Proof of Concept call – guidelines for writing plan for utilisation of research results

This page presents instructions on how to write the research utilisation plan for the Proof of Concept call as well as definitions of key concepts.

The review of applications will focus on the utilisation potential of research results as well as the feasibility of the project. The plan for utilising research results must specify the economic or other societal impact the project can have in the longer term. The plan should focus on the process in which the research results will be utilised. Proof of Concept projects have already advanced from scientific research onwards, and this funding instrument does not provide funding for scientific research.

Key concepts and definitions, guidelines

Other societal impact = utilisation of research results for the development of new, non-commercial solutions that improve the performance, functioning and wellbeing of individuals, communities and society or that promote sustainable development goals. The impact goal of the project can be, for example, supporting decision-making, supporting behavioural and cultural change, or developing skills and services. The goals of the project can be, for example, a database or material, roadmap, scenario or model, instructions or tools, an intervention or a counselling service.

Output = a tangible item that can be measured quantitatively, such as a work, material, device, machine, medicine, goods or learning material, or an intangible item such as a website, digital material, game, application or service. The output can be commercialised, or the goal of the project can also be a non-commercial output, that is, a commodity for public use, for example.

Productisation = a process in which a process, practice, model, skill, product or service, etc. is developed or changed. Productisation can be, for example, specifying the purpose of the product or service, target group, targeted benefits, necessary resources, costs or quality requirements. There are several stages in the productisation process, which are often either partially overlapping or overlapping. Productisation can aim at the commercialisation of the product, where the goal is to bring a new or updated product, production method or service to market. There are also several stages in the commercialisation process, such as protecting the idea and product and technology transfer, customer and market analysis.

Collaborator = actor involved in developing the project

User group = group of people whom the project aims to affect

Stakeholder = relevant other actors, groups and organisations with which the project is interacting and who affect the project or who are affected by the project. The stakeholders may be individuals, groups or organisations.

Utilisation path for research results

  • What is the desired long-term impact of the planned utilisation of research results, and which phase of the utilisation path does the project aim to implement?
  • What are the concrete effects the project seeks to produce?
  • What kind of output/product does the project aim to produce?
  • What further steps in the generation of impact, productisation or commercialisation does the project foresee, and how can they be implemented (e.g. additional funding, further development and testing)?
  • What will have changed when your project reaches its goals, and what is the long-term societal impact that the utilisation of research will generate?

In describing the utilisation path, you can use the available descriptions of technology or societal readiness levels such as Technology Readiness Levels (TRL) in Horizon Europe (by Enspire) or Societal Readiness Levels (SRL) (by Innovation Fund Denmark (PDF)). The projects funded under the Proof of Concept funding scheme are close to scientific research, but are further along the research utilisation path than scientific research. Projects should aim at a minimum readiness level of 3–4 by the end of the project.

Monitoring project effects

The progress and effects of the project can be monitored and demonstrated by using quantitative goals and indicators. They can also be monitored and demonstrated using qualitative methods. The monitoring methods should be chosen according to the nature of the project.

Quantitative monitoring indicators are outputs, organised events and their participants, number of users, etc.

Qualitative methods of demonstrating effects include describing how you can verify the following:

  • whether the milestones defined in the project have been met
  • whether a test or an experiment has been completed successfully
  • whether the project has increased awareness and uptake of the results
  • user groups’ commitment to the project’s objective
  • user group’s ownership of the project after its completion.

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