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Open to researchers in higher education institutions and public research organisations the Commercialisation Fund, re-designed over time, aims to convert the outputs of public funded research into innovative new products, services and companies. The objective is to foster a dynamic and commercially aware research community and create an environment that promotes entrepreneurship. The funding supports academic researchers to take research outputs with commercial potential and bring them to a point where they can either be transferred into industry or spun out into a new start-up company.
Researchers, in partnership with their Technology Transfer Office (or equivalent office), can apply for a CFF to: perform market analysis and validation, profile the competitor landscape, perform patent landscaping and develop the IP strategy, investigate potential routes to exploitation to the economic benefit of Ireland, understand relevant regulatory issues or other barriers/hurdles to commercialisation and create a small demonstration or early prototype. CF funding is available for projects that address a gap or need in the market by developing innovations that can be commercialised in Ireland, will be licensable ideally within 2-5 years and can lead to the establishment of a start-up company.
The expected impact of the programme can be summarised as follow:
Total OP budget is of 321,417,842.00 € of which the total EU contribution 160,708,921.00 €
The advances made on strategic actions in the period July 2016 and June 2017 have seen, in total, 45 new actions initiated, 12 actions completed and 72 actions are continuing to progress. In the year mentioned above, there have been three meetings of the Innovation 2020 Implementation Group covering a variety of topics such as the impact of Brexit on the research community, gender equality, research prioritisation, Research, Development and Innovation (RDI) funding, societal impacts and open science.
The key Innovation 2020 commitment to increasing public and private investment in research is making progress. Since the publication of the strategy in 2015, direct Exchequer funding of RDI has increased from €736m in 2015 to an estimated €761m in 2016.