Funding gap bridged

14 April 2008

Research Contracts and Intellectual Property Services at UCT has launched a Pre-Seed Fund to provide "hard-to-get" financial support for early stage development of research projects.

The fund will bridge the funding gap that exists in the innovation chain, before other funding streams can be accessed to continue development, or to enable a rounded technology package to be created that can be licensed.

It is available in two levels: R20 000 for short term projects of about four months, Explorer, and of up to R100 000 for 12-month projects, Concept.

Dr Andrew Bailey, intellectual property manager at UCT, said the Explorer activities include preliminary market research, accessing market reports, gathering information that will assist the development and writing of business plans, and production of prototypes or market samples.

For Concept funding, the activities involve, among others, refining and implementing designs, verifying applications, conducting field studies or trials, demonstrating proof-of-concept and certification.

There are no specific deadlines for Explorer applications, but for Concept applications the closing dates for 2008 are 15 April, 15 June, 15 August and 15 November.

Bailey said they expect this funding to have "a really positive impact on UCT's innovation activities". More details are available at here.

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