Call for proposals for ERC Proof of Concept
The European Commission has published a call for proposals for the European Research Council (ERC) Proof of Concept.Securing for funding in the earliest stage of an innovation can be difficult. Attracting investors who would be ready to risk their capital in an innovation which is still in its pre-development stage is often a challenging process. Many excellent, useful ideas with near term market potential get lost in the period of transition when they are already deemed promising, but too new to validate their commercial potential and thereby attract the capital necessary for their continued development. The ERC funds research at the frontier of knowledge. This frontier research in emerging areas can often cover elements of both basic and applied research. ERC-funded ideas are therefore expected to lead to social and technological innovations which, when successfully applied, could generate enormous economic and societal benefits for Europe. By covering the funding gap which can occur at the earliest stages of an innovation the ERC aims to capture the maximum value from the frontier research that it funds. The ERC Proof of concept provides additional funding to ERC grant holders to establish proof of concept, identify a development path and an Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) strategy for ideas arising from an ERC-funded project. The objective is to provide funds to enable ERC-funded ideas to be brought to a pre-demonstration stage where potential commercialisation opportunities have been identified. The commercialisation process of an innovation may vary widely between different fields of research/invention and depending on which model of commercialisation is pursued. Innovations can be commercialised through licenses to a new or existing company or through a venture funded start-up, depending on the nature of the invention/idea, its potential markets and the inventor's plans for future involvement in the commercialisation. Innovations can also feed into ventures aimed at addressing social and environmental goals which may be in the voluntary and not-for-profit sectors.