Proof of Concept Grant in Life Science
Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation and SciLifeLab Proof of Concept Grant in Life Science
The purpose of the Proof of Concept grant is to bridge the gap from academic research to innovations in life science. The grant gives researchers the opportunity to develop their early-stage discoveries towards validated methods, products or processes and provides the opportunity to carry out activities that validate and accelerate the development of the project and prepare for innovation and commercialization.
The Proof of Concept grant is not meant as a translational academic research grant, but as a specific goal-oriented project to develop an academic discovery towards an innovation and a product. Hence, translational research without a clear product-oriented thinking or a defined goal at the end of the two year period is not something that can be supported. The Proof of Concept grant is tied to the Wallenberg Launch Pad (WALP) mechanism (see below) that provides support for academic scientists to develop innovations that make an impact in society.
The approved funding for each project is suggested to be between 1 and 4 million SEK, over a project period of a maximum of two years. The grant will be paid directly to the researcher’s university and the use of the grant must comply with the university’s regulations and the specific terms and conditions of the grant as stated by Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation (KAW). This is a yearly call.
The application period for 2023 begins June 7. Last day of application August 17 at 13.00.
Who can apply?
Eligible to apply are those who have or have had grants from the Wallenberg foundations (e.g. Wallenberg Academy Fellow, Wallenberg Scholar, Wallenberg Clinical Scholar or KAW project funding,) or are part of Wallenberg Center for Molecular Medicine, the Data Driven Life Science program or SciLifeLab (including Fellows, group leaders, and infrastructure platform personnel).
KAW and SciLifeLab strive for excellence in research, how research is conducted and are committed to the principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Thus, applications are encouraged from all eligible individuals who wish to further translate their research findings into society.
All applications must contain a project title, requested amount and purpose, as well as a clear project description in English. The project description (see format below) must clearly state the academic research finding that is being proposed as an innovation, including the aims to be achieved by the Proof of Concept grant, the applicant’s experience and the potential to develop breakthrough innovations in the field, and the project’s position in a global perspective. It should be explained what the end product will look like and what specific problem the solution addresses. It should also be made clear how this Proof of Concept funding will help to bridge the academic discovery towards making an impact on society.
Special emphasis must be placed on describing how the scientist intends to verify the usability and suitability of a new method, product or process developed from research, as well as activities that prepare this for innovation or commercialization. The proposed project should be described in a work package format, including the purpose, clear milestones/deliverables and how it adds innovation/commercial value, e.g. if the technology readiness level (TRL) is increased during the course of the project (TRL-guide from SWELife) or how technical development risks are decreased. The applicant should also reflect on the possible future outcome after the project and ideas on how to take the next step.
The applicant’s research merits should be reported in a CV (max 2 pages) containing education, positions, awards, patents (if any but not required), entrepreneurial merits (if any but not required), as well as a list of the ten most significant publications published in peer-reviewed journals.
A project budget (university) according to KAW’s template must also be attached to the application.
Only one application per Principal Investigator will be considered.
Application documents are treated confidentially.
Application is submitted through the KAW-portal.
In the portal, define which life science area(s) that match your application: therapeutics (e.g. ATMP, small molecule, biologics), medtech (e.g. medical devices, biomaterials, clinical software), diagnostics (e.g. biomarkers, clinical software, algorithms, or decision tools), research tools (e.g. molecular kits, instrumentation, databases, software), e-health, industrial biotechnology (including production methods), or other life science fields (e.g. innovations in environmental science, agriculture, bioenergy, sustainability).
Project description and plan of max 10 pages (Times 12 and including pictures) covering these topics and in the following order:
- Short project summary (max 150 words)
- Research background of the idea
- Description of the problem you solve with your solution
- Description of the solution, highlighting the innovation, uniqueness, and novelty
- Similar research, potential competitors or next best solutions which could replace yours
- External party(ies) who can verify the problem and have shown interest in your solution, e.g. potential partner, investor or end user of your solution
- How you have protected or plan to protect your intellectual property (IP)
- A first estimate of potential and addressable markets worldwide and in Europe, based on desktop research
- Detailed description of the Proof of Concept project, e.g. the prototype you would like to build and how to validate it. Work package description, max 1-2 use cases. For each work package, state the (a) purpose, (b) aim and (c) how it adds innovation/commercial value.
- Team: Idea owners and the relation to KAW + the needed team
- Project Time plan
- Project Budget plan
- Describe the desired outcome after project completion and the proposed next step
The following attachments must be uploaded in the portal:
- Project description (see above)
- Brief popular scientific summary (max 1 page)
- Complete budget (university) based on the template. Please note that IP protection or market analysis cannot be covered by the grant.
- CV with academic and possible entrepreneurial merits
- Certificate from the head of department to verify that they will accept the donation and accepts that a maximum of 20% of the amount can be used for indirect costs and rent
- Verification(s) of interest from external party(ies)
The evaluation of submitted applications takes place in two stages. First, the applications are evaluated by a group of experts appointed by SciLifeLab and KAW who will score and prioritize the top applications. The second stage will take place in the foundation’s innovation tool, the Wallenberg Launch Pad (WALP). The WALP phase 1 is centered around personalized innovation coaching, where the researcher further deepens the scope of the project in preparation for the WALP pitch. The final decision on approval of the grant is taken after the WALP pitch.
Evaluation is done confidentially. Project proposals are submitted to KAW and funded by KAW. SciLifeLab-chosen experts provide advice and support in the evaluation process. No government funds are used for the Proof of Concept grants, but the chosen projects are encouraged to make use of SciLifeLab infrastructure and expertise to advance the Proof of Concept project when applicable.
- Does the proposed innovation solve a persistent or recurring problem?
- Is the potential solution well defined?
- Is the potential solution novel and unique?
- Is there interest by external partners?
- Is the intellectual property (IP) protected and/or is there a plan for protection?
- Is the Proof of Concept project and its milestones well defined and relevant?
- Is the proposed team adequate?
- Is the time plan and budget realistic?
|June 7||Call opens|
|June 7 at 12-13||Seminar and Q&A, Register here|
|August 17 at 13.00||Call closes|
|End of September||First review decisions sent out to applicants|
|Oct-Dec||WALP Phase 1 and WALP pitch opportunities|
|December 21||Last WALP grant decision|
For questions or feedback regarding the call, please contact SciLifeLab only using this Question form. Please note that no response to submitted questions will be given between July 3 and August 4.
IMPORTANT: Do not send any information that is sensitive or confidential or contains details about the content of the application.