Proof of Concept

The Invest NI Proof of Concept (PoC) programme provides grant funding for the pre-commercialisation of leading edge technologies emerging from Northern Ireland’s Research Organisations – Queen’s University Belfast, Ulster University, Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute and NHS Health and Social Care Trusts.

Applicants from Research Organisations must demonstrate that their ideas have originality and strong commercial potential. Businesses are not eligible for support. The financial assistance provided by the programme helps researchers to develop their ideas and inventions from the laboratory for the global market.

Projects can be typically defined as occurring after advances made during curiosity-driven or strategic research. The programme finances projects with strong commercialisation potential. It is not an alternative source of academic research funding.

There are three stages to PoC:

STAGE 1 (Commercialisation verification)
Designed to allow the applicants to fully explore the commercialisation potential of their discovery whilst giving them the necessary training to fully exploit their customer engagement and determine future commercialisation direction.

STAGE 2 (Commercialisation consolidation)
Projects would enter this stage after the completion of Stage 1 or equivalent. Stage 2 allows for technical development in parallel to the development of a comprehensive commercialisation strategy. Technical development at this stage is defined as moving the technology to a Technology Readiness Level, with a relevant data set, where it can attract further investment. 

STAGE 3 (Commercialisation acceleration)
Additional support to accelerate the realisation of economic outcomes for outstanding PoC projects.

The PoC grant covers up to 100% of eligible project costs.

Case study | Find out how ProAxis benefited from Proof of Concept support from Invest Northern Ireland


Not sure that this support is right for you? Contact us or your Research Organisation's Technology Transfer Office for guidance.

Our support may be subject to some eligibility criteria.


You may also be interested in...

  • Proof of concept TECHstart

    We can help you get funding to prove that your idea or invention has commercial potential.

  • Funding through loans and equity

    We have six funds to help SMEs with high growth potential forge ahead.

  • Research and Development Escalator

    Let us guide you through the various R&D support available.

Contact our
Business support team
0800 181 4422
or
For information on how we use your personal data including your rights, see our privacy notice.
Coronavirus promo image

Coronavirus business support

Claim pack

Claim pack

R&D image

Wanting to sell to new markets?