The Spin-off Fellowship programme is designed to develop the intellectual property held in Austrian universities and research institutions so that it can form the basis for new start-ups.
Academic spin-offs, based on research results generated at universities and research institutions, are an essential element in the effective transfer of knowledge and technology between science and industry. However, the step from basic to applied research, and hence to its commercialisation, is not yet receiving sufficient attention as the technology or innovation often requires further development before it can be applied.
The Spin-off Fellowships programme of the Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research (BMBWF) aims to step in at a very early stage. It supports the commercialisation of existing and newly developed intellectual property belonging to Austrian universities and research institutions, enabling the fellowship project to be followed by a company start-up.
The following formal conditions must be fulfilled in order to apply for a fellowship from the FFG:
- The technologies or research results are the property of an organisation which is eligible to apply.
- There is an individual IP commercialisation agreement, based on the spin-off strategy of the relevant university or research institution.
- There is a declaration of support from the host.
- The fellow(s) are in an employment relationship with the university or research institution when the project starts.
During the term of the project the fellow(s) (= potential founders) must devote themselves exclusively to the project, and may not carry out any teaching or other research assignments during that period.
At the same time, the fellows receive further training, coaching and mentoring via the network of knowledge transfer centres.