Proof of Concept (PoC) grants, worth €150,000 each, aim to help researchers who are currently conducting or have recently conducted ERC funded research, to explore the commercial or societal potential of their ERC funded work. The grants can be used in various ways, for example to explore business opportunities, prepare patent applications or verify the practical viability of scientific concepts.
Since the scheme started in 2011, over 1000 projects have received Proof of Concept funding. To further facilitate the transfer of knowledge gained from ERC funded research to the wider world in 2019 the ERC launched a “Virtual Venture Fair”. It aims to help generate connections between ERC PoC funded scientists and specialised investors who can locate necessary finance and support.