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Proof of Principle

Proof of Principle (PoP)

One of the key challenges in commercialising University research is access to the early stage funding necessary to take a novel idea to an early stage of proof - thereby validating the commercial potential in order to attract additional investment. To overcome this funding challenge, the University has developed a ‘Proof-of-Principle’ (PoP) programme to support projects with significant potential to deliver economic impact via either licensing or creation of a spin-out.

The award of up to £10,000 is intended to move the projects to the next stage of proof. For example, to develop an early prototype, more in-depth market understanding or the generation of additional data to support validation of the idea. The focus of the fund is to provide short-term investment to develop early stage ideas, where there are some preliminary findings, but no clear route to the marketplace. The programme has been designed to help you prepare your knowledge and technology for commercialisation. The programme is not intended to support research projects for which no preliminary findings have been generated. It is designed to help academics demonstrate the potential for economic impact (via either licensing or creation of a spin-out) of a new concept, technology or invention and to highlight the need for and type of additional development support that would be required to take the technology closer to the market place.

It is intended that there will be quarterly calls for this Programme. The first of which shall take place in November 2021 as outlined in the timeline below:

Wed 27 October 2021 (5PM)

Deadline for submission of IDF to the IP and Commercialisation Team (if not previously submitted)

Wed 17 November 2021 (5PM)

Expressions of interest to have been submitted to the IP and Commercialisation Team

Wed 24 November 2021 (5PM)

Deadline for submission of completed Application Form to Adam Ervine (

Week beginning 29 November 2021

Review Panel will meet to assess Application Forms

Week beginning 6 December 2021

Applicants will receive feedback and offers as decided by the Review Panel


For further details on this scheme, or to discuss your potential applications, please contact Adam Ervine, in the IP and Commercialisation team. Details on the scheme, and the application form, can be accessed in the documents below.  

Useful documents and links