Proof of Concept

The ERC Proof of Concept Grants are aimed at researchers who already received an ERC Grant in the Starting, Consolidator, Advanced or Synergy Grant funding lines.

decorative image

Adobe Stock / Maria_Savenko

The ERC Proof of Concept (PoC) funding line is a grant that can be awarded in addition to the main ERC funding lines (Starting, Consolidator, Advanced and Synergy Grants). Therefore, it is exclusively aimed at ERC grant holders who wish to further develop a result from their ongoing or completed research project beyond research alone.

The ERC PoC does not fund basic research activities. This means that it is not a continuation of the ERC grant itself. Instead, PoC projects aim to explore the commercial or societal potential of an ongoing or completed ERC project. This is the first step towards a transfer to market and towards a use for society. The exact requirements are explained in the respective call’s Guide for Applicants.

PoC funding is provided as a fixed lump sum of 150,000 euro. This sum can be applied for a project duration of 12 months and covers 100 percent of the direct costs plus 25 percent overhead for indirect costs. No budget needs to be set for the project at the time of application: the resources required only need to be described in the application and no concrete costs need to be specified.

Among other things, funding can be used for:

  • tests, experiments, demonstrations and for idea validation as well as for further research on exploitation aspects and research needed to carry out these activities and address any identified weaknesses
  • the development of functionality and work on technical aspects
  • the clarification of issues related to intellectual property rights
  • the discussion of budgeting and other forms of commercial exploitation
  • establishing contact with potential stakeholders and end users
  • guidance for further funding
  • covering the initial costs of setting up a business or costs for other exploitation arrangements.

The key question is therefore whether the result (product, process, service) from the idea submitted to a PoC call has a chance on the market. What information needs to be gathered to make this possible? What steps can be taken towards marketing the idea?

  • Further application requirements for the PoC can be found here
  • Information on the PoC assessment can be found here

Researchers who have secured a PoC grant and wish to advance their idea’s innovation potential beyond the PoC are also eligible to apply for the European Innovation Council (EIC) Transition Open funding line within Horizon Europe.

For more information, please visit the NCP EIC Transition website.

Results of past calls

Information on past calls listed by funding line, year, domain and country can be found on the ERC page.

PoC-2020

PoC-2020-POC (Third Deadline)

In the third round of the Proof of Concept (PoC) Call 2020, 166 applicants received a PoC Grant. 23 grants went to German institutions. Furthermore, Great Britain (30), France (15), the Netherlands (17), Belgium (8), Spain (12), Italy (17), Israel (2), Sweden (8) , Switzerland (8 ) und Austria (3).

ERC-2020-PoC (Second Deadline) (28.07.2020)

In the second round of the Proof of Concept (PoC) Call 2020, 55 applicants received a PoC Grant. A total of 172 applications were submitted. 8 grants went to German institutions. Furthermore, Great Britain (8), France (8), the Netherlands (7), Belgium (6), Spain (6), Italy (5), Israel (2), Sweden (2), Switzerland (2) and Austria (1) received grants.

ERC-2020-PoC (First Deadline) (27.04.2020)

In the first round of the Proof of Concept (PoC) Call 2020, 55 applicants received a PoC Grant. A total of 146 applications were submitted. 9 grants went to German institutions. More went only to institutions in the UK (13). France (9), Israel (5), Spain (5), Italy (4), the Netherlands (3) also received grants.

PoC-2019

ERC-2019-PoC (Third Deadline) (17.12.2019)

In the third round of the 2019 Proof of Concept (PoC) Call, 76 applicants received a PoC Grant. A total of 238 applications were submitted. Seven grants went to German institutions. More grants went to institutions in the UK (11), France (9), Italy (9), the Netherlands (8) and Spain (8).

ERC-2019-PoC (Second Deadline) (25.04.2019)

In the second round of the 2019 Proof of Concept (POC) Call, 61 applicants received a POG Grant. A total of 132 applications were submitted. grants went to the following countries: Austria (1 grant), Belgium (3), Denmark (2), Finland (2), France (6), Germany (4), Greece (2), Ireland (2), Israel (3), Italy (9), Netherlands (8), Romania (1), Spain (4), Switzerland (5) and the UK(10).

ERC-2019-PoC (First Deadline) (23.01.2019)

Out of 137 applications submitted, 134 applications were evaluated and 54 projects received funding: Austria (1 grant), Belgium (2), Finland (3), France (3), Germany (4), Hungary (1), Ireland (2), Israel (3), Italy (2), Luxembourg (1), the Netherlands (8), Portugal (2), Spain (4), Switzerland (5) and the UK (13).

PoC-2018

A total of 173 applications were received by the third 2018 PoC deadline (11 September 2018) and 60 applications received funding.

132 applications were received by the second 2018 PoC deadline (18 April 2018).

114 applications were received by the first 2018 PoC deadline (16 January 2018). Of these, 50 received funding (success rate 43.9 percent). Among the grant winners were seven institutions from Germany.

PoC-2017

Overall result PoC-2017

A total of 532 applications were received. Of these, 160 received funding (including the reserve list). This results in a success rate of 30 percent. Among the grant winners were 24 institutions from Germany.

By the third 2017 PoC deadline (5 September 2017), 286 applications were received. Of these, 52 received funding (success rate 18.1 percent). Among the grant winners were 10 institutions from Germany

By the second 2017 PoC deadline (25 April 2017), 139 applications were received. Of these, 51 received funding (success rate 36.7 percent). Among the grant winners were six institutions from Germany.

107 applications were received by the first 2017 PoC deadline (19 January 2017). Of these, 51 received funding (success rate 47.6 percent). Among the grant winners were eight institutions from Germany, which received the most grants for the first time.

PoC-2016

By the third deadline on 4 October 2016, 133 applications were received. Of these, 44 received funding (success rate 33 percent). Among the grant winners were 7 institutions from Germany.

By the second deadline on 26 May 2016, 131 applications were received. Of these, 45 received funding (success rate 34.3 percent). Among the grant winners were seven institutions from Germany.

141 applications were received by the first deadline on 16 February 2016. Of these, 44 received funding (success rate 31.2 percent). Among the grant winners were 5 institutions from Germany.

PoC-2015

Of 339 applications, 135 received funding (success rate 39.8 percent). Among them were 15 grants for projects to be carried out at German host institutions.

PoC-2014

120 out of 442 applications were funded (success rate 27 percent).

PoC-2013

PoC-2013 Second Deadline

34 out of 147 applications submitted by the second deadline for the PoC-2013 call were funded.

PoC-2013 First Deadline

33 out of 145 applications submitted by the first deadline for the PoC-2013 call were funded.

PoC-2012

PoC-2012 Second Deadline

27 out of 69 applications submitted by the second deadline for the PoC-2012 call were funded.

PoC-2012 First Deadline

33 out of 75 applications submitted by the first deadline for the PoC-2012 call were funded.

PoC-2011

PoC-2011 Second Deadline

PoC-2011 First Deadline