M€ in open calls for proposals for a total budget of 7.510 M€.
Grants for Basic Research Projects which aim at generating new knowledge within a given scientific field.
Topic / Target >ERC-2013-PoC ERC Proof of Concept


The ERC Proof of Concept Grant provides additional funding to ERC frontier research grant holders to establish proof of concept, identify a development path and an Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) strategy for ideas arising from an ERC funded project.

The objective is to provide funds to enable ERC funded ideas to be brought to a pre-demonstration stage where potential opportunities for exploitation have been identified.

Innovations can aim at financial profit and be commercialised through licenses to a new or existing company or through a venture funded start-up, depending on the nature of the invention/idea, its potential markets and the inventor's plans for future involvement in the commercialisation.

The commercialisation process of an innovation may vary widely between different fields of research/invention and depending on which model of commercialisation is pursued.

Innovations can also aim at value in the form of large-scale, transformational benefit that accrues either to a significant segment of society or to society at large and feed into ventures aimed at addressing social and environmental goals which may also be in the voluntary and not-for-profit sectors.

ERC Proof of Concept Grants aim at supporting an ERC grant holder during the predemonstration phase to prepare a package to be presented to venture capitalists, companies or social entrepreneurs that might invest in the technology and take it through the early commercialisation or roll-out phase.

The aim is that of conducting a proof of concept of an idea that was generated in the course of the ERC funded project, i.e. to undertake further work to verify, in principle, the opportunities for exploitation of this idea. This would help:

- establishing viability, technical issues and overall direction;
- clarifying IPR position and strategy;
- providing feedback for budgeting and other forms of exploitation opportunity discussion;
- providing connections to later stage funding;
- covering initial expenses for establishing a company.

ERC Proof of Concept Grants may be used for conducting further work (i.e. activities which were not scheduled to be funded by the original ERC frontier research grant) to verify the innovation potential of an idea arising from an ERC-funded project.


Start date: 10/01/2013
End date: 03/10/2013
Total budget
for this call: 10.000.000
ERC Proof of Concept

It is widely recognised that Europe offers insufficient opportunities for funding in the earliest stage of an innovation, where a potentially commercial or socially valuable concept needs
verification through testing or prototypes, through the identification of a potentially appropriate market, and also through the creation of protectable intellectual property rights, in terms of patents or other forms of protection.

Because of the difficulty of attracting investors who would be ready to risk their capital in an innovation which is still in its pre-development stage, many excellent useful ideas presenting
interesting opportunities for exploitation get lost in the period of transition when they are already deemed promising, but too new to validate their commercial or societal potential and thereby attract the capital necessary for their continued development.

The ERC funds excellent research at the frontier of knowledge. This frontier research in emerging areas can often cover elements of both basic and applied research.

ERC funded ideas are therefore expected to lead to social and commercial innovations which, when successfully applied, could generate enormous economic and societal benefits for Europe.

By covering the funding gap which can occur at the earliest stages of an innovation the ERC aims to capture the maximum value from the frontier research that it funds.

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