Proof of Concept grant for KAW funded researchers

The purpose of the Proof of Concept grant is to bridge the gap from academic research to innovations. The grant gives researchers the opportunity to develop their early-stage discoveries towards validated methods, products or processes and provides the opportunity to carry out activities that validate and accelerate the development of the project and prepare for innovation and commercialization.

Proof of Concept in Life Science

KAW in collaboration with SciLifeLab is opening a directed call for Life Science. The application period begins February 12. Last day of application 22 March at 13.00.

Guidelines Proof of Concept grants in Life Science 

Proof of Concept grants in other fields, including Material Science, AI, Quantum and Digital Technologies 

Researchers who are active in the areas of Material Science, Organic Electronics, Wood Science, AI, Autonomous Systems and Software, Quantum Technologies, or other Digital Technologies can apply for a Proof of Concept grant via the WALP program by sending an email describing their idea to [email protected]

General information about KAW Proof of Concept

The Proof of Concept grant is tied to the Wallenberg Launch Pad (WALP) mechanism that provides support for academic scientists to develop innovations that make an impact in society.

The grant will be paid directly to the researcher's university and the use of the grant must comply with the university's regulations and the specific terms and conditions of the grant as stated by Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation (KAW). 

Who can apply

Eligible to apply are scientists that are employed at a Swedish University and have or have had grants from the Wallenberg Foundations:

  • Wallenberg Academy Fellows
  • Wallenberg Scholars
  • Wallenberg Clinical Scholars
  • PI and Co PIs in KAW projects

Or are part of KAWs strategic initiatives:

  • Wallenberg AI, Autonomous Systems and Software Program (WASP)
  • Wallenberg Centre for Quantum Technology (WACQT)
  • Wallenberg Initiative Material Science for Sustainability (WISE)
  • Wallenberg Wood Science Cente (WWSC)
  • Wallenberg Centers for Molecular Medicine (WCMM)
  • Data Driven Life Science (DDLS)
  • SciLifeLab, including Fellows, group leaders, and infrastructure platform personnel

When submitting an application (see below), special emphasis should be placed on describing how the scientist intends to verify the usability and suitability of a new method, product or process developed from research, as well as activities that prepare this for innovation or commercialization. 

Evaluation process

The evaluation of submitted applications takes place in two stages. First, the applications are evaluated by experts. For selected applications the second stage will take place in the foundation's innovation tool, the Wallenberg Launch Pad, WALP: 

WALP Phase 1 – Exploration
The first phase is centered around personalized innovation coaching. Together with the WALP team the applicant works with the idea and explores how it can make an impact outside academia. Central keywords here are to clarify, describe, define, and verify the idea. When closing the Exploration phase, the applicant has formulated a project pitch to apply for admittance to phase two.

WALP Phase 2 – Research Validation
To continue, the applicant pitches the project to the WALP board. If successful, the WALP team proposes the KAW Foundation to award a PoC grant to the applicant. If the application is granted, the journey of a Research Validation Project is initiated. In phase two, the goal is to advance the research to the next technology readiness level. Apart from developing the research, possible activities are to build a team of needed competences, establish relationships with potential users and perform pilot tests. All funding in WALP Phase 2 is managed by the university and is a non-conditional innovation support.

Following evaluation criteria will be applied:

  • Does the proposed innovation solve a persistent or recurring problem?
  • Is the potential solution well defined?
  • Is the potential solution novel and unique? 
  • Is there interest by external partners?
  • Is the intellectual property (IP) protected and/or is there a plan for protection?
  • Is the proof of concept project and its milestones well defined¬ and relevant¬?
  • Is the proposed team adequate?
  • Is the time plan and budget realistic?