AAU 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.

BACKGROUND FOR THE PROOF OF CONCEPT

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 the AAU strategy for 2022 and onwards, funds have been allocated 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. 

Purpose at AAU

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

  1. Secure funds for maturing and documentation of early, but promising technology and research results,
  2. 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.

The next application deadline is May 10th 2022

DOWNLOAD THE AAU POC APPLICATION FORM HERE

If you have any questions, contact Jens Frede Rasmussen from the Technology Transfer Office via jfr@adm.aau.dk.

Overview - AAU Proof of Concept

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    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.

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    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.
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    Application and deadlines

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

    Notice: As a part of the new AAU strategy, a new round of applications is under development for 2022.

    Deadlines for applications in 2022

    10th of May 2022

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    Usage of funds

    The funds through PoC 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.
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    Budget and 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
    AAU Proof of Concept applications are funded 50% from the faculty and 50% from the department. The program itself is administered and run by the AAU Technology Transfer Office. This means that you as an applicant is required to seek approval from your faculty and department in order to apply for AAU Proof of Concept funds.

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    Proof of Concept Grant Types

    TYPE 1 PROJECT (AAU MINI PoC)

    For example, the purpose of Type 1 project, named AAU MINI POC, 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 (AAU PoC)

    Type 2 project, AAU POC, 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.

Contact the Technology Transfer Office

Do you have any questions regarding Proof of Concept, please contact:

Jens Frede Rasmussen 
Technology Transfer Office
E-mail: jfr@adm.aau.dk