Proof of Concept Grant
- Definitions and Acronyms
- Proof of Concept
- Grant Calendar
- Eligibility Criteria
- Grant Benefits and Eligible Expenditure
- Application Documentation
- Project Budgeting
- Review and Evaluation
- Implementation, Compliance, and Reporting
- Compliance and Performance Indicators
- Document Amendment Information
The purpose of this document is to support the administration of the Proof of Concept (PoC) Grants program.
- This guideline applies to all PoC Grant applications and projects.
- This guideline applies to all KFUPM faculty members and researchers.
3. DEFINITIONS AND ACRONYMS
|A research management platform developed at KFUPM.|
|Intellectual Property||Any and all rights in copyright, patentable and non-patentable inventions including field and laboratory books relating to such inventions, plant varieties, registered and unregistered trademarks, registered and unregistered designs, confidential information, circuit layouts and all other rights of intellectual property resulting from intellectual activity in the industrial, scientific, literary or artistic fields.|
|Prematurely closed project||A project failing to meet all or part of the project requirements in terms of defined milestones and submission of the final report by the deadline after extensions.|
|Principal Investigator||The primary individual responsible for the preparation, conduct, and administration of a research grant, and project agreement.|
|Project||A product of an approved research proposal that is scientifically reviewed by a competent body and has an allocated fund by DROC. It generally seeks to systematically investigate a problem through scientific methodologies conforming to academic best practices to achieve the defined research objectives.|
|Proof of Concept||The stage in the technology (and/or product) development process when it is established that the technology (and/or product) will function as it is intended. This validation includes creating and verifying commercial concepts, identifying suitable markets, and developing patents.|
|Proposal||A detailed and structured request for funding prepared in accordance with the sponsor’s instructions and requirements.|
|Successfully closed project||A project achieves the objectives and satisfies the requirements in terms of defined milestones within the project period.|
|DROC||Deanship of Research Oversight and Coordination|
|IAO||Intellectual Assets Office|
|ITT||Innovation and Technology Transfer|
|KFUPM||King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals|
|POC||Proof of Concept|
|POCC||Proof of Concept Committee|
|TAPC||Technology Advancement and Prototyping Center|
|TRL||Technology Readiness Level|
|VPRI||Vice President for Research and Innovation|
4. PROOF OF CONCEPT
- University research funding from traditional sources intended for basic research often results in the discovery of novel technology concepts necessitating additional development to reach important milestones critical to commercialization. These milestones help de-risk a technology, increasing the potential for licensing to an existing company or enabling the formation of a start-up company.
- There exists a gap in funding the commercialization of novel technology concepts from universities referred to as the “Proof of Concept Gap” or “Valley of Death”. This gap extends from where the funding of basic research ends to where existing companies or investors are willing to accept the risk to commercialize the technology.
- “Proof of Concept” is the stage in the technology/product development process during which it is validated that the technology/product will function as intended. This validation includes creating and verifying commercial viability, identifying potential markets, and developing commercially valuable IP.
The objectives of the PoS Grant are to:
- evaluate the commercial potential of a technology;
- demonstrate the value of a technology;
- de-risk (or reduce the perception of risk for) a technology for commercial partners or investors;
- help in identifying a route to commercialization and securing such a route (if one exists);
- identify weakness in a technology for further development or help avoid downstream costs.
6. GRANT CALENDAR
The grant calendar is as follows:
|Call for proposal||First week of semester|
|Submission deadline||30 days after the call for proposal|
|Proposal evaluation including eligibility screening|
|Announcement of eligible candidates||Approximately 3 weeks after submission deadline|
|Announcement of PI presentations and interviews||Approximately 4 weeks after submission deadline|
|Announcement of successful projects||Approximately 6 weeks after submission deadline|
|Commencement of successful projects||Approximately 7 weeks after submission deadline|
7. ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA
7.1 Applicant Eligibility
- Full time KFUPM faculty members and researchers are eligible to apply as PIs.
- KFUPM faculty members, researchers, and external collaborators are eligible to apply as Co-Investigators.
- A PI or Co-Investigator may be associated with one PoC Grant application per grant cycle.
- Where a previous PoC Grant application has been unsuccessful, a PI may submit a revised proposal for reconsideration in the forthcoming grant cycle only.
7.2 Evidence of Intellectual Property
- The application should provide evidence that patentable IP has either been filed or issued for the novel technology concept. A PoC Grant may be linked to related patents or family of patents.
- This IP should be owned by KFUPM (preferably solely owned).
- Where this IP is owned jointly with another organization, the application should evidence an IP agreement defining ownership/exploitation of foreground IP.
- Where any invention is conceived or reduced to practice while undertaking a project funded under by a PoC Grant it must be disclosed to KFUPM ITT, and such ownership must be assigned to KFUPM. The PI must report such inventions to IAO in advance of a public disclosure or within 30 days of the disclosure to allow IAO staff to determine if such public disclosure contains new potentially patentable subject matter.
- It is expected that a PoC Grant will support further innovation and applied research at KFUPM. To this end, a portion of proceeds generated from the licensing of technologies arising from, or advanced because of a PoC Grant should be returned to the program fund.
8. GRANT BENEFITS AND ELIGIBLE EXPENDITURE
9. APPLICATION DOCUMENTATION
- Applications may be submitted by the PI in response to the call for applications issued by DROC.
- Applications should:
- provide evidence of existing institutional research and development capacity;
- demonstrate competitiveness and awareness of market potential;
- include clear technology development plans;
- include objective technical milestones.
- Applications must be submitted electronically through ABHATHI using the PoC Grant Application Form.
10. PROJECT BUDGETING
- Applications must include a detailed budget.
- The budget may itemise cash and/or in-kind contributions to KFUPM entities (e.g., the use of TAPC resources in addition to any equipment or instruments from inter-department or intra-department).
- The budget for use of equipment should itemise such contributions as the amount of time required to be spent (e.g., use of 10 hours of TEM for imaging the nano size samples).
11. REVIEW AND EVALUATION
- Proposals will be screened and shortlisted as follows:
- ITT shall assess the applications against criteria related to market development and commercialization (i.e., market research evaluation). Where needed, an external consultant shall be consulted.
- TAPC shall assess the applications for technical aspects and manufacturability of the prototype (i.e., resources identification).
- DROC shall evaluate the probability of achieving project goals within the proposed budget and available resources at KFUPM (i.e., resources identification).
- DROC and ITT shall jointly assess the applications confirming eligibility and shortlist the applications for presentation to the PoC Committee.
- DROC shall advise all applicants (including shortlisted and non-selected) of the outcome of the screening.
- DROC will invite PIs for shortlisted applications to make a presentation to the PoC Committee (see PoC Grant Presentation Template).
- The PoC Committee shall be convened for proposal presentations and interviews. They will evaluate the applications, using the Proposal Evaluation Sheet, in terms of:
- project novelty, scientific and technological level;
- strategic area relevance;
- degree of project readiness;
- evaluation of expected results;
- feasibility of requested funds (on basis of time and budget);
- evaluation of available facilities (equipment, expertise);
- market opportunity;
- project management;
- competitive advantage.
- The PoC Committee use refer to the Proposal Evaluation Sheet to discuss the shortlisted applications and either:
- recommend for immediate approval; or
- not recommend for approval.
- DROC will advise PIs of the final decision and invite PIs for approved proposals to sign the PoC Grant contract.
- Proper acknowledgment of KFUPM affiliation and internally-funded research grant support (along with the project number) in all publications and other outcomes is mandatory.
- Publications or other outcomes with no acknowledgement of the project number will not be considered as part of that project.
- Multiple acknowledgements in project outcomes should be treated according to the Multiple Project Acknowledgement Guidelines.
13. IMPLEMENTATION, COMPLIANCE, AND REPORTING
13.1 Implementation and Compliance
- DROC shall implement this guideline.
- ITT and the PoC Committee shall monitor progress of all PoC Grants.
- Non-compliance with any provision in this guideline shall be reported to DROC.
- The PI shall submit a progress report each three months after the grant starting date to DROC, including a detailed financial report and completed milestones.
- Any significant mid-course revisions to the research plan will require approval by the PoC Committee.
- The PI shall submit a final report to DROC within 30 days of the project ending date.
- Progress and final reports shall be submitted by DROC to the PoC Committee to determine whether milestones have been achieved (see the Final Report Evaluation Sheet).
- Project funding may be extended from the initial six months, subject to demonstrated progress.
- Where progress has been unsatisfactory and milestones have not been achieved, the project may be terminated.
- Where alternative funding for the project is secured from other sources, any unused funds will be returned to the PoC Grant fund.
13.3 Project Closure
On completion of all deliverables, and after approval by the PoC Committee, DROC will announce the project closure.
14. COMPLIANCE AND PERFORMANCE INDICATORS
In monitoring and reviewing the implementation of this guideline, the following compliance and performance indicators shall be used:
- achievement of funded project milestones;
- achievement of funded project deadlines;
- submission of funded project progress and final reports;
- number of mid-course revisions to funded projects.
15. DOCUMENT AMENDEMTN INFORMATION
|Version #||Amendment Date||Amendment Description|
|1||Month, date, year|
- Appendix A - PoC Grant Application Form
- Appendix B - PoC Final Report Template
- Appendix C - Proposal Evaluation Sheet
- Appendix D - Final Report Evaluation Sheet
- Appendix E - Consultation Service
- Appendix F - KFUPM Funding Strategy
- Appendix G - Workflow
- Appendix H - Description of Technology Readiness Levels
- Appendix I - Activities and Outcomes of TRL 3 and 4