Kevin Boatright
Office of Research

KU researchers invited to apply for Proof of Concept Fund support

Wed, 01/13/2016

LAWRENCE – University of Kansas inventors are invited to submit applications for the Proof of Concept Fund, which supports KU technologies that are near the commercialization stage and could become marketplace solutions in the near future.

The Proof of Concept Fund is intended to advance the development of novel applied technologies that have near-term potential for licensing and commercialization. The fund is not designed to support basic research but rather to advance technologies that have already demonstrated commercial appeal and for which the university has already applied for intellectual property protection.

This fund is open to KU researchers from all areas of innovation and technology. Awards generally will be in the range of $15,000 to $40,000.  The total number of awards will depend on the number and quality of applications submitted.

“Promising university technologies often get stuck in the so-called ‘Valley of Death’ after they move beyond the initial research stage,” said Julie Nagel, interim associate vice chancellor for innovation and entrepreneurship and president of KU Innovation & Collaboration, which sponsors the fund. “These projects often need directed investment to fund additional research to attract the attention of company partners or investors if the technology is the basis for a new company.”

Applications are due Feb. 2. Award notifications will be made about a month after. Full details, including eligibility and evaluation criteria, are available at the Proof of Concept Fund webpage.

This will be the fourth year KU has made awards to researchers through the Proof of Concept Fund.

Entrepreneurship and commercialization continue to be key components of KU's strategic plan, Bold Aspirations. KU currently has 109 active licensing agreements with companies using KU technologies, and there are 33 startup companies based on KU research.

“Part of KU's mission is to make discoveries that change the world, and that includes commercializing our discoveries into real-world products and solutions,” Nagel said. “The Proof of Concept Fund is key to our efforts to do that.”

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