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STUD-ENT funding 2018: Up to NOK 1 million in funding for students and recent Master’s degree graduates who have a business idea

To be eligible for STUD-ENT funding, a project must have the formal support of a Norwegian university or university college and help to promote a stronger entrepreneurship culture at that institution.

Other support Choose
Deadline:
14.02.2018 13:00 CET

Messages:

Applicants with the best qualified projects are invited to present their project to the panel in Phase 2 of the referee review 20, 21 and 22 March.

Status:

Planned

Amount of funding presumed available for this call for proposals:

NOK 20 million is expected to be available under this call for proposals. Each project may be awarded up to NOK 1 million in funding.

Guidelines and important considerations relevant to all types of applications in this call for proposals:

The Norwegian-language call for proposals is the legally binding version.

Please read the text of this call for proposals and all call documents carefully (links at right). Please note that the text of the call is comprised of two parts: the information on this page, and the information on the next page (click on “Choose” above).

What is a STUD-ENT project?

In a STUD-ENT project the students/recent Master’s degree graduates are in charge of realising a knowledge- or research-based business idea. The project must have the formal support of a Norwegian university or university college and help to promote a stronger entrepreneurship culture at that institution. The project may address any subject field or branch of industry.

High market maturity is not required, but the project must be business-driven, not research-driven. This means that project activities must help to reduce the level of risk associated with the project/provide the answers to questions that a customer, industry partner, investor or other public/private funding source needs before deciding to invest in further development or procurement.

Who can apply for funding?

Target group and requirements relating to the project team:

  • The project manager must have entrepreneurial skills, be the driving force behind the project, have a key role in the established/planned company, and:
    a) have planned to submit his/her Master’s thesis by at the latest six   
        months after submission of the grant application, or 
    b) have received his/her Master’s diploma no more than 12 months prior to
        submission of the grant application.
  • The core team is to consist of the project manager and students/recent Master’s degree graduates, and this team must be in charge of realising the business idea and have full or partial ownership of the established/planned company (minimum 80 per cent).
  • The students in the core team must be candidates at Bachelor’s or Master’s degree level and the recent Master’s degree graduates must have received their diploma no more than 12 months prior to submission of the grant application.
  • At least one academic mentor at the university/university college must be part of the project team and contribute relevant expertise.
  • At least one commercial mentor, preferably from the business sector, must be part of the project team and contribute relevant expertise.
  • The project team viewed as a whole must have the interdisciplinary and relevant expertise needed to perform the project.

Requirements relating to the support of the university/university college:

  • A division or department must be listed as the “Project Owner” in the grant application, and an individual who is authorised to approve the project at the departmental level must be listed as the “Project administrator”.
  • The project administrator is responsible for completing the mandatory attachment to the grant application (Project approval from the university/university college). This document confirms that the students/recent Master’s degree graduates satisfy the requirements set out in the text of the call and that the project has the formal support of the institution. The project approval form must clearly explain why the Project Owner supports the project and how the project collaboration will help to strengthen entrepreneurship culture at the institution.
  • The university/university college must provide the project with at least one academic mentor in a relevant subject field and sign an agreement with the students/recent Master’s degree graduates regarding the institution’s contributions to the project. The students, in consultation with the project administrator and academic mentor(s), must complete the table “Contributions from the university/university college” in the Project description. This table will form the basis for the agreement between the project and the institution.
  • Students/recent Master’s degree graduates are not required to have studied or completed a Master’s degree at the university or university college that has given its support to the project. The university/university college, on the other hand, must provide scientifically relevant contributions that are critical to the project and increase the probability that the project will achieve its targets.

Requirements relating to the business idea:

  • The business idea must be related to knowledge the students/recent Master’s degree graduates have obtained through their studies.
  • The business idea must have its basis in a competitive advantage that can be maintained over time.
  • The students/recent Master’s degree graduates must have obtained the rights to the concept, technology or research on which the business idea is based needed to implement the project.
  • The business idea does not have to be linked to a specific branch of industry, and STUD-ENT funding may be sought by students/recent Master’s degree graduates from all subject fields.
  • There are no requirements relating to market maturity, so the STUD-ENT scheme is just as relevant for, e.g., medical technology projects, which often have a longer path to market, as for ICT projects, which in certain cases have a shorter path to market.

For more information, see the documents Assessment criteria and Guidelines for how to complete the template for prosject descriptions and the eSøknad application form.

Are there any special priorities?

Assuming that all factors relating to scientific merit and relevance are essentially equal, priority will be given to projects led by women project managers.

What can the funding cover?

STUD-ENT funding is to be used to carry out activities that will provide the answers to questions that a customer, industry partner, investor or other public/private funding source needs before deciding to invest in the further development or procurement of a product, service or process.

Funding may be used to, for example:

  • cover supervisory and advisory services; infrastructure; material, equipment and payroll costs; and technical and administrative assistance, but not to finance the establishment of a limited company;
  • confirm and verify that the business idea can be implemented;
  • develop prototypes and conduct proof-of-concept/technology;
  • further define the customer groups for the product or service and determine how the company will approach these customers;
  • draw up plans for realising the business idea beyond the project period, such as by identifying the technical challenges that must be solved, determining how to obtain necessary capital, determining how to set up production when this is relevant, etc. 

Please note that STUD-ENT funding may be used to cover 100 per cent of the project costs for up to 12 months. No own financing is required. Funding for STUD-ENT projects is granted in compliance with Article 22 of the General Block Exemption Regulation for state aid: Aid for start-ups. For more information about the state aid rules, see the information on the state aid rules on the Research Council website

Is it permitted to receive funding from both Innovation Norway and the STUD-ENT scheme?

In the STUD-ENT application, the students/recent Master’s degree graduates must refer to customer and market surveys that have already been conducted. Prior to submitting a grant application to the STUD-ENT scheme, applicants are encouraged to apply for premarket evaluation support from Innovation Norway and attend Innovation Norway’s seminar “From idea to market”. The customer and market insight generated by a premarket evaluation project can provide a good basis for an application for a STUD-ENT project.

Please note that projects that have received STUD-ENT funding will not be eligible to apply for premarket evaluation support or commercialisation support from Innovation Norway (this applies to these two support schemes only).

For more information about premarket evaluation support from Innovation Norway, see here.