Proof of Concept

Тhe Proof of Concept is designing for researchers who require support to prove that there is a new product, emerged from research and for which there is a need in the market.

R&D covers a wide range of technical areas where ideas are formed and tested, in many cases often requiring the extension of activities to other, relevant areas after the commercialization phase begins. At that moment, the volume of research decreases and development becomes the so-called minimum viable product (MVP). The level of development is often measured by the Technology Readiness Level (TRL), which quantitatively describes the level of technological development. As technology knowledge increases, the process begins to evolve to proof of concept and creates the least sustainable product through the first demonstration prototype. Proof of concept is often considered a small exercise to test a conceptual solution or assumption.

The level of technological readiness is a common scale for determining the level of technology development.

Prior to applying for funding, the applicant is obliged to do a TRL assessment on the Portal of the Innovation Fund himself. There is an explanation for the TRL scale available on the Portal in this regard. 

If you have any questions regarding the TRL assessment process, you may contact Technology Transfer Facility team at the Innovation Fund or Technology Transfer Office at your home university for clarification.

Eligible candidates are all public-sector R&D institutions in Serbia, as well as all other institutions and organizations in Serbia accredited for R&D (including private ones), such as: universities, faculties, research institutes, innovation centers and other institutions for research and development in Serbia.

The Innovation Fund hires at least two reviewers to evaluate the submitted applications. After receiving feedback from the reviewers, the Expert Committee of the Innovation Fund will make the final decision, taking into account the evaluations provided by the reviewers. If two reviewers give their opposite opinions, the Expert Committee may request an additional assessment from a colleague before making a final decision. Regardless of the outcome of the assessment, the candidate will receive feedback from the Expert Committee of the Innovation Fund.

The Innovation Fund may provide technical details and advices during application preparation, but it cannot assist in the preparation of the application itself.

Yes, multiple applications may be submitted by one applicant.

No, it is not possible. All documentation related to the Application must be submitted electronically to the Portal of the Innovation Fund.

A document that has already been uploaded may be modified several times before the Project is officially submitted. Once all the final documents from the Application have been uploaded, it is necessary to press the Submit button for the Application to be submitted and therefore valid.

Once the Application has been submitted, it is not possible to make changes to the documents unless formally permitted by the Innovation Fund team.

The PoC grant can be used for typical services at this stage of development. Project budget, which is part of the Application is divided in the following categories of costs:

  • Personnel costs (honorariums for the research team up to EUR 5,000 (RSD 0.6 million)). Maximum amount per man-month cannot exceed gross EUR 1,000 (RSD 120,000)
  • Experimental PoC (may include consumables, rental of equipment or facilities and external experts2 (up to EUR 10,000 (RSD 1.2 million))
  • International and local travel excluding scientific conferences (up to EUR 2,000 (RSD 240,000))
  • Legal services3 (general legal counsel and IP services (excluding drafting and filing IP) up to EUR 2,000 (RSD 240,000))
  • Costs of business adviser up to EUR 4,000 (RSD 480,000) 
  • Other costs such as licenses, software and organization overheads up to EUR 1,000 (RSD 120,000))

Awarded budget must not be used for:

  • Sales activities
  • Direct Marketing costs
  • Activities financed through another framework, programme or company/institution
  • Purchase of equipment incl. IT equipment
  • Standard websites development
  • Travel for participation to conferences. 

Each team with a project accepted for funding must hire their mentor from a list of approved mentors published by the Innovation Fund. The role of the mentor is to assist the team in the process of product definition, business modeling and future development following the Proof of Concept. Expected mentor engagement time is 5-10 business days per project. Each participant must contract his / her mentor within 30 days from the date of signing the contract.

Upon submission of the application, the Fund will review the eligibility of the submitted applications and immediately notify the applicants of the inadmissible applications, including the reasons for the rejection. If all eligibility requirements are met, applications will be submitted for review by at least two reviewers. The Expert Committee of the Innovation Fund will, based on the reviewers' assessment, make a final decision and notify all applicants within approximately 45 days from the ending of the Public call. Regardless of the outcome of the evaluation of the Application, the Applicant will receive a reasoned decision by the Expert Committee of the Innovation Fund.

No. The proof of concept does not fund basic research.

Funds are disbursed in two parts: the first part up to 50% of the approved budget is paid immediately after the signing of the Contract, while the second part is paid up to the remaining 50% after the first two quarterly reports have been approved.

Yes, through the rules of the Public Procurement Act. All necessary procurement for the implementation of the project will be carried out in accordance with the applicable national regulations.

Not, it does not. In no case shall the Innovation Fund take ownership of an existing other future intellectual property of the Applicant.