Incubation - Identification of research results “Incubation project selection”
Topic of the practice
How to encourage the companies creation and growth linked to academic research? The incubation process starts with the analysis and preparation of the project leader and validation of the idea for the selection committee. CARINNA helps and supports the preparation of the projects for the incubation process and participate into the validation committee
Good Practice Information
Programme owner: CARINNA
Presentation of the Incubator: The regional incubator plays a role in all stages prior to creating young innovative enterprises in connection with public research. It aims at funding, supporting and supervising the projects linked with research from the academic laboratories to all kind of innovative entrepreneurs. The incubator can assist persons (or 6-month old companies, at the maximum) with an innovative project in any activity sector, suc as products, processes or services.
- Europe, through European Regional Development Fund (ERDF),
- State, through the Ministry of Higher Education and Research,
- Regional Council of Champagne Ardenne
Total budget of the practice: No specific budget except expert fees for project evaluation.
Human resources needed in the implementing body (full fime equivalent): 0,2 FTE for approximately 25 contacts per year
Who else is involved?: Other regional actors can be involved to check some data or information on the project owner.
Type of beneficiaries: Owner of project of company creation, researcher
Programme description: The project can be brought by different contacts from within or outside of the region. A first exchange (usually a telephone call) identifies and qualify the project. In this first exchange, the following information is given: explanation on the incubator's role (coaching and funding but also the selection criteria); and then the following information is required : who oriented the project owner towards the incubator, what is the project idea, is there already a company creation process identified (if yes, it is asked to submit it by e-mail), specify the innovation degree of the project, at what stage is the project, what is the amount available from the project owner to fund the project, if other people are involved, who are they (resumes are required).
This first exchange checks the eligibility of the project. A summary of this exchange should be then submitted by the project owner. If some points are missing, the incubator orients the project owner towards relevant contacts (for example: link with academic laboratories).
After one (or several) meeting is dedicated to the preparation of the project presentation in front of the Selection and Follow-up Committee (SFC) of the Incubator. If one of the previous point is not fulfill, the incubation process is stopped until the point is solved. The budget of the incubation of the project is specifically addressed. The incubation is able to cover up to 53 000€. The project is submitted to expertise for validation. The project owner gives an agreement on the experts (one on human resources: compatibility of the team and the project owner; and one on scientific and technical aspect for innovation degree and technical feasibility) that will evaluate the project. Based on previous exchanges and the expert evaluation, the incubator submits a neutral note (mini-business plan: short facts, remaining steps to be accomplished and the opinion of the incubator) to the SFC to present project.
During the SFC meeting, the project owner has 20 minutes to present its project. It is followed by 20 minutes of exchange. The SFC then has 20 minutes to decide on the project.
Here are the following criteria that will be used by the SFC to decide on the incubation of the project:
-Quality of the owner and the team
-Economic development potential (market and perspectives)
-Intellectual Property study
-Opportunity for incubation (what is the project owner looking for).
SFC is composed of:
- OSEO, national innovation agency
- Region Champagne-Ardennne
- Réseau Entreprendre, network of entrepreneurs and companies owners
in the region
- Main Universities and Management schools
- Other hosting structures
- Funders/Investors/Business angels
- And CARINNA
To be supported by the incubator, the project must :
- Be from or linked to academic research
- Conclude in the creation of a company in Champagne-Ardenne,
- Have a sufficient level of technological innovation.
Evidence of success
Since the creation of CARINNA aproximately 25 contacts are qualified per year but an average of 8 projects are submitted to the SFC. Between 80 to 90% of the project are then starting the incubation process. This shows that this first steps is efficient in the pre-selection of projects and adress relevant aspects of the project in order to qualify it for incubation.
2007: 9 (24), 2008: 6 (24), 2009: 8 (25), 2010: 8 (27)
The transferability of this methodology within other region is estimated as simple. Nonetheless a specific work on the main stakeholders to be involved is required (as demonstrated the SFC gathers several regional expert and actors of influence in the region regarding entrepreneuship). Even if criteria and steps can be implemented in other regions, a critical steps is to ensure the support of these stakeholders to maximize the success of the company creation.
Contact details to obtain further information on the practice