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University accepting applications for Proof of Concept Fund

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

LAWRENCE —The University of Kansas is now accepting applications for the Proof of Concept Fund, which provides funding to KU technologies that are near the commercialization stage and have the potential to become marketplace solutions in the near future.

The Proof of Concept Fund provides funding to mature KU projects to make them more attractive for private investment, ideally within 12 months of being awarded funding. The fund will support projects in all areas of technology — including electronics, software, communications and engineering —that aren't eligible for funding through KU's Institute for Advancing Medical Innovations.

The Proof of Concept Fund will award $50,000 to four projects, for a total of $200,000.

“Promising university technologies often get stuck in limbo after they move beyond the initial research stage,” said Julie Goonewardene, associate vice chancellor for innovation and entrepreneurship and president of University of Kansas Innovation & Collaboration (KUIC), which sponsors the fund. “These projects often need directed investment to fund additional research to attract the attention of companies or investors. The Proof of Concept Fund is designed to help high-potential KU technologies bridge this gap so they can get to the marketplace as new products, cures and services.”

Proof of Concept Fund applicants must indicate the economic potential of their technology and identify corporate partners. Preference will be given to applications that have a monetary or in-kind match from industry partners. Proposals will be judged by a panel of KUIC staff and outside consultants.

The application deadline is Friday, Jan. 3. Award notifications will be made in February 2014.

The complete POC Fund application is available here.

This will be the second year KU awards projects through the Proof of Concept Fund. The fund was created in November 2012, and the inaugural group of sponsored projects was announced in March 2013.

The Proof of Concept Fund is sponsored by KUIC, which manages entrepreneurship, commercialization and technology transfer activity for the university.

Entrepreneurship and commercialization continue to be key components of KU's strategic plan, Bold Aspirations. KU currently has 78 active licensing agreements with companies using KU technologies, and there are 24 active 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 solutions,” Goonewardene said. “The Proof of Concept Fund is key to our efforts to do that.”

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