Patras Science Park “Proof of Concept” Program aims to empower researchers to push forward their ideas and turn them into a product. The overall medium term objective is to bring innovations to the commercialization stage through:
A. Licensing procedures for a new or existing company, or
B. Financing a start-up company by venture capital,
taking into consideration the nature of the idea, the potential of the market and the plan of the inventors. Innovations that will mature will be channeled to investors but also to social and environmental stakeholders, including social entrepreneurs, volunteers and non-profit organizations.
The program in the funding period also seeks to establish:
- the viability of the idea at a technical and commercial level
- the plans and actions to support licensing/exploitation of intellectual property rights and their management
- the ability of the proposers to provide information on commercialization (e.g. budgeting) and the negotiation of the idea (e.g. contracting)
- the plans and actions for development of a business plan in order to create a new product or new business.
- The specific outcomes that will enable the concept to move forward towards commercial application
Approximately 10 awards will be made each year in two funding rounds. Awards will be for a maximum of €50,000.
The proposal is submitted only in the English language.
The proposal must be based on publicly-funded research conducted primarily in Greece or by Greek nationals.
The terms and conditions of a successful application can be found with the application form
Project Manager/Principal Investigator
The “Proof of Concept” program is open only to researchers in public universities and research institutes and to private sector research companies based in Greece.
Applications are invited from researchers in any discipline and in particular from young researchers under age of 45.
The proposal, including those from private sector research companies must have a direct connection to publicly-funded research results.
It is expected that the research will be completed and that any technical work still required should be to adapt the technology for commercial development eg results that are at TRL advanced 2 or 3; developing a prototype into a product attractive to the market. The focus of the application should be on commercial development and the plans for strategies such as IP, markets, competition, partners and investment to support and deliver market entry.
Applications from students who are undertaking a PhD are welcome but must identify the proven research results on which the proposal is based and their agreed rights of access or ownership to use those results. For example, students shall have already published at least 1 paper from doctoral thesis in a scientific journal. The published dissertation must be related to the submitted proposal on the PoC program.
It is expected that the plans for taking forward the project results beyond the end of the Proof of Concept funding should indicate which member(s) of the team will have the responsibility for taking future leadership to realize the commercial outcome expected.
Project Managers/Principal Investigators should explain their experience in leading projects in section B.3.
The underpinning research results should be available to the proposed project and the arrangements for access to intellectual property rights or know-how agreed in principle before the submission of the application. The direct relationship between the underpinning research outcomes or the know-how and the proposal should be made clear in section B.1 of the proposal.
- Host Organisation/Partner Organisations
The host organisation and partner organisations receiving funds from the Patras Science Park Proof of Concept Program must be established as a legal entity in Greece. The host organisation must engage the Project Manager/Principal Investigator for at least the duration of the project, as defined in the grant agreement. The Patras Science Park Proof of Concept program welcomes applications from Project Managers/Principal Investigators hosted by private for-profit research centres, including industrial laboratories.
As part of the application, the host institution must provide a binding statement proving its engagement to the Project Manager/ Principal Investigator for at least the duration of the proof of concept project. Proposals that do not include this institutional statement may be ruled ineligible and not considered for evaluation.
Submitting a proposal to the “Proof of Concept Program” of Patras Science Park
Applications can be submitted throughout the year. The expected submission and evaluation deadlines are:
TABLE A: Submission and Evaluation
April 30th (Canceled due to COVID-19)
May 25th (Canceled due to COVID-19)
Those, who have already submitted an application, do not need to re-apply.
All applications received after the stated deadlines are entered into the next phase for submissions.
Proposal submission process
- Applications are submitted by one person, the Project Manager, representing his research group/company, which is also the beneficiary.
- Submission is accepted only electronically.
- The full proposal consists of three separate documents:
A. Administrative Forms (Description of the Partners)
B. The Proposal
C. Supporting documents (Description of the agreements between partners on: the licensing/exploitation of intellectual property rights and access to infrastructure, basic knowledge or copyright).
- The format of the Proposal and the size of the text are predefined.
A. ADMINISTRATIVE FORMS
The Project Manager is required to complete the administrative forms that will be used for evaluating and further elaborating on the proposal. Administrative forms constitute an integral part of the proposal and are divided into 3 sections:
Section A.1 – General information: Information about the proposal.
- Summary or abstract of the proposal
The summary should clearly provide the reader with an understanding of the objectives of the proposal and how they will be achieved and evidenced eg by production of a business plan and/or evidence of progress in discussions with investors/partners for manufacturing or partners providing a route to market.The summary will be used as a short description of the proposal during the evaluation process and will be uploaded on the PSP website if a Proposal is approved for funding. Therefore, it must be brief, accurate and concise, and not contain confidential information. Simple text is used, avoiding types and other special characters (2000 character limit, including spaces and spacing lines). The summary must also be written in Greek.
Please estimate accurately the time required as the staging of payments will reflect this. Payments will be made in arrears against progress reports.
The Patras Science Park expects that normally, proof of concept projects should be completed within 12 months to reflect the commercial urgency of the proposal. However, to allow for those projects that require more preparation time, contracts will be signed for 18 months. Given this initial flexibility, extensions of the duration of proof of concept projects beyond the 18 months may be granted only exceptionally with the agreement of the Advisory Board and subject to acceptable progress reports. Payment will be subject in all cases to acceptable progress reports.
Awards are limited to a maximum of 50,000 euros.
- Contact information
It will include: name of the responsible person (the project manager & organization), address and contact details.
Section A.2 – Project Manager, Host Organisation and Partner administrative Forms: contain information about each partner indicating a particular contact person. They also include: email address, website, postal address, professional activity, legal form, name and the person responsible for the department/institute/unit that will undertake the project.
Section A.3 – Ethical Issues: Identify any ethical issues pertaining to the proposal. If there are no ethical issues, it is simply confirmed that the proposal does not raise ethical issues. If there are any e.g. research/use of personal data, human or animal tests, stem cell use, details are provided on how this activity will be controlled (by which organizations under which procedures) and by whom it will be monitored.
The applicant must submit the Proposal to the online platform and complete the template without exceeding the limit of 2500 words (not including the budget table). Charts and graphs can also be included.
Important note: Proposal evaluation is carried out in one step. The Proposal must contain all the information required for its assessment. The required administrative forms and the Suuporting Documents on the arrangements between the partners are not part of the evaluation process but they will support the eligibility of the Proposal.
The Proposal is to be presented in four sections each of which will be evaluated separately. The size of each section must be within the predefined limits.
Section B.1: Proposal – The Potential and Technological Level of the Innovative Idea (up to 700 words)
This section outlines, in brief, the potential of the proposed innovative idea. It will be used as an assessment criterion (Criterion # 1: Excellence in the potential of the innovative idea). It must include:
Α. A clear description of the innovative idea
Brief description of the proposal, explaining what the idea is about and what the expected results are. The description must be simple and comprehensible to everyone (even non-specialized people in this field).
- Presentation of the Potential and Technological Level of the Innovative Idea
Description of how the proposal will contribute dynamically to the promotion of existing research at a first stage of implementation so as to ultimately lead to commercial or social innovation.
Section B.2: Expected Benefits – Commerciality of the Idea (up to 700 words)
The expected benefits the implementation of the proposal will bring about to society and the economy are identified. It will be used as an evaluation criterion (Criterion # 2: Expected Benefits). It must include:
- Detailed report of expected economic and / or social benefits.
- Detailed report on the commercialization process and/or any other exploitation option.
- Detailed report of the proposed plans regarding:
– Analysis of Competitors and Competition (how the project’s results are innovative or distinct from existing solutions or competitors)
– Testing and technical reports seeking to document the effectiveness of the project (where appropriate)
– Intellectual property rights (where applicable). The patent owner (s) and its exploitation as well as the planned procedures (how the patent will become a product) should be described.
– Involvement of industrial partners / social actors / potential end-users with a view to developing and implementing the proposal.
Section B.3: Proof of Concept plan (up to 700 words)
It will be used as an evaluation criterion (Criterion # 3: Qualitative features and assessment of the effectiveness of its implementation).
This section describes the design of the proposed actions, the project management plan and the project team. The approach of the chosen project should be the best possible so that to determine the technical and commercial / social benefit. Particular emphasis will be placed on the documentation of the financial viability:
A. Description of the expected outcomes from the funding period and the longer term objectives
B. Action plan for the achievement of the expected results including risk management.
C. Project team description, necessary training and role in the project. Describe the size and nature of the team, indicating, where appropriate, the key team members and their roles in the work to develop and implement the commercialization strategy taking the technological concept into the market. The participation of team members engaged by another partner should be justified in relation to the additional financial cost this may impose to the project. The experience of the Project Manager/Principal Investigator of leading projects should be explained here.
Section B.4: Budget (up to 400 words + cost table)
This section describes the resources required for the project. It will be used to assess Criterion # 3. The budget required must be justified as being realistic and necessary for the implementation of the proposed actions. The total costs of the project may and normally will exceed the amount of the grant but are required to enable the evaluators to assess the viability of the overall project and the importance of the Proof of Concept Program grant. For example, the Project Manager time should be estimated and cost even under circumstances where their time is not to be charged to the Proof of Concept grant.
- Resources Required
Includes: direct additional staff costs, subcontracting costs, travel expenses, copyright fees, costs of purchasing or renting equipment, other justified costs.
Expenses are presented in tabular form and in Euros.
- Justification (description of the budget)
Description of the resources required and identify potential resources to help the project implementation. In case of equipment purchase, a brief technical description of the equipment required is provided, a justification of its need and the necessity of its use. A properly prepared budget with a sufficiently detailed and reasoned description is necessary to facilitate the evaluation of criterion #3.
The program funds up to 100% of the total eligible costs. If the total costs differ from the requested grant, it should be specified in the proposal what exactly is funded from other sources.
If the project will use any existing resources that a partner will contribute to the project these should be mentioned. Examples might be staff expertise, infrastructure and equipment. When estimating the costs for travel, please also consider participation of the PI and team members in conferences and dissemination events.
Subcontracting may cover the execution of a limited part of the project and must be duly justified, taking into account the nature of the work and the requirements for its implementation.
C. SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS
The Project Manager is required to submit the supporting documents that will be used for technical evaluation and further processing of the proposal. These documents do not contribute to the evaluation of the viability and will not be made available to the evaluators but are required by Patras Science Park to ensure the technical compliance of partners and the proposed partnership with the conditions of award.
A scanned copy of the following supporting documentation needs to be submitted with the proposal by uploading electronically in PDF format:
- The host organisation (applicant legal entity) must confirm its association with and its support to the project and the Project Manager. As part of the application the organization must provide a binding statement that the conditions of independence are already fulfilled or will be provided to the Principal Investigator if the application is successful. The host institution support letter should be printed on the paper with the official letterhead of the Host organisation, originally signed, stamped and dated by the organisation’s legal representative. Proposals that do not include this statement may be declared ineligible.
- Any additional supporting documents which may be required following the indications provided in this document (i.e. ethical self-assessment and supporting documentation for the ethics review procedure).
Supporting documents should include agreements between partners on: intellectual property rights/access to facilities, basic knowledge or copyright. The supporting documents are an integral part of the proposal.
The proposal must be submitted in PDF format to the Patras Science Park Proof of Concept website. No other format or means of delivery will be accepted.
Proposals received after the Submission deadline will be held until the next submission deadline before being evaluated.
The Proposal is complete when it includes the administrative forms for the submitting body and its partners (item A), the proposal (item B) and the supporting documents (item C). You should ensure that all changes to the text have been accepted and that a “clean” copy is submitted.
A, B, C must be submitted to the online platform on the following submission deadlines (see Table B) before the closing day and time (17:00) of the current phase of project proposals. Each year includes 2 phases. Proposals submitted after the deadline of a specific phase are evaluated in the next phase.
The evaluation is completed within one month from the submission deadlines (see Table A).
The results are published within 10 days after the evaluation deadline, on the Patras Science Park website.
TABLE A: Deadlines
Applications must be in English. Please use no larger than 11 point font in Times New Roman or Arial. and single line spacing. All pages must have a header with the name of the PI and the Acronym or Title of the proposal. Applications of more than 2,500 words, excluding the administrative details page and the costing table, will be discarded. In addition all applications must be accompanied by a formal letter from an authorised person in the proposed host organisation agreeing to host the project.
Hyperlinks to additional information will not be considered in any part of the application forms.
Please note that attendance at the PSP training programme for entrepreneurs is mandatory for one member of the team.
Format of Application:
Administrative Pages – administrative details and abstract (not evaluated)
A1 Proposal Title
Duration (Number of months – note no project must be more than 12 months in duration)
Summary, Non-confidential Abstract of the project in English (2000 character limit, including spaces and spacing lines) and also in Greek. This must not contain any confidential information.
A2 Contact Details of Partnership
a) Name of Project Manager
Date PhD awarded
b) Name of Host Institution
Host contact responsible for the project
c) Partners (complete for all partner organisations receiving PoC funds except host organisation)
Names of organisations
Person responsible for the department/institute/unit that will undertake the project
A3 Ethics declaration
Here you must identify any ethical issues pertaining to the proposal. If there are no ethical issues, it is simply confirmed that the proposal does not raise ethical issues. If there are any e.g. research/use of personal data, human or animal tests, stem cell use, details should be provided on how this activity will be controlled (by which organizations under which procedures) and by whom it will be monitored.
B The Proposal
Section B:1: The idea – Innovation potential (max. 700 words entered in a text box. Charts and graphs may be included)
- Succinct description of the idea to be taken to proof of concept and the problem it addresses
- Demonstration of Innovation Potential and how this proposal will provide a solution to the problem.
Section B:2 – Expected Benefits (max. 700 words entered in a text box. Charts and graphs may be included):
- Economic and/or societal benefits; identify and describe
- Commercialisation process and /or any other exploitation process; outline and describe the processes by which the proposal will realise the identified benefits. Include Proposed plans for :
– assessment and validation of the effectiveness of the outcomes eg Market or Competitive analysis reports, technical reports and testing reports to ensure the outcome is effective, innovative, sustainable, attractive to the market
– IP (Intellectual Property) position and strategy or knowledge transfer strategy
– development and implementation of a suitable Business model.
– strengthening or developing Industry/sector contacts.
Section B:3: Qualitative features and assessment of the effectiveness of its implementation – The proof of concept plan (max 700 words entered in a text box. Charts and graphs e.g. to demonstrate project plans/timescales may be included)
- Plan of the activities
- Project -management plan
- Risk analysis and mitigation – technical and commercial
- Description of the team
Section B:4: The budget (max 400 words in addition to the costing table)
|Category||Total in €|
|2. Subcontract Costs (Only in Greece)|
|7. Publicity and exhibition costs|
|8. Other Costs|
|Total Costs – Grant Requested|
- Resources (incl. project costs)
- Justification (description of the budget and how items will contribute to the success of the project)
- Supporting Documents.
These should be scanned and attached. The written agreement of the Host organisation to the proposal, if awarded, is mandatory and must be included here. All documents attached must include signatures and the names and postal addresses of the signatories along with Job Titles and authority to commit their organisations to the agreements.
Proposal Evaluation Procedure
At the end of the submission procedure, the evaluation process is overseen by an international Advisory Board of experts. The evaluators will evaluate Section B of the proposal. Patras Science Park will perform technical checks for eligibility and for compliance with the ethical requirements. Patras Science Park will also review the Supporting Documents that detail the proposed arrangements between partners in the proposal for technical compliance. Applicants are advised to have agreements in place with partners before submitting to ensure a timely commencement of the work plan.
The evaluation process involves evaluators from both Greece and abroad, coming from business, investors and the academic community. They are appointed by the Advisory Board which will consult Patras Science Park in this process. Each proposal is evaluated by 3 evaluators. Each evaluator evaluates up to 2 proposals. Evaluators are not remunerated for their services.
Note: Any direct or indirect contact about the evaluation between an applicant legal entity or a Project Manager submitting a proposal on behalf of an applicant legal entity, and any independent expert involved in the peer review evaluation is strictly forbidden. Such contact can constitute an exclusion situation and, if this situation is established, will result in the decision of the Advisory Board to reject the proposal.
Evaluation Criteria – Scoring Proposals
The rating criteria are the following three (3):
Criterion # 1: Excellence in the Content of the Innovative Idea (Grade: 0-3)
Criterion # 2: Expected economic benefits and marketability of the idea (Grade: 0-4)
Criterion # 3: Qualitative Features and Assessment of Budget Implementation Effectiveness (Grade: 0-3)
All three criteria are exclusion criteria (ON/OFF). In particular, each proposal passes to the next criterion only if it meets each criterion separately. Otherwise, the proposal is rejected.
The Advisory Board draws up a Specific Evaluation Sheet. Each evaluator grades each proposal with respect to the evaluation criteria, adequately substantiating each individual criterion. The Advisory Board may cut the budget of the proposal on the basis of relevant documentation.
It should be noted that funding is allotted for five projects in each phase. Unused funds from a phase are transferred to the next one.
Each Project Manager is informed electronically about the outcome of the evaluation, either for the approval or the rejection of the Proposal. In case of approval, the Project Manager is required to submit the necessary supporting documents.
Implementation of the Proposal
1st Stage: Supporting Documents – Signing of Agreements
The first stage of implementation requires the signing of a partnership agreement between the partners for the joint implementation of the project and the terms of the cooperation between them. This will be agreed and co-signed before the initiation of the project but agreement is required within two months of the announcement of the award. Failure to reach agreement will result in the loss of the award. The partnership agreement is drawn up between the partners in order to resolve issues that will arise during the execution of the project. Issues related to the arrangements are mainly: the organization of work between the partners, the organization of the project management, the determination of the rights and technical and financial obligations of the partners, as well as the management of the issues related to Intellectual Property Rights.
Patras Science Park is involved in developing and approving this agreement.
The cooperation agreement is required to be signed by the Legal Representative of each partner of the cooperative scheme.
It is noted that the commencement date of the implementation period of the proposal is the date indicated in the Cooperation Agreement.
Stage 2: Monitoring and Supervision
Monitoring the implementation of the approved physical and financial subject of the Proof of Concept Proposals is the responsibility of the Advisory Board. The Advisory Board meets every 3 months to monitor the progress of the physical and economic subject during its implementation.
In particular, the Advisory Board monitors the progress of the proposals, their financial progress, the quantified indicators, milestones and targets, and takes appropriate measures to smooth project money flow and, where appropriate, suggest corrective actions to the Patras Science Park. Each member of the Advisory Board is entitled to report any problem and propose solutions.
Beneficiaries are fully responsible to the Patras Science Park for implementing and ensuring the progress of their work, proper compliance with timetables and other conditions and constraints as well as the completion of the physical and economic subject on the basis of the approved features of their proposal.
3rd Stage: Commercial Exploitation
At this stage, the business plan is presented and the possibility of further support for actions related to the design and development of the innovative products/services to the level required for their marketing is considered. Emphasis is placed on the potential for developing, standardizing, controlling, piloting innovative processes, designing products/services, designing and developing-escalating the idea.
Following the implementation of the proposal through funding with the “Proof of Concept Program”, the proposals have reached the commercialization stage. Commercialization can be achieved either through: (a) Licensing processes of a new or existing company, or (b) Funding a start-up company with venture capital.
In the first case PSP will strengthen actions for the acquisition, validation and protection of patents or other property rights as well as other intangible assets. It will also enhance actions related to the granting of exploitation rights as they have emerged from funding for the realization of mature research ideas. In the second case the PSP will support funding actions for a start-up enterprise as a result of funding for the realization of mature research ideas.
In both, the above-mentioned commercial exploitation of the proposal and others not mentioned in this document, the rights of the PSP will be determined at the beginning of the cooperation for each proposal individually, depending on the nature of the invention/idea, the potential markets and the plan of the inventors
Detailed information regarding the Proof of Concept program is provided by Ms. Maria Konstantinou, Technology Transfer Partner, Patras Science Park, email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel. 0030 2610 911557