Proof of Concept Grant in Life Science

The purpose of the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation & SciLifeLab 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 thus preparing for innovation and commercialization.

The Proof of Concept grant is not a translational academic research grant, but is meant to support a specific goal-oriented project to develop an academic discovery towards an innovation and a product. Hence, the grant can support translational research with a clear product-oriented thinking and/or a defined goal at the end of the two-year period. The grant cannot be used for covering the costs of patent applications/patents. 

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). 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. 

 This is a yearly call. 

Call open: Feb 12, 2024
Call closes: March 22, 2024 at 13.00.

Join the online seminar to learn more about the call on February 15 (see link below)

Eligible to apply are scientists that are employed at a Swedish University and have or have had grants from the Wallenberg foundations:

  • Wallenberg Academy Fellows
  • Wallenberg Scholars
  • Wallenberg Clinical Scholars
  • PI and Co PIs in KAW projects

Or are part of:

  • Wallenberg AI, Autonomous Systems and Software Program (WASP)
  • Wallenberg Centre for Quantum Technology (WACQT)
  • Wallenberg Initiative Material Science for Sustainability (WISE)
  • Wallenberg Wood Science Cente (WWSC)
  • Wallenberg Centers for Molecular Medicine (WCMM)
  • Data Driven Life Science (DDLS)
  • SciLifeLab (including SciLifeLab Fellows, SciLifeLab Group Leaders, and infrastructure platform personnel). In addition, PIs of projects that are or have been accepted to the SciLifeLab DDD program. See Q&A

KAW and SciLifeLab strive for excellence in research, 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.

General information

The application must contain a project title, funding applied for and purpose, describe the applicant’s affiliation and eligibility, as well as the project description. The project should also have a sound scientific basis in the applicant’s field of life science research. The project description (see format below) must 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 steps. 

If the applicant(s) is engaged in a company that is relevant to the field of the innovation, this should clearly be stated. The grant cannot be paid to a company, and is not intended for supporting research and innovation activities in an already funded company. The applicant may, however, be eligible to receive support for other innovations in the academia as long as the conflicts are clarified and disclosed.

The applicant’s research merits should be reported in a CV (max 2 pages) containing education, positions, awards, patents (if any), entrepreneurial merits (if any), 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 content details

Application is submitted through the KAW-portal (

In the portal, define which life science area(s) best matching 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 (max 10 pages, Times 12 and including pictures and references), the number of pages in parenthesis after each section is a recommendation, most important that the total pages do not exceed 10 pages. The topics should be addressed in the following order:

Title page with applicant’s name and eligibility/relationship to KAW and/or SciLifeLab (1 page)

Describe the need: Which problem does your solution address? Who needs the solution? Who (potential commercial partner, investor, end user) has shown interest in your solution, and what do they find is still missing for them to fully engage?  (2 pages) 

Describe the benefit: What is the benefit and commercial value of your solution? How would this PoC project validate, further and mature your solution? (1 page)

What is the competition: is there similar research, potential competitors or next-best solutions which could change the market predictions? What is your first estimate of potential and addressable markets worldwide and in Europe, based on desktop research? (1 page)

What is your approach: Research background and current status of the idea (max 5 publications to be used as references).  (5 pages) Please, make sure to describe the following topics;

  • Description of the solution, highlighting the novelty. 
  • Detailed description of the proof of concept, e.g. the prototype you would like to build, how to validate it and the work packages needed. For each WP, state the purpose, aim, and how it adds innovation/commercial value. 
  • How will your final product be applied in a market setting (diagnosis of melanoma, affinity measurement etc)?
  • How have you or how will you plan to protect your intellectual property (patents, trade secrets, agreements?), secure ownership and right to exploit. 
  • Which regulatory requirements, if any, will apply to your solution and how will you address them? 
  • Are necessary ethical permits in place for the preclinical/clinical studies proposed? 
  • Please provide an overall time plan indicating milestones and WP deliverables incl cost and the team required.

The following attachments must be uploaded in the portal:

  • Project description and plan (see above)
  • One-page project pitch (Need/Benefit/Competition/Approach) incl WPs (in bullets), time and budget plan. Please use the last paragraph to describe the desired outcome after PoC project completion in relation to where you are today (ie how will the PoC project mature your solution) and the future steps towards commercialization (1 page)
  • Complete budget (university) based on the template at note that IP protection or market analysis cannot be covered by the grant)
  • CV with academic and possible entrepreneurial merits. If there is more than one person applying include all in the same CV file. 
  • 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)


All applications are kept confidential throughout the process. The evaluation of submitted applications takes place in two stages. First, the applications are evaluated by a panel of experts appointed by SciLifeLab and KAW who will score and prioritize the top applications. The second stage will take place in the KAW 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 by KAW representatives. Hence, some scientists will be invited to the WALP coaching process, but will not eventually get the POC financial support.

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. 

Evaluation criteria

  • Does the proposed innovation solve a persistent and important 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?
February 12Call opens
February 15 at 10.30-11.30Seminar and Q&A, Register here
March 22 at 13.00Call closes
Beginning of JuneFirst review decisions sent out to applicants
Sep-DecWALP Phase 1 and WALP pitch opportunities
December 21Last WALP grant decision


For questions or feedback regarding the call, please contact SciLifeLab only using this Question form.

IMPORTANT: Do not send any information that is sensitive or confidential or contains details about the content of the application.

Last updated: 2024-03-11

Content Responsible: Karin Nedler(