Development of innovative projects

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Investments in the development of innovative projects
Call for projects "Development of innovative projects"

Preamble
Created in January 2012, SATT Conectus Alsace ® is a Simplified joint stock company (SAS - Société par Actions Simplifiées) with social capital of 1 million euros. Its shareholders are the Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations (representing the State), CNRS, the Université de Haute-Alsace, the Université de Strasbourg, Inserm, INSA Strasbourg and Engees.

One of the objectives of SATT Conectus Alsace ® is investment in intellectual property and the development of innovations coming out of public laboratories by investing in them thanks to financing provided to the SATT by the State within the framework of the Future Investments Programme, through the National Commercialisation Fund (Fonds National de Valorisation), run by the Caisse des Dépôts Group.


Through these investments in the development of innovative projects, SATT Conectus Alsace® will bring projects to a stage in their development that allows them to be commercialised for the world of industry, quickly and under good conditions, by granting a licence to an existing or newly created business.
Scope of the call for projects
SATT Conectus Alsace®'s Investment Fund for development exists to finance the development of innovative projects coming out of the laboratories of SATT Conectus Alsace®'s shareholders (CNRS, Université de Haute-Alsace, Université de Strasbourg and Engees) demonstrating a strong potential for commercialisation.

This involves financing the "proof of concept" or prototyping stages required in order to be able to transfer the technology to an industrial partner.

In order for a file to be considered as a development file, the following principal shall be examined: "At the end of the works financed by the fund, the technology shall have attained a level of development that is sufficient to enable a licence to be granted to an industrial partner or for the creation of a new business to be envisaged without new developments being required".
To illustrate, this stage is typically represented:

- for an active biological molecule, by the collection of in vivo data on its activity, toxicity, etc.,

- for an engineering project, by the production of a functional prototype,

- for a chemistry project, by the resolution of problems in the engineering of processes,

- etc.
Acceptability criteria


Prior to submitting the project, the project initiator creates a notice of intention as per the form supplied, so that the SATT can carry out a quick evaluation of the project's acceptability in order to decide whether to commit to its creation.

In the case of a positive response, the SATT indicates the business manager with whom the project initiator created the file.

Requests for funding cannot be handled until the end of this creation phase, and then only if all of the following conditions are met:

- the file is complete and contains all documents and information required for the funding request file

- the file submitted is a correct "development file" as defined above

- the project plan uses a planned time frame of no more than 18 months


Evaluation criteria
In order to be selected, projects must concern the commercialisation and consolidation, in scientific and technical terms, of one or more inventions originating from public research with the aim at the end of the project of:
• Convincing an industrial partner to invest in the commercialisation of the invention (partnership, licence); or

• Finding the industrial and/or financial partnerships necessary for the development of a new innovative business created on the basis of the invention.


Projects must be supported by solid experimental results and must have been the subject of an intellectual property protection measure. The existence of a clearly identified industrial application for this technology is indispensable.
The selection of projects will especially take into account aspects concerning:

- The technology: situation and potential

- The developments required:
Particular attention shall be paid to the work plan, its organisation (GANTT) and budget allocation. This includes determining, when the file is compiled, milestones with intermediate deliverables tied to the division of the budget, in order to ensure a clear path for the project.
The call for subcontractors with deliverables recognised by industry partners/investors that may intervene in the commercialisation of the innovation shall be honoured.

- The inventor/project initiator and research team

- The intellectual property

- The field(s) of application and the market potential


Financing
Accepted projects shall be financed by SATT Conectus Alsace®'s fund for a sum in the order of € 150 000 excl. taxes. Certain projects may receive support up to € 300 000 excl. taxes under exceptional circumstances.
Only laboratories run by SATT Conectus Alsace's shareholders and their subcontractor may receive funding.
The funding shall be granted as a repayable investment (100% of net returns up to a limit of the sum granted) in the case of successful commercialisation for business following full development of the project, with the exception of a commercialisation bonus to be paid to the inventors from receipt of the first revenues.
The investment fund shall only finance the additional costs1 of accepted projects and shall cover notably the following expenses:

• Salaries and work of personnel recruited for the project

• Consumables

• Subcontracting for, for example:

o Tests on reference animal models

o Production of molecules/chemicals to order

o Prototyping, etc.
• Equipment: only equipment worth up to a maximum of € 15 000 excl. taxes may be funded.

Funding for further equipment shall be evaluated with regard to its necessity for the correct realisation of the project.


1additional costs: sums that would not have been incurred if the project had not been undertaken
Warning:
The present call for projects does not concern financing for the costs of filing and managing patents, which shall be borne by the SATT for public establishments.
Selection/evaluation and project monitoring procedure
The Investment Fund is the responsibility of SATT Conectus Alsace®. First, the file is submitted to experts in the field concerned (after validation of the absence of any conflict of interest). Then the file, accompanied by the experts' assessments, is submitted to the SATT's Investment Committee, which gives an opinion regarding the opportunity to invest. The SATT makes its decision based on these.
Handling of the files is undertaken in the following stages:
1- Validation and acceptability
Carried out according to the acceptability criteria presented above. In the case that the project is not accepted, an appeal may be made to SATT Conectus Alsace®'s management.
2- Creation and assessment of the files
Carried out by the business manager for the project and its development and the project initiator, the creation of the file includes the creation of the work programme, the collection of information and the analysis of the different aspects or criteria used in the assessment of files. In this context, the SATT may use external service providers for the realisation of certain specialist studies (IP, regulatory, market opportunities...).
Secondly, experts are solicited nationally on a per project basis to assess specific aspects of the files (science and technology, relevance of the proposed work programme, commercial and industrial potential, IP, etc.) The absence of conflicts of interest is fully validated with project initiators.
3- Assessment of files and Investment decision
The SATT's Investment Committee now becomes involved. On the basis of the files submitted and the experts' opinions, it makes a recommendation on the investment to the SATT's management.

This recommendation may be conditional on the additional validation of certain aspects of the file (IP, business opportunities) through studies carried out by external service providers.


The Investment Committee meets on average every two months to make decisions on project proposals.
The SATT has the final say on the decisions, the files financed and the level of investment.
4- Notification of the investment decision to the project initiator
The project initiator is informed by the SATT's CEO of the investment decision and the level of investment.
5- Execution and monitoring of the work
Individual monitoring of projects is performed by SATT Conectus Alsace's business manager in charge of the file.
Financed projects shall be subject to regular monitoring based on the work programme, by means of meetings with SATT Conectus Alsace's business manager at least once every two months. This monitoring shall cover adherence to the stated work plan and budget allocations and attainment of intermediate results. In case of discrepancies between the stated plan and the project's execution, or negative scientific or technical results, the business manager for the project and its development must inform the SATT, who shall decide whether to suspend the project for reorganisation purposes or to simply abandon it.

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