Enterprise Development

Proof of Concept (PoC)

Phase II of the Invest NI Proof of Concept programme is now open for applications.  The objective of the Proof of Concept programme is to increase the level and quality of commercialisation from within Northern Ireland’s Research Organisations through the provision of funding for early stage development activity.  Applicants must clearly demonstrate that their ideas have originality, protectable IP and potential for significant economic impact.

Funding for a Proof of Concept project is capped at £106,000 of eligible costs. There are two strands to the funding – a technical strand with maximum assistance of up to £80,000 and a commercialisation strand with maximum assistance of up to £26,000 (which runs from the start of the technical strand).  

Deadlines for applications are as follows:

  • Friday 30th November 2012 - CLOSED
  • Friday 1st February 2013 - CLOSED
  • Friday 22nd March 2013

The formal funding arrangements for the projects will be between InvestNI and The Queen’s University of Belfast. For this reason, proposals must be have the endorsement of the University at the time of submission. 

The application process is outlined as follows:

  • If you are considering an application, please arrange a meeting to discuss your idea with your nominated contact within the Commercial Development team at least two weeks prior to the submission date (028 9097 2566 or re@qub.ac.uk)
  • In conjunction with the InvestNI application form, all applications must be accompanied by a completed Innovation Disclosure form (IDF) if one has not already been submitted previously.
  • The Commercial Development team will inform Rory Jordan (Research Support Officer, Finance Directorate) of all potential applications.

  Financial Aspects

  • A member of staff from the Research Support Office will be assigned to support your application and will contact you to advise and assist in costing the project.
  • Each application has two strands: Technical and Commercialisation these will be costed using PFACT and the information is summarised on one POC Phase 2 Application Summary Form.
  • When the project costs are complete, the Research Support Office will assist you in completing the necessary university documentation. There are two University forms to be completed in relation to your application:
  • The normal RGAS form
  • The POC Phase 2 Application Summary Form
  • The Principal Investigator and the Research Support Office representative should sign the forms to indicate that the costs have been finalised.
  • The Head of School should sign the POC Phase 2 Application Summary Form and the RGAS to indicate their approval for the project.
  • The Research Support Office can assist in completing the “Project Costs” sections of the Invest NI POC Application Form.

Approval and submission

  • The Commercial Development team will assist in completing the main body of the Invest NI POC Application Form including the “Commercial Potential” section (Questions 15 – 17).
  • Once complete, provide a final copy of the application to your nominated contact within the Commercial Development team including signatures from both the Principal Investigator and the Head of School (Section 24).
  • Head of Commercial Development will counter-sign the application to confirm that the Research Organisation’s Technology Transfer Office has reviewed the application, provided input where appropriate and is fully supportive of the proposal (Section 25).
  • Head of Commercial Development will sign the POC Phase 2 Application Summary Form and return to Rory Jordan (Research Support Office). This completed form will be used to create a record of the POC Phase 2 application on the appropriate core University IT systems.

Useful documents