NBIC 3rd Proof of Concept Award
The NBIC is launching its third call for proposals for Proof of Concept (PoC) projects from interested parties who have the experience and knowledge necessary to investigate and exploit areas in which biofilms play a central part. All projects proposed will be considered and ranked on their merits based on a number of criteria, with the intention that the selected projects will form a high quality portfolio of Proof of Concept projects.
To apply to the NBIC for funding for a PoC project, you must use the NBIC PoC application form, and should answer all questions within the word count suggested, as well as obtaining relevant approval on funding and initial agreement on IPR arrangement.
In this PoC call we are looking for proposals that are a joint collaboration between at least one Company (micro, SME or large) or stakeholder with a UK presence and one (or more) UK University / Research Institution, which should be a part of the NBIC consortium. The project will be expected to establish the feasibility of a concept, idea or technology from any application sector which is aimed at preventing, detecting, managing or engineering biofilms. In this Call 30% of the funding will be reserved for Projects that address Biofilm Engineering. NBIC ran a joint Industry / Academic workshop on Biofilm Engineering in April 2019 (Workshop Report Link) and we want to encourage the ideas and relationships that emerged from that session as well as stimulate new interactions.
Projects can be in a laboratory, model or real world setting in order to give confidence for further work. The PoC programme is not aimed at basic research, but is expected to build on existing research, findings or technology and show how the collaboration will move the research towards practical exploitation in a specified application. In Technology Readiness Level (TRL) terms then these projects are likely to be at levels 2-4. A useful guide to TRL levels can be found here.
The project may be the first between a set of collaborators, or may come from an existing relationship.
We expect to fund up to 25 projects lasting on average 6 months and for NBIC contribution to be on average between £25-50K in total for each project.
Projects are expected to propose additional sources of funding either as in-kind or/and financial support that will enhance the quality of the bid and the outcomes anticipated. The level of funding from collaborators will be used as part of the assessment process of the project. Historically successful projects have contributions from collaborating partners that amount to an average of 30 percent of total project value.
Project Agreement and IPR
The NBIC has a standard approach to Project Agreements to ensure we are consistent and fair with our collaborators. This ensures that basic terms, such as the definition of confidential information and Intellectual Property Rights meet the requirements set out by UKRI and State Aid rules. Our consortium members have agreed to the terms of the NBIC Consortium agreement, the IPR guidelines and the use of the NBIC POC Project Agreement for contracting awarded Proof of Concept projects.
Projects will be assessed on a number of key criteria:
- the quality of the collaboration and team;
- the quality of the science;
- the level of innovation;
- the potential for future application of the work and the impact of the next steps if successful;
- the clarity of understanding the current IPR status of the project and consideration of any that would arise with the project;
- the credibility of the project plan and risk assessment & the clarity /feasibility of the work to be done;
- the demonstration of meaningful engagement with industry or other external stakeholders and their level of commitment (e.g. financial or in-kind contribution);
- alignment of project goals with NBIC strategy (Prevention, Detection, Management and Engineering of Biofilms)
Research Institutions, where we expect the majority of the funding to end up, if successful, would receive funding at 80% of the Full Economic Cost (FEC) for their activity as costed by the university finance teams.
Large companies would receive no direct funding from NBIC
Micro businesses (<10 employees) – can receive up to 50% of directly incurred project costs (capable of audit).
SMEs (as defined by the EU- <250 employees) - can receive up to 50% of directly incurred project costs (capable of audit).
Full Definitions for SME/ micro businesses can be found here.
Applicants must be from NBIC Acceded Academic Institutes, or from one that is planning to join on 30th January 2020. Applicants are allowed to apply for multiple projects but cannot be in more than 3 NBIC PoC Awards as a Lead applicant plus 3 as Collaborator at any one time.
Call Opens Jan 10th 2020
Call Closes 23:59 GMT March 6th 2020
Decisions and offer letters in w/c 8th June 2020.
The collaborative PoC application should be jointly written but must be submitted by the lead academic from the NBIC Partner Research Institutions.