The program is approved by the PSP Board of Directors and is coordinated and implemented by the Advisory Board, which consists of 7 members and includes:
- Α Senior Consultant from Helix Advisory Services Ltd, UK
- Two experts from the technological ecosystem of Israel (Idealityroads Company)
- Two members from PSP Board of Directors
- The Development Director of PSP
- A representative from investor-financiers and/or the Technological Ecosystem
The Advisory Board is approved by the Board of Directors of the Patras Science Park. The Advisory Board has a three-year term of services which cannot be changed in the meantime.
The Advisory Board selects the best proposals, following suggestions by the judges. The Advisory Board monitors regularly the granded projects and approves their continuation and budget.
The judges are experienced individuals from Greece and abroad who provide specially formulated summary report for sumbitted proposals. They are not rewarded for their services.
Only the Advisory Board from abroad is remunerated for its services.
Patras Science Park “Proof of Concept” Program aims to empower researchers to push forward their ideas and turn them into a product. The objective is to bring innovations to the commercialization stage through:
- Licensing procedures for a new or existing company, or
- 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 periodalso 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 “Proof of Concept” program is open to researchers and research companies based in Greece.
The proposal is submitted only in the English language.
The budget of the Proof of Concept program amounts up to €500,000 per year for supporting 10 ideas (up to 50,000 for each project). Exceptionally, projects that require more maturing time will be able to extend to an additional 6-month period without increasing the economic requirements. Each “Proof of Concept” project will be continuously assessed and discontinued if the development of the concept is negatively assessed by the Advisory Board.
Administrative expenses that are mainly relevant to Advisory Board activities and supported personel are estimated to €50.000 annually. PSP has undertake to finance all the administrative expenses.
Benefits for the awarded projects:
- €50.000 PSPPoC funding
- Provide match-making service with funds and microfunds
- Networking through participating in national & international events
- Mentorship program
- PSP infrastructure – facility based services
- Access to knowledge –links to higher educational institution
- Guidance for business and financial planning
- Introduction of regional, national and EU programs
- Intellectual property and patent information services
Applications can be submitted throughout the year. The expected submission and evaluation deadlines are:
TABLE A: Submission and Evaluation
Proposal submission process and documents
- 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:
- 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 requested 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 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. 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, 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.
- Contact information
It will include: name of the responsible person (the project manager & organization), address and contact details.
Section A.2 – 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 in 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 are not part of the evaluation process but they will support the eligibility of the Proposal.
Next the information to be included in each section of the Proposal is described. 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 projects 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:
- Action plan for the achievement of the expected results
- Project management plan – Financial sustainability documentation
- Project team description, necessary training and role in the project.
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.
- 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.
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 evaluation and further process of the proposal. Supporting documents may 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 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).
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 B).
The results are published within 10 days after the evaluation deadline, on the Patras Science Park website.
TABLE B: Deadlines
April 30th (extended to May 10th, 2019)
At the end of the submission procedure, the evaluation follows with the responsibility of the Advisory Board. The evaluation is conducted electronically. All relevant material is at the disposal of the evaluators for the needs of the evaluation process.
The evaluation process involves evaluators from both Greece and abroad, coming from business, investors and the academic community. Each proposal is evaluated by 3 evaluators. Each evaluator evaluates up to 2 proposals. Evaluators are not remunerated for their services.
The evaluators are appointed by the Advisory Board. They are permanent members and can only change by a decision of the Advisory Board when it is necessary to optimize the evaluation process. Evaluators are relevant to the evaluation subjects and have 1 to 2 alternate members.
The rating criteria are the following three (3):
Criterion # 1: Excellence in the Content of the Innovative Idea (Grade: 0-5)
Criterion # 2: Expected economic benefits and marketability of the idea (Grade: 0-5)
Criterion # 3: Qualitative Features and Assessment of Budget Implementation Effectiveness (Grade: 0-5)
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.
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. The partnership agreement is drawn up between the partners in order to resolve issues that will arise during the execution of the project.
The PSP is involved in this agreement.
The cooperation agreement is agreed and co-signed before the initiation 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.
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.
2nd Stage: 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, suggests corrective actions to the PSP. Each member of the Advisory Board is entitled to report any problem and propose solutions.
Beneficiaries are fully responsible to the PSP 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.