First Stage Project Funding - DOC by dmu13711


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									        Commercialisation Fund 2011
                   Frequently Asked Questions

Who can apply?
All researchers including staff on contract in 3rd level institutions and non-profit
research organisations and agencies in the republic of Ireland can apply.
Collaborators from Northern Ireland can be included provided they have their own

Can a company apply to the Commercialisation Fund?
No. Companies are not eligible.

What if my contract is due to end before the project is completed?
In instances where a researcher’s contract terminates prior to the completion of
the relevant project stage, Enterprise Ireland will continue to support the project
stage subject to the renewal of the researcher’s contract to at least the end of the
relevant project stage.

Can a researcher on contract be a Principal Investigator on a proposal?
Yes, but the proposal must be signed off by a relevant permanent member of
staff (e.g. Head of Department or Research Centre Director). If the proposal is
successful then the institute will need to agree to extend the PI’s contract for the
project period for which they will be funded.

Can Masters or PhD researchers be supported under this fund?
Because of the staged project structure of Commercialisation Fund projects in the
2011 call, this is not a suitable fund to support either masters or PhD students.
Please note that masters and PhD fees will not be considered an eligible expense.

How do I apply?
First, read the Commercialisation Fund 2011-Guidebook for Applicants and
Evaluators and then complete the application form “Commercialisation Fund
2011-Proposal Application Form”. Post one original and two copies of the
application form complete with the relevant signatures of the Principal
Investigator, the authorised signatory of the institute and the authorised officer of
the technology transfer office for the host and collaborating institutes to Majella
Maher, Enterprise Ireland, East Point Business Park, The Plaza, Dublin 3 and
email     a   copy    of   the    proposal      as    a   single   document        to
Note the maximum size for pdf documents is 5 MB

What type of projects will be funded?
Enterprise Ireland is seeking to fund small and large projects that will deliver an
innovative technology and address a sizeable or niche market opportunity. The
technology should be exploitable in Ireland in 2-5 years either as part of a
technology-based start-up company or through licensing to a company in Ireland.

Will the Commercialisation Fund support early stage investigations?
The Commercialisation Fund is specifically not intended to fund basic research
projects focused on early stage investigation. The Fund is not intended to
support non-risk or very low risk technical projects where funding for the work
should be more appropriately sought from another source.

Explain what is meant by „a project organised in stages‟?
In the Commercialisation Fund 2011 call, projects will consist of one or more
stages and Enterprise Ireland will issue a contract for each stage of the project.
Projects can comprise 1-3 sequential stages with each stage typically lasting 12-
18 months. It is envisaged that for a technology that is close to market, the
proposal will consist of 1 stage only with the expectation of commercialisation
within 2 years. Technologies that are earlier in the commercial pipeline may
require 3 stages and a timeframe up to 36 months. Each project application will
include all relevant commercial and technical workpackages organised in discrete
sequential stages each with their technical and commercial deliverables,
milestones and associated costs. For multi-stage projects you are asked to
provide a detailed description of the workplan for Stage 1 of the project and
outline workplans for subsequent project stages.

The entire project will be initially evaluated and if successful, grant support will be
provided for the first stage. Funding for the next project stage will depend on the
satisfactory completion of the previous stage.

What level of funding is available for projects?
Enterprise Ireland expects to fund projects ranging in costs from €80,000 to
€350,000. Small projects are envisaged to have project costs that are typically
<€100K while large projects will typically have costs >€100K.

Are collaborative projects encouraged?
The Fund allows for collaboration where the experience and expertise of two or
more institutions will bring significant added value to the achievement of a
project output that would not otherwise be possible. However, collaboration is not
of itself an objective of the Fund.

Where can I get help to prepare my proposal?
The Commercialisation Fund 2011-Guidebook for Applicants and Evaluators
provides information on the “call for proposals”, the objectives of the Fund and
the evaluation process that will be applied to proposals. It also provides guidance
on what information is required to complete the 5 sections of the application
form. You are strongly advised to read the guidebook before preparing
your application.
You should also read the section on “the evaluation process” as this details the
questions the evaluators will consider when evaluating the proposal. You should
consider these when preparing your proposal. Check that your proposal
addresses these questions.

Details for Enterprise Ireland Commercialisation specialist contacts in three
technology areas (Lifesciences and Food, Industrial Technology and Informatics)
are provided below and in the guidebook and these individuals are happy to direct
you to an Enterprise Ireland Commercialisation specialist who can provide
guidance on how to put your proposal together and particularly where to access
relevant business and market information. You must contact Enterprise Ireland
at least 1 month before of the submission deadline if you wish to seek the
assistance of a Commercialisation Specialist.

 You should also seek the advice of your Technology Transfer Office when
 preparing the proposal, in particular, the sections of the application dealing with
 the commercial opportunity, the potential for IP generation, the protection and
 exploitation of the IP and potential for the technology to have an economic
 impact in Ireland.

 Contact Details:

 Life Sciences                           Tel: 01 7272671
                       Ruth McMahon
 & Food                        
 Information &
                                         Tel: 01 7272784
 Communication         John Fagan
 Industrial                              Tel: 01 7272680
                       Ann Dooley

 Fund Manager                            Tel: 091 735927
                       Majella Maher
 (General Queries)

 Who needs to sign the proposal application?
 One original application and two copies of the application must be submitted with
 the following signatures;
     1. The lead Principal Investigator in the host institute: If the project is
         collaborative then it needs to be signed by the Principal Investigators in
         the collaborating institute/institutes. If the Principal investigator in the
         host and/or collaborating institute does not have a permanent contract
         then the application must be signed by a relevant permanent member of
         staff–usually the head of department or research centre/institute where
         the PI is based.
     2. Informal collaborators (those not being paid on the project) in 3rd level
         institutions and research performing organizations should sign the
     3. Informal collaborators (those not being paid on the project) not based
         in 3rd level institutions and research performing organizations do not need
         to sign the application but should include a letter (embedded in the
         application after the signature page) stating their role in and support for
         the project.
     4. The authorised officer in the host and collaborating institutes: This
         is the VP of Research or equivalent in the institute. Signatures are
         required for the host and collaborating institutes.
     5. The authorised technology transfer officer in the host and
         collaborating institute:
         This is the Director of Technology Transfer, the Industrial liaison Officer or
         equivalent in the institute. Signatures are required for the host and
         collaborating institutes.

Do I need original signatures on the application?
 Enterprise Ireland requires original signatures of applicants, collaborators and
 authorised officers on the application form. Where a project is collaborative all
 signatures must be on the same page of the application.

 What font size and type should I use?
 10pt font is the smallest font size that is acceptable. Please choose a font “type”
 or “style” that can be easily read at 10pt size. You are recommended to use
 “Verdana” or “Times New Roman” at 10pt.

How do I validate the need for the technology I propose to develop?
 You are advised to seek guidance on how to perform a “market/ technology need”
 analysis or validation from your Technology Transfer Office or equivalent office.
 Enterprise Ireland Commercialisation specialists can also provide guidance on
 what is required. Validating the need for the technology may be achieved by
 contacting relevant companies in Ireland and internationally for whom the
 technology is relevant to share the non-confidential details of the technology with
 them and to ask them for feedback on their “need” for this type of technology,
 the potential market/s they see for the technology and their interest in the
 technology. Interviewing end-users of existing similar products and technologies
 on their experience and level of satisfaction with existing products and what
 alternative solutions would be an improvement over the current products can also
 provide information to support the “need” for the proposed technology.

What are quantifiable milestones and deliverables?
 A milestone is used as a project checkpoint to validate how the project is
 progressing and can signify some other work that has to be completed.

 A deliverable is any measurable, tangible, verifiable outcome, result, or item
 that must be produced to complete a project or part of a project.

 In the project workplan, milestones and deliverables should be realistic
 quantifiable, stating specifically what will be achieved within the timeframe

 In the application you are asked to set Go/No Go deliverables to be delivered
 2-3 months before the end of the Project Stage.

 Go/No Go Deliverable defines a critical point in the project which determines
 the technical and/or commercial feasibility of the project.

 Example: For a project developing a rapid test based on real-time PCR the
 following are examples of typical quantifiable milestones and deliverables:

 Technical milestones and deliverables:

                             Milestone at Month 12: DNA sequencing of the target gene in 5
                             strains of each of 3 target species and 3 strains of 10 non-
                             target species will be completed.
                             Deliverable at Month 18: Real-time PCR test developed for one
                             target species.
           Go/No Go
           Technical         Deliverable at Month 18: Real-time PCR test for one target
           Deliverable       species, developed with 100% specificity and a limit of detection
                             for the test of 1-10 cells of target species per ml of biological

 Commercial milestones and deliverables:

                             Milestone at Month 18: Ten companies contacted and meetings
                             to discuss the technology of the project completed with 5
                             companies. Agreed follow-up actions.

                            Deliverable at Month 12: Market Offering flyer prepared for
                            circulation to companies.
          Go/No Go
          Commercial        Deliverable at Month 12: IP Strategy for the technology defined.
                            Deliverable at Month 24: Report on clinical testing of real-time
                            PCR test.

Examples of commercialisation deliverables include:
                A brief statement of what benefit your product/technology
                 will bring to the user. Example: The XXX product will
                 provide an x% faster, x% lower cost product option for XXX
                A list of contacts that will be followed up over the course
                 of the commercialisation process – mentors, potential
                 licensees, investors.
                A statement of what the commercial intent is from the
                 group – start-up company, license.
                A description of the process to be used to identify and
                 protect IP.
                Focused market leads - At this stage the team need to
                 consider who best to interact with to allow them pursue the
                 commercial target.
                Market Offering-A one page description of the technology,
                 the benefits, the market & the commercial plans.
                A presentation pack, where the technology can be
                 presented to interested parties.
                A demonstration of the technology.

How are projects evaluated?
All applications will be evaluated in a 2 Phase process, Phase 1 will evaluate 1)
the commercial potential 2) economic impact for Ireland and 3) the level of
technology innovation of the project. A panel of internal experts will determine if
the applicant has made a convincing commercial case for the project, and if this
is the case, it will progress to a Phase 2 evaluation. Proposals that do not make a
convincing commercial case in Phase 1 will not progress to a full technical
evaluation in Phase 2. During the Phase 1 evaluation, should clarification be
required by an evaluator, Enterprise Ireland will contact the PI to seek the
required information.

In Phase 2, projects will be reviewed by internal and external experts and the
information from the reviews and the Phase 1 evaluations will be used by internal
and external review panels to rank proposals. For larger projects that pass the
Phase 1 and Phase 2 evaluations, the Principal Investigator may be contacted (by
arrangement) to clarify questions the panel may have.

Funding recommendations for each technology area will be presented to the
Industrial Research and Commercialisation Committee (IRCC) for decision.

When will I know the outcome of my proposal?
All applications will be evaluated in a 2 Phase process, Phase 1 will evaluate the
commercial potential and potential economic impact for Ireland the level of

technology innovation of the project and Phase 2 will evaluate the resources and
calibre of project team to deliver the project, the project costings, the workplan in
the context of the commercial case for the technology. Once evaluated, the
proposals will be presented to internal and external review panels who will rank
the proposals and make recommendations to the Industrial Research and
Commercialisation Committee (IRCC). The IRCC will decide which projects will be
approved for funding. It is expected that proposals will be presented to the IRCC
for decision on May (19th), 2011. Enterprise Ireland will get back to applicants
after the minutes of the IRCC meeting have been approved.

Will I get feedback on my proposal?
Yes, feedback will be provided to applicants of both successful and unsuccessful
projects. This feedback will be based on the comments provided by the evaluators
from their evaluation of the proposal. The guidebook- Commercialisation Fund
2011-Guidebook for Applicants and Evaluators provides details on the criteria
they will evaluate and the questions they will consider in performing the
evaluation. Applicants will receive feedback after their project has been presented
to the Industrial Research and Commercialisation Committee and they have made
a decision on the project.

For successful projects how will project performance be reviewed?
For approved projects, when the contract/grant agreement is being prepared,
Enterprise Ireland will agree with the host institute, the milestones and
deliverables for each project stage and the timeframe for these. For multi-stage
projects, go/no go technical and commercial deliverables that are quantifiable and
can be achieved 2-3 months before the end of the project stage will be agreed
between Enterprise Ireland and the host institute. The lead PI will be asked to
submit a report to Enterprise Ireland on a report template provided by Enterprise
Ireland 2-3 months before the end of the project stage. Enterprise Ireland staff
from the relevant technology directorate will review the performance of the
project stage based on the report and meeting with the project team to discuss
progress in the context of the agreed go/no go technical and commercial
deliverables. They will decide if the project stage is on target to deliver the
agreed outputs and on that basis whether funding for the next stage should be

How will the issue of contract staff be managed in the context of a
“staged project”?
It is envisaged that the host and collaborating institutes will employ researchers
for the relevant number of man-months for each project stage. Continuation of
the researcher’s contract for the next project stage will be dependent on
achieving the agreed go/no go deliverables for the previous stage. Enterprise
Ireland will review the project performance a minimum of 2-3 months before the
end of the contract for the relevant project stage and indicate whether funding for
the next project stage is approved. This will provide the college with a two month
timeframe approximately to deal with the HR requirements pertaining to the
researchers working on the projects.

Can I publish my research?
The primary purpose of the Commercialisation Fund is to produce technologies
with the potential for exploitation in Ireland. Therefore, the protection of
intellectual property and the exploitation of results must never be prejudiced by
publication or disclosure. Applicants must discuss with their TTO any intention to
publish the work and the TTO will have the final decision on whether publication is
possible or needs to be deferred in the interests of protecting the IP or enabling
exploitation of the results.

What is the typical breakdown of project costs?
In this programme, the project will be organised in stages and the costings for
each stage must be independently detailed (Section 4.2.1-4.2.6 in the
Commercialisation Fund 2011-Proposal Application Form). Where there is
collaboration on a project stage, the costings per institute involved in the
collaboration must be independently detailed (Section 4.2.1-4.2.6 in the
Commercialisation Fund 2011-Proposal Application Form). The total costs per
stage must then be summarised in table 4.3 where the total project costs for all
stages is also indicated.
The typical breakdown of costs per stage are:
      1. Salaries-60% or greater
      2. Materials-20-25%
      3. Travel-not more than 10% of the budget- this budget is to cover
          domestic travel-foreign travel will only be considered if it is a necessary
          to ensure the success of the project –all travel plans must be detailed
          including the persons name, destination and reason for travelling in the
          application. Costs to cover use of facilities in Ireland or abroad that are
          essential to the achievement of the project can be included but need to
          be fully justified in the application. Travel outside the EU must be agreed
          2 months prior of the intended travel date by completion of the relevant
          section of the “Project alteration Form” that can be downloaded from

      Consultancy- In cases where subcontracting is necessary, details of
      subcontracting costs including the use of a consultant should be clearly
      outlined and justified. In the case of consultancy work, for marketing or
      business purposes, the PI must agree with their Technology Transfer Office
      or equivalent the most appropriate consultant and seek EI approval prior to
      engagement. A business consultant’s output must be shared with Enterprise
      Ireland as part of the project stage review. Where technical work for the
      project needs to be sub-contracted e.g. clinical trials, safety and efficacy
      testing, Enterprise Ireland must approve the provider. Where possible,
      every effort must be made to outsource work in Ireland.

The following costs are considered ineligible for funding by Enterprise

This list is not exhaustive.

   Any interests, or return on capital employed
   Provisions for possible future losses or charges
   Interest owed
   Provisions for doubtful debts
   Resources made available to a Grantee free of charge
   Unnecessary or ill-considered expenses
   Marketing, sales and distribution costs for products and services
   Entertainment and hospitality expenses except such reasonable expenses
    accepted as wholly and exclusively necessary for carrying out the work under
    the Standard Grand Agreement
   Fees and penalties (including prompt payment interest)
   Recruitment costs, work permits/ visas, accommodation etc
   Redundancy costs
   Relocation costs
   Interview expenses

   Subsistence payments to visiting personnel who are not on the payroll of the
   Protection of Intellectual property rights (separate support)
   Cost of courses (unless the course relates directly to the project)
   Membership fees (unless the membership relates directly to the project)
   Subscription costs (unless the subscription relates directly to the project)
   General stationary
   Office Equipment
   General phone charges
   Provision of work space
   Books (maximum of €1,500)
   Petty Cash
   Any items which are detailed as Miscellaneous or General
   Advertising
   Travel & Expenses (unless destination, duration and activity is appropriate)
   Company start-up costs
   PhD & Masters fees

What action will be taken by Enterprise Ireland if a proposal is received
after the submission deadline specified?
Proposals received by Enterprise Ireland after the deadline specified in the Call
document will not be accepted for review.
If, after submitting my application I realise that it is incomplete, can I
withdraw the application and submit a revised version?
No. Following submission, an application cannot be withdrawn and modified for
resubmission in the same Call.


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