CRG Proof of Concept

Commercialization Gap Fund (CGF)

Get additional funds for pushing CRG technologies and inventions forward towards commercialization.

The goal of CRG’s Proof of Concept: Commercialization Gap Fund (CGF) is to accelerate the commercialization of technologies developed at, or assigned to CRG by providing funding to bridge the gap between research and commercialization in the absence of an industry sponsor or investment partner.

It is the aim of CGF to help CRG projects move forward to the stage where they can be licensed to industry, investors or newly created spin-off companies, but not to fund the creation of spin-off companies per se, which may be the object of separate negotiations with the TBDO.

CGF is administered through the TBDO according to the following rules and procedures:

CGF provides funding for projects that:

  • have already demonstrated successful results in the research environment and are poised for commercialization pending a specific, targeted demonstration, test result, or prototype;
  • have progressed beyond the stage where research funding opportunities are typically available, but capital from industry or an investment partner has not yet been secured, or is unlikely to be secured at that stage;
  • have a clear commitment from the researchers to push them forward in line with an agreed plan; and
  • refer to technologies or inventions already disclosed to the TBDO, that count with a positive assessment from the TBDO based on its standard working procedures

The CGF shall NOT provide funding for proposals:

  • to fund basic research or theoretical development, or to generate models, new data, or assess the feasibility of a research project;
  • for which the proposed activities require more than the period of grant to complete;
  • with industry sponsorship, an investment partner, or research grant support, unless funds from such sources are devoted to match these of the TBDO; or
  • with a negative assessment from the TBDO based on its standard working procedures.

Renewals for projects funded in previous cycles may be eventually eligible following the standard rules and application process.

Projects not funded in prior calls may be eligible for funding if the issues then raised are duly solved or taken into consideration in the new submission.

Two CGF schemes are available, depending on the development time and resources needed:

  • Midi”  –  Up to 6 months and 35K EUR
  • Maxi” –  Up to 12 months and 75K EUR

although TBDO reserves the right to support projects on a smaller (“Mini”) scale if needed (i) to push them towards a “proper” PoC scheme, or (ii) to quickly commercialize them.

Funds shall be used preferentially for consumables and subcontracting activities (technical, IP- or business-oriented).

Importantly, funding will be provided according to a detailed work plan with clear milestones and timeframes (each with its own budget), such that no funding will be provided for a step until the prior step is duly executed and the corresponding milestone(s) reached. In this respect, it will be important to clearly identify Go/No Go decision points, as well as alternative routes in case that a milestone would not succeed/be reached.

TBDO reserves the right to modify the funding scheme of a proposal as it deems most appropriate to fulfil the final objectives.

Applicants can be one or more CRG researchers, eventually in collaboration with others from external organizations with which CRG already shares the ownership of prior results, or that agree to share with, or assign future rights to CRG. In such cases, a joint ownership or similar agreement needs to be in place, or at least the minimum terms and conditions for joint ownership have to be agreed in advance amongst institutions.

In the case of non-group leaders, the applicant(s) shall have a written statement (predetermined format; see Section VIII) of his/her group leader confirming his/her support to the project, and compliance with internal CRG rules (in particular regarding the time to contract end of the applicant(s), which should go beyond the grant period to ensure execution).

Applicants will have to prove that they are strongly committed to the project (e.g. by devoting own time or resources).

Calls for projects will be open as follows:

  • Midi” – Twice a year, in March and September for start in July (till Dec. same year) and January (till June same year) respectively.
  • Maxi” – Once a year, in September for start in January (till December same year).

Applications will follow the following process:

  • Latest on the first submission day of each open call, applicants will submit a short application to the TBDO (max. 2 pages – predetermined format; see Section VIII) briefly describing the background technology, detailed project and resources needed, as well as their motivation and commitment. The application should also address as far as possible the eligibility issues above.
  • The TBDO will pre-select projects based on eligibility (in particular commitment, clear IP and prior/preliminary positive assessment by the TBDO), and communicate the decision to the applicants within 2 weeks from the first submission date.
  • The pre-selected applicants can ask the TBDO for advice  for shaping a final PoC proposal including activities, budget and timelines.
  • On the second submission day of each open call (2 months after the submission of the LOI), pre-selected applicants will submit a full proposal to the TBDO (max. 10 pages, pre-determined format; see Section VIII), describing the background and commercial potential of the technology, as well as a clear development plan with the corresponding schedule and budget needs.
  • Applications will be evaluated by the TBDO and/or an external panel, and final decisions for selected projects communicated within one (1) month from the full submission.
  • Projects will start no later than one (1) month from grant, unless otherwise agreed with the TBDO.

Selection will be made by the TBDO (eventually in consultation with external advisors) based on a clear background IP, the commercial potential of the technology, as well as the commitment of the researcher and the feasibility and suitability of the suggested plan.

In line with this:

  • All the IP related to the proposal must belong to CRG and be available for licensing (i.e., not encumbered by any prior obligations, such as existing license, sponsored research agreement, ongoing collaboration with industrial partner, ongoing licensing negotiation, or consulting agreement), or
  • If IP is jointly owned, a joint ownership or similar agreement needs to be in place, and CRG must have a lead role in commercializing the technology. Any new intellectual property developed as a part of the funded POC project must be assignable to CRG (unless matching funds from the other institution in place).
  • Projects will be ranked and granted according to available resources.

Despite eligibility and selection, a detailed plan with steps, milestones, timelines and budget for each that duly identifies Go/No Go decision points and alternatives for development will be critical for funding, such that funding will only be provided based on the progression of such plan as milestones are successfully reached.

Researchers will be responsible for reporting to the TBDO showing progress in line with the schedule and milestones reflected in the final proposal. Budget and other deviations, if any, will have to be duly reported and justified in order to get the right for additional funding.

Reports will be sent to the TBDO at least one week in advance of each face-to-face meeting for discussion on the progress of the project, possible problems/deviations if any, and ways to overcome them.

A meeting and reporting plan will be tentatively established in advance from the start of the project, agreed between the TBDO and the researchers, although the parties will be able to meet as often as necessary for the good follow-up of the project.

Funding may be subject to be discontinued for projects that unjustifiably:

  • are not reported on time, or
  • do not progress sufficiently, or
  • do not progress in line with the agreed plan.
Schemes CGF “Mini” CGF “Midi” CGF “Maxi”
Funding (in €) up to 25K EUR 35K EUR 75K EUR
Develop. time up to N/A 6 months 12 months
Calls for Projects N/A 1/year 1/year
SHORT submission   Oct. 1st Oct. 1st
Pre-selection   Oct. 15th Oct. 15th
FULL submission   Dec. 1st Dec. 1st
Selection   Jan. 15th Jan. 15th
Start Not fixed Febr. 15th Febr. 15th
End Not fixed Aug 14th Febr. 14th
Funding for (OHs N/A) Consumables and subcontracting (technical or others)
--- HHRR eventually
Reporting As needed according to milestones / preagreed plan
Main requisites / Selection criteria Prior disclosure filed with the TBDO, clear IP and commercial potential, suitable and feasible plan, and applicant’s commitment


In case of doubt, please to not hesitate to contact your TBDO manager