Good results with PoC funding

January 18, 2023

Press release from the Oulu University Innovation Centre

Last year, the University of Oulu together with the city of Oulu financed 13 PoC (Proof-of-Concept) projects of the University of Oulu with a total of 250,000 euros. The PoC funding helped to get more additional funding.

Of the funded projects, 5 were from the Faculty of Technology, 5 from the Faculty of Information and Electrical Engineering (TST), and one from the Faculties of Science and Medicine. One project was joint between Medicine and TST.

Since 2015, the University of Oulu has annually granted PoC funding to researchers from its budget.

In 2020, the city of Oulu got involved by funding the development of ideas at the University of Oulu, Oulu University of Applied Sciences and OSAO. At the same time, PoC funding included not only researchers but also undergraduate students.

Thanks to PoC funding, a researcher can take a 3-4 month leave of absence from his/her research project and prepare the first technical implementation for a research-based business idea.

Undergraduate students, on the other hand, can make purchases, for example, to make a first prototype or demo. So far, there have been very few PoC funding applications from students. We would like to see more of them in the future.

An enabler of additional financing
As a result of the PoC projects, two projects received R2B funding (Business Finland’s research to business), where a business based on a research-oriented idea is developed before establishing a company or licensing the results.

In addition, eight invention disclosures and several applications for additional funding were made to various funders. The results obtained in the PoC project also had a significant impact on obtaining funding according to the partnership model of Business Finland.

Also needed in the future
The University’s PoC funding has been an important instrument to validate the feasibility of a research-based idea. Some of the projects from previous years have already progressed to their first funding rounds as startup companies. There is an order for funding, and as it stands now, PoC activity is a key part of the regional innovation system.

On the other hand, it must be noted that even this form of support alone is not enough to guarantee the birth of a new, innovative business.

PoC funding helps bring new ideas to the fore. It makes the enormous innovation potential more visible, which lies in the more than 30,000 students and 4,000 staff members of the University of Oulu, Oamk and OSAO.

Originally published on 16 January.

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