Useful documents to download
Below are a number of the key documents that you may find useful.
If you do have additional questions then don't hesitate to contact us
- Proof of Concept fund guidelines (pdf)
- Yorkshire Concept application form (pdf)
- Yorkshire Concept application form (Word)
- Yorkshire Concept Board meeting schedule 2010 (pdf)
How To Apply
- Proof of scientific principle must have been proven
- IP must be wholly owned by the university.
- The project must be at the pre-incorporation stage.
- Industrial partner(s) must be able to verify market demand.
- Can industrial partner(s) verify routes to market?
- Are the industrial relationships non-exclusive?
- How does the proposition make money?
- How does the proposal scale over years 1-3?
Our aim is to create by the completion of each proposition, a commercial exit strategy attractive to potential investors, follow on funders and/or licensees.
PCCF will support the early commercialisation assessment of an HEI's intellectual capital (patents, design rights, know-how, etc). In doing so it will facilitate, foster and encourage HEI staff and students in enterprise and commercial activities. Although propositions will often be based on Intellectual Property (IP) generated and owned by the HEIs, it may equally be the case that 'first mover advantage' and/or the business ideas of staff and students come from other aspects of the institution's knowledge portfolio.
The Fund will not support academic research but supports proof of commercial concept:
- After academic research;
- Development that can be demonstrated to take place in a commercial context and is demand driven.
- It is expected that work will be undertaken with an industrial/commercial partner(s).
- Usually after a background patent has been generated / filed;
- To assist pre-production/prototyping; :
- Undertaking further scientific and technical development of an idea to improve the IP position, e.g., supporting further work to exemplify or broaden patent claims.
- IP is expected to belong fully to the HEI as part of the project.
- Undertaking a full commercial appraisal for new products or process with business partners but with a non exclusive outcome.
- Identifying potential licensees or opportunities for joint ventures.
- Identifying routes to market and developing a commercial strategy.
- Identifying follow on funding investment.
The Fund does not fund academic research or the development and/or marketing of existing products. Yorkshire Concept contributes to actual proposition costs; it does not pay overhead (full economic costs) or IP costs.
Eligible costs include:
- Personnel - salaries that are demonstrated to be essential to the development of the proposition and can evidence added value.
- Market assessment;
- Materials (evidence of need must be demonstrated);
- Subcontracted consultancy or other development services (evidence of need, contractor specification, quality assurance, costings to be provided);
- Other costs, such as travel and subsistence (justification is required and applicants must demonstrate that these costs are directly linked to the commercial objectives of the proposition).
- Although external specialist support may be bought in by the grant to support commercial assessment, each proposal will also be actively supported by the HEIs through the provision of mentoring, business development and monitoring from inception to completion.
Application and AssessmentApplicants must consider the following when preparing an application:
- There are four calls a year and dates of the Board meetings where proposals are received can be found under ‘useful documents to download'
- Draft applications should be with the Director 5 weeks before a Board allowing time for reiteration and amendment before papers are circulated.
- The Director can be approached at any time before this to discuss a prospective application and applicants are encouraged to do this.
- The Director will determine if a proposition merits presentation to the Board.
- The Board is very commercially focussed and applications must address proof of commercial concept.
- Is the proposition something new and innovative and can this be evidenced?
- The HEI co-investment cash must be public sourced and belong to the HEI but maybe from a variety of sources e.g. mainline revenue, Higher Education Innovation Fund, European Regional Development Fund.
- Is there a market for the proposed outcome of the proposition and can this be evidenced?
- What is the potential income that could be generated? What financials can be produced to support this income and how have these figures been calculated?
- Who are the industry partners involved in the proof of commercialisation?
- Is the level of discussion with partner(s) sufficient at this application stage to be confident of their participation in the proposal?
- Applicants must be aware that the pitch to the Board must equally address the science and commercial aspects rigorously with the academic and business development managers playing equal roles. Specialist consultants may also present. But three in a presentation is the maximum.
- The Board pitch consists of 10 minutes, 5 minutes each followed by 30 -40 minutes of Q & As.
- Applicants must ensure that the lead academic is able to make the presentation.
Decision making and next steps
- Decisions are made by the Board on the day and applicants will normally be notified within 48 hours of the outcome.
- The Board can fully approve an application or part fund dependent on the applicant providing further information and undertaking additional initial work.
- In both these cases the HEI will be expected to sign an offer letter to release the funds and provide a 50 word summary of the proposal for the web site.
- Quarterly monitoring is then carried out until the proejct ends with the exit strategy meeting.
- If the project is rejected by the Board it can be invited back to re-present if the issues raised are addressed. Several projects have been approved after initial rejection.
- The Board welcomes the presence of observers at its meetings but these should be notified in advance to the Fund Director by at least 3 weeks as there is limited room.