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Proof of Concept Programme evaluation: rounds I to IV - final report


The Proof of Concept Programme was set up in 1999 to aid the commercialisation of innovation from Scotland's research institutions. The evaluation asked the following four questions: have the objectives originally set for the programme been met?; what have the programme's benefits been over the first six rounds of funding?; how have these benefits been generated?; and how can the programme be improved for the future?


The programme's benefits were evaluated using the standard Scottish Enterprise economic impact framework, which is designed to test substitution or leakage effects, displacement, deadweight and indirect and induced effects.


The benefits of the programme exceeded the costs of implementation; thereby demonstrating value for money. The future impact on Gross Value Added was also predicted to be substantial. The application process was commended, as were implementation and support mechanisms. It was concluded that outputs would most likely support sustained growth in commercialisation across the academic base, and that significant improvements had been made within academic institutions which supported commercialisation. Further, the programme is now used internationally as a best practice model.


Several suggestions were made to improve the programme: a pre-programme support period for successful applicants may increase project successes; non-programme staff from Scottish Enterprise should reduce their input, thereby reducing costs; the programme should be tailored to suit participants' needs; the number of academic project applicants and private sector interest should be increased; and 'projects should be 'bundled' across similar themes and support needs to enhance outcomes and derive economies of scale.

Author PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP
Published Year 2009
Report Type Evaluation
  • Innovation
    Commercialisation, Innovation system