Out of 120 evaluated proposals, fifty-five researchers will explore the commercial or societal potential of the results of their research projects, with €150 000 each. The Proof of Concept (PoC) Grants funded by the European Researche Council (ERC) is part of the EU’s research and innovation programme, Horizon Europe.
The selected projects cover a variety of different fields and questions (e.g : artificial intelligence algorithms and earth observation data management, using sound fields to separate blood components as an alternative to centrifuge). The new grants were awarded to researchers working in 14 countries, including Israel, Germany, Spain, France, the Netherlands, the UK, Sweden, Portugal, Norway, and Turkey.
The Proof of Concept (PoC) grant competition is open only to ERC grantees. They can apply for top-up funding for their existing or recently completed research projects. The 2022 Work Programme included two PoC grant calls or competitions. The overall budget for PoCs in 2022 is €50 million. In total, around 1 585 PoC projects have so far received funding since 2011. With the additional money, ERC grantees can, for example, verify the practical viability of scientific concepts, explore business opportunities, or prepare patent applications. According to a recent survey, more than half of the researchers awarded PoC grants have either created companies or transferred the results of their research to pre-existing companies.