budget for the AAU Proof of Concept is up to 6 DKK million per year (up to 12 major / 60 smaller projects up to DKK 500,000 / 100,000 per invention)

Please note:

The AAU Proof of Concept requires that applications have 2/3 co-financing.

The remaining 1/3 comes from AAU Innovation.

This 2/3 co-financing must be from the department / faculty / external funding.

How this 2/3 is divided between these three parties is up to the applicant and not the AAU Proof of Concept.

An example of co-financing may be the purchase of hours for the researcher.

Sidst rettet: 2016-06-17
reassigned time

Size of the Proof of Concept types

TYPE 1 PROJECT
For example, the purpose of Type 1 project may be to remedy the clarification to limit the technical and commercial risks of an invention.

Type 1 projects can apply for funds of up to DKK 100,000 for a project length of up to 6 months.

TYPE 2 PROJECT
Type 2 project includes activities to develop, quality control and verify. In other words, in terms of maturation and documentation of an invention's technological and commercial potential. For example, the money can be used to make technical trials and prototype tests to document the potential of a new technology and to identify applications and market potential, business model development, and to engage commercial partners in the further development of a new research-based invention.

Type 2 projects can apply for funds up to 500,000 DKK for a project period of maximum 9 months.

In general, applications are that these are not limited to these funds only. If applications can be supplemented by additional external funds / funds, if there is access to such applications, they will be treated on the same level as those without further external funding.

SPECIFIC FOR NON-IP PROTECTABLE INVENTIONS:
AAU Proof of Concept has allocated up to 10% of funds annually to non-IP protectable inventions. The same requirement for co-financing applies to these types of inventions.

DEADLINES FOR APPLICATION


The AAU Proof of Concept has started in 2018 with completion in 2021.

3 application rounds are planned per year.

Deadlines are as follows for applications in 2020:

  • 20th of MARCH 2020 WITH PITCH 30 OF MARCH
  • 10th of JUNE 2020 WITH PITCH 22 OF JUNE 
  • A 3. application round around October 2020,  TBA

FOLLOW-UP:


Projects that recieves PoC funds must orally review the plan for the project in the start-up phase of PoC with a TTO employee.

The project must also make a short written halfway report with an employee from TTO. This is to ensure a progress towards goal achievement of the Proof of Concept project.

Finally, the use of the funds must be reported in writing.

It is the applicant himself who is responsible for the financial follow-up.

Why should the above happen? Because the results should:

  • Documented and evaluated continuously, and
  • Used actively for commercialization throughout the entire project.

Follow up:

  • Financial follow-up is explained by the applicant of Proof of Concept funds.
  • Result follow-up: Are the milestones of the project achieved? Is the goal of Proof of Concept achieved?
  • No definite research final report shall be made.

PoC will bring inventions to a new maturation stage.

Early technology is difficult to allocate, as technology is often not proven.

 

1) Requirements:

  • AAU has 100% rights to, or
  • Third party rights must be transferred to AAU in order to be eligible for PoC funds
  • Particularly for non-IP protectable inventions: An agreement must be entered into for transfer of parts of the inventive property to AAU before Proof of Concept funds may be granted.
  • Have a specific business / partner's interest. A Letter of Intent / Interest.
  • Have financial requirements secured from Institute/Faculty

2) Assessment in 5 areas: Market, Patents Strength, Technology Description, Project Plan / Structure / Budget & Person / Inventors. (The patent's strength is ignored by the fact that it is a non-IP protected invention)

The PoC Board's external members will consist of experienced professionals with competencies in primarily energy, technology, biotech, medtech, product and business development.

3) Overall assessment of 5 areas + No critical shortcomings + faith in PoC can lead the invention further

4) The presenter presents in 15 minutes the concept, and this pitch ends with a 30 minute questionnaire from the board.

5) The Board then agrees on which inventions they believe most based on assessment of the 5 area + presentation and questionnaire, and grants funds for the implementation of a Proof of Concept.

6) PoC grant types:

  • Type 1 project Max. DKK 100,000 Length 6 months
  • Type 2 project Max. DKK 500,000 Length 9 months

7) In cooperation with the TTO employee, a plan for the project will be established during the start-up phase, and a mid-term evaluation of the project with TTO will be held. The purpose is to ensure management for the desired technology coding and hence commercialization.

8) Result follow-up: Are the milestones of the project achieved? Is the goal of Proof of Concept achieved?

Financial follow-up is explained by the applicant of Proof of Concept funds.

No definite research final report shall be made.

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