UCT Innovation Builder off to a flying start
UCT launched the Innovation Builder Fund (IBF) in 2019 with the inaugural call for applications in the second semester. The IBF aims to fund projects to further develop and test preliminary research outputs from UCT where initial proof of concept has been demonstrated using research funding with the goal of increase the commercialisation of UCT technologies, or to better position them for next-round innovation funding. Funding of up to R500 000 per project is considered.
The call demonstrated an impressive demand.
· 21 applications were submitted by various faculties and departments totalling R8 701 762
· 10 projects passed the initial screening and were reviewed by the Investment Committee
· 9 projects were awarded funding totalling R3 539 512
The Innovation Builder Fund (IBF) is an important feeder into the UCT Evergreen Fund and the University Technology Fund (UTF). The IBF aims to derisk and/or undertake critical tasks associated with technology commercialisation projects to ensure that projects are put into an ideal position for support by bigger funds such as the Evergreen and UTF. The important message is that the IB works in concert with several other funding instruments to mature and commercialise technologies from UCT.
In 2020 the Innovation Builder fund will aim to have 3 calls for applications, which will be published on the UCT Research Announcement mailer, but more information can be found here. Should a researcher from UCT wish to apply, it is recommended to meet with RC&I well ahead of submission deadlines to plan the project and submission, to ensure the best chance of success.