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Up to NOK 1 million in funding for students and recent Master’s degree graduates who have a promising business idea.

To be eligible for STUD-ENT funding, a project must have the formal support of a Norwegian university or university college and the business idea must be related to knowledge the students have obtained through their studies.

Other support Choose
Deadline:
13.02.2019 13:00 CET

Messages:

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

Status:

Closed

Amount of funding presumed available for this call for proposals:

Up to NOK 20 million

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

Please read the text of this call for proposals and all attachments 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?

STUD-ENT funding is to be used to clarify uncertainties related to the commercial utilisation of a business idea that has emerged from promising research results or is related to knowledge the students have obtained through their studies, i.e. to resolve questions that will prevent the project from moving forward in the commercialisation process if they remain unanswered. Project proposals must be able to point to research results that are mature enough to lead to significant improvements in the state of the art. STUD-ENT projects are to be business-oriented and business-driven, not research-driven.

STUD-ENT funding is not intended to be an alternative to private funding. Projects that already have other funding or are found to be in a position to obtain other funding may fall outside the intended target group. STUD-ENT funding is also not intended to finance the entire commercialisation phase, nor does it support the general development of products or companies.

The STUD-ENT scheme is intended for individuals who are at the start of their careers and who wish to test their entrepreneurship skills.

Who is eligible to apply?

Students pursuing a master’s or bachelor’s degree may apply. The project manager of a STUD-ENT project must be a recent master’s degree graduate, i.e. must:

  • have planned to submit his/her Master’s thesis by at the latest six months after the application submission deadline, or
  • have received his/her Master’s diploma no more than 12 months prior to submission of the grant application.

Project proposals must have the formal support of a Norwegian university or university college and the business idea must be related to knowledge the students have obtained through their studies.

What can the funding cover?

STUD-ENT funding is to be used to realise the business idea or to carry out crucial activities that will provide the answers to key questions that a customer, industry partner, investor or other public/private funding source wishes to resolve before they contribute to/participate in the project. Activities for which this funding may be used, include:

  • Business development;
  • Premarket evaluations;
  • Prototype development;
  • Technical proof-of-concept activities;
  • Technical equipment;
  • Advisory services and technical assistance;
  • Payroll costs.

STUD-ENT funding may be used to cover 100 per cent of the project costs for up to 12 months.

Assessment criteria

For more information, see the document explaining Assessment criteria PDF - 105 KB .

Prioritisation of projects

Projects may be related to any subject field or industry. Market maturity is not required, but the project must be business-driven, not research-driven.

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

Requirements relating to the project team:

  • The project manager must fulfil the requirements set out in “Who is eligible to apply?” above.
  • The core team is to consist of students, i.e. the project manager and other students at Bachelor’s or Master’s degree levels and/or recent Master’s degree graduates who have received their Master’s diplomas no more than 12 months prior to the grant application submission deadline.
  • The core team must together own a minimum 80 per cent of the shares in the established/planned company, and the distribution/planned distribution of shares must reflect each partner’s participation in the project, thereby ensuring that all team members have maximum incentive to succeed.
  • The project must include at least one academic mentor who provides relevant expertise, for example within a certain subject or technological area. The project may benefit from including academic mentors from a variety of universities/university colleges.
  • The project must include at least one commercial mentor from the business sector who provides relevant experience from the sector or market or offers input on crucial project tasks.
  • The core team as a whole with its mentor support must have the interdisciplinary and relevant expertise needed to perform the project.

Requirements relating to 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 university/university college must provide the project with at least one academic mentor in a relevant subject field and sign an agreement regarding the institution’s contributions to the project.
  • Students are not required to have studied or completed a  degree at the university or university college that has given its support to the project.

Requirements relating to the business idea:

  • The business idea must be related to knowledge the students have obtained through their studies.
  • The students must have obtained the rights to the concept, technology or research on which the business idea is based that will be 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 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.

Requirements relating to limited companies:

  • Applicants are not required to have established the limited company at the time of submission of the grant application. However, the company that will be the contractual partner must be established before the pledged funding may be received. All funding allocated will be disbursed to the company.
  • Limited companies established prior to application submission must not more than five years old, may not have more than 10 employees, may not have exceeded NOK 1 million in revenues in the past five years, may not be part of a corporation or group of companies and may not hold an ownership stake in another company.

Requirements relating to the project period:

  • As a general rule, the planned project start-up date is to be 1 June and the project to have a duration of one year. If this is not possible, the grant application must clearly explain why the project’s start date and duration will be different.
  • The first disbursement, which will be 50 per cent of the allocated amount, will be made once the revised grant application has been approved and the contract between the Research Council and the company has been signed.
  • The second disbursement, which will be 30 per cent of the allocated amount, will be made after the progress report has been approved. Please note that documentation confirming the formal approval of the project manager’s Master’s degree must be uploaded together with the progress report before the second disbursement will be made.
  • The third disbursement, which will be 20 per cent of the allocated amount, will be made after the final report and project account report have been submitted and approved. Please note that the project account report must be endorsed by a chartered accountant before it can be approved by the Research Council.
  • The project manager is not required to have completed his or her Master’s degree at the time of submission of the grant application. However, his/her Master’s thesis must be submitted prior to the project start date.

State aid rules

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, 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?

Student projects that have previously received funding for premarket evaluation support or commercialisation support from Innovation Norway are eligible to apply for STUD-ENT funding. However, Innovation Norway now stipulates that projects that have received STUD-ENT funding are not eligible to apply for premarket evaluation support or commercialisation support from Innovation Norway.

A premarket evaluation project can provide a good basis for an application for a STUD-ENT project. 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”.

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

Archiving of research data

The Project Owner (company/R&D organisation) is responsible for selecting the archiving solution(s) to use for storing research data generated during the project. The Project Owner must specify the planned solution(s) in connection with the revised grant proposal.

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