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Realise the potential of your innovative research with an ERC PoC

September 13 2018

ERC grants are acknowledged as some of the most prestigious individual grants a researcher can receive. ERC PoC is available only for ERC grantees, giving them a unique opportunity to truly explore the potential of their research discoveries. At ttopstart we have a 90% success-rate for ERC PoC applications, and know what reviewers are looking for. In this article we give you a brief overview of why you should apply for an ERC PoC grant and share some of our insights on how to write a successful application.

An ERC "Proof of Concept" (PoC) is all about how to maximize the potential of your research discoveries and create true impact. It is open to researchers who have already been awarded an ERC grant (Starting, Consolidator, Advanced or Synergy). The ERC grant holders can apply for this additional funding in order to establish the innovation potential of ideas arising from their ERC-funded frontier research projects. This is a unique opportunity for excellent researchers to cover activities at the very early stage of turning research outputs into a commercial or socially valuable proposition, i.e. the initial steps of pre-competitive development.

Improved ERC PoC opportunities in 2019

The ERC Work Programme for 2019 was recently released, and announced a €5 million increase compared to last year for the ERC PoC funding initiative ( to €25 million in total). In addition, the ERC is piloting the use of lump sums for ERC PoCs (€150 k). This will simplify the procedure, because applicants will no longer need to design a budget. Instead, they can simply apply, and if they are successful they will receive €150 k. A justification of how the lump sum will be spent will still be needed though.

Life-cycle thinking for your research

Integrating life-cycle thinking in your research project, is both crucial for acquiring and delivering your ERC PoC. This means thinking about both the short and the long-term impact of your research project, e.g. on patients, society and/or science. So, thinking about how to ensure that your research results can be used beyond the lifetime of the project. At ttopstart, life-cycle thinking is an integral part of how we work. We are able to support you both before and after acquiring your grant, in order to ensure that you deliver on your promises, and create true impact going forward.

Transferring your research result to the market

An ERC PoC grant gives you the opportunity to truly discover the potential of your innovative research. This means, that you will need to explore how best to transfer your research results to the market, and create a business model. This includes having a dissemination strategy, where you identify the ones who can best make use of your research, e.g. by creating awareness and understanding of your research discoveries. A dissemination strategy should cover why, what, how, when, to whom and where disseminating of results will take place, both during and after the funding period.  It is important that you make sure you understand the market for your research, as well as its challenges, by conducting market research. This will help you to demonstrate a commercialisation potential of your research/technology, which is one of the key elements for a successful ERC PoC application.

How to write a successful ERC PoC Proposal:

Fill in the form below to recieve a document with useful tips and tricks for a successful ERC PoC proposal, or contact us on to hear more about how we can help your ERC PoC proposal become a success.

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