UoM Commercial has established a Proof-of-Concept (POC) Fund to assist in the development of the University's intellectual property towards commercialisation.
The POC Fund is intended to propel University inventions and technologies across the funding “valley of death” to a stage where we can demonstrate worth to future potential partners. It is intended to help cover the gap between intellectual property disclosures and spin-out or licensing, where there is a compelling case for enhancing the technology's commercial potential.
The POC Fund can also be utilised to secure matching funds against appropriate grant funding schemes.
Individual Investment Scale
Eligible to Apply?
Discussion / Criteria
UoM researcher within Faculty
Collaborative research – UoM + other institution
UoM Spin-off Company
UoM funded CRC
Other research organisation
Previous recipient – project extension
Previous recipient in new area
Please note that the Fund’s Executive Investment Committee will not consider applications unless the intellectual property that is core to the concept has been disclosed to the University. Find out more about IP Disclosures here.
Innovation / Commercial Intent
IP & Ownership of IP
The novel elements of the technology should be able to be protected and afford protection for its commercial potential
Use of Funds
Any expense (internal or external) for:
Technical Maturity / POC applicability
Guidelines for assessment of the relative merit of an application are provided below. Apart from “matching funding” (which is desirable but not mandatory), the application should rate well against all other criteria if it is to be selected:
Scores well if:
Scores poorly if:
Need for Funds
Application / Value Proposition
Team & Management Capability
National Benefits/Potential Impact
RIC’s call for projects
University of Melbourne’s Research, Innovation & Commercialisation team (RIC) is calling for projects for review by the Fund’s Executive Investment Committee (EIC).
RIC will work to help researchers make submissions that are in line with the Fund’s stated technical and eligibility requirements.
The Application Process
- Contact the RIC Business Development (BD) person who is aware of your IP and discuss whether an application for POC Funding is a sensible next step.
- Your RIC business Development person will share the Application Form.
- Complete the Application Form. Note – there is a section for your RIC BD person to complete as well.
- Once an Application is signed by the lead researcher and BD person, the form must be submitted to RIC’s Technology Transfer & Licensing Services team (TTLS)
- Suitable applications will be collated and presented to the Fund’s EIC on a monthly basis by a member of RIC TTLS (and BD representative where appropriate).
The Monitoring Process
Funding will be tied to reporting obligations and will be released in tranches tied to milestones where appropriate.
UoM Commercial’s Finance team will manage monitoring and progress reporting. RIC will nominate a BD Person to be an intermediary contact point for UoMC Finance with respect to teams that are successful with their funding applications.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What costs are covered?
Any expense (internal or external) relating to the following will be considered:
- development work (including prototyping, proof of application and patent strengthening work): and/or
- Commercial viability work (including customer, market, competitor analysis, business case development)
- Prototype development and/or validation
- In vivo proof-of-concept studies in relevant disease models for therapeutic opportunities
- Software coding and documentation to enable field trials or alpha/beta testing
- External advice on IP, market, business planning, technical and/or competitive analysis to support the commercial potential of the opportunity
- Labour: Contract staff employed for specific project purposes
- Staff payments that would otherwise have been paid by the faculty
- Patent application or prosecution expenditures
- Marketing or promotion
- Conference participation
- Non-economy travel
- Purchase of equipment for general usage
Otherwise, eligible expenditure will be at the discretion of the Executive Investment Committee.
Can I use this fund to help subsidise a collaborative project with Industry?
No, but if you’ve pitched your technology to industry and they’ve provided feedback as to why they’re not yet interested, that might help you define a project suitable for this fund.
Can I use this fund to match other commercialisation grants?
Yes, and we encourage it. So long as the suppliers of the other grants allow it. POC Funding can be committed as matching funds for a period of time, conditional upon successful grant funding from elsewhere. For instance, we can use this fund to match Accelerating Commercialisation grants.
Do I need to have patented my work?
No, but an IP Disclosure must have been submitted to the University before the Executive Investment Committee will consider your application.
The intention is that the Technology Transfer and Licensing Services Team has had an opportunity to:
- carry out due diligence on University’s rights and potential to exploit the IP
- confirm there are no obvious “Freedom to Operate” issues that may impact on the commercialisation of the technology
- Put all necessary agreements in place necessary to exploit the intellectual property
Is the POC Fund an investment fund?
The Fund is not a fund with the intention of producing returns, profit margins and multiples. The goal of the fund is to help get University of Melbourne inventions and technologies to a state where we can demonstrate their worth to potential commercial and other external parties.
How is the award repaid?
It’s not required to be repaid, unless money isn’t spent as approved (reporting is required).