What is a “proof of concept?”

Simply put, a proof of concept is way to demonstrate the feasibility of a method or an idea. It’s purpose is also to sometimes verify that the concept or theory has the potential of being used.  This process allows University based spinouts, startups and early stage companies to evaluate market potential, so that licensing potential or future investor interest can be explored.

How will the “Proof of Concept” initiative operate?

A project solicitation system that will allow UA applicants to apply for funds two to three times each year with funding amounts up to $50,000. The review, evaluation and funding process will be under the direction of a POC Advisory Council composed of University of Akron Research Foundation (UARF) advisors, faculty entrepreneurs and selected industrial entrepreneurs. Gopal Nadkarni, Ph.D., serving as director of the initiative, will work closely with both the Office of Technology Transfer and UARF to help identify promising technologies, coordinate the LEAP fund program, identify and assign catalysts/mentors, and track progress of recipients.

Initially, the fund program will use the allocation to help facilitate market feasibility, and build prototypes UA technologies that have been protected through disclosures, and provisional patent filings. The IPC / POC will publish the details of the solicitation plan and host informational meetings with individual departments and colleges to help explain the funding process.