Proof of Concept

Program Outline
Application Procedure
On Going POC Projects

OIST POC Program

The OIST Proof of Concept (POC) Program is an internal, competitive funding program that is designed to help bridge the technical and funding gap between lab discoveries and commercialization, thereby enhancing the impact of OIST research on society. This pilot POC program is specifically customized for OIST to accommodate its unique nature, stage of development and the specific environment in which it resides. The POC program is expected to support the mission of OIST to contribute to the self-sustaining development of Okinawa.


The OIST Proof of Concept Program provides:

Competitive, short term funding to carry out focused experiments

The aim of these experiments is to produce data demonstrating the feasibility of a technology or product concept to enhance technology transfer to industry.

Mentoring by External Innovation Experts from around the world

An External Innovation Expert (EIE) will be assigned to each projects to provide technical guidance and overall mentorship.

Market Intelligence Support

Projects will have access to market surveys targeted to the field of use of the technology for future planning and strategy.

Opportunities for professional development of researchers

Researchers participating in POC projects will have access to entrepreneurship education resources at OIST to lay the path towards commercialization success.learn about the innovation process acquiring knowledge and skills that will be useful throughout their careers.

Hands-on guidance in technology development research

POC Program staff will provide hands-on guidance to Program participants.

The program brings together OIST inventor(s) who have detailed knowledge of the technology, staff of the Technology Development & Innovation Center at OIST who manage and coordinate the POC Program, and external innovation experts with knowledge and experience in early stage technology commercialization.


Program Outline

The POC Program is structured into two phases: Phase I Feasibility and Phase II Scale Up.

  • PHASE I supports project that aim to establish the feasibility of a technology in a commercial context. In this phase, researchers are validating a concept or developing an initial prototype. Phase I projects receive up to ¥10M for 12 months.
  • PHASE II is aimed at scaling up technologies that have already been validated in the lab. In this phase, researchers are exploring potential markets and developing technologies towards specific commercial applications. Phase II projects can be funded for up to 24 months (12 months with the possibility of renewal for an additional 12 months) and receive up to ¥40M

Structure of POC Phases

Request for Proposals (RFP) are published inviting qualified applicants to apply to the Program. Each selected POC project should contain defined steps and a tangible set of milestones that would overcome an identifiable hurdle in advancing an invention towards commercialization.

A successful POC project will enable an invention to become more attractive for:

(1) Industry collaboration;

(2) Licensing to an existing company; or

(3) Enabling the formation of a start-up company that will further develop and   commercialize the invention.


Projects solicited under the OIST POC Program may include:

  • Building of a prototype or second iteration prototype to prepare for commercialization
  • Commercial feasibility or scale-up tests
  • Work to demonstrate the mitigation of risk for potential licensees
  • Work to address a specific gap identified by industry that impairs the ability to license or attract investors

Other work to enhance the proof of concept of the intellectual property



Application Procedure 

Two-Step Application Submission Process

There is a two-step application process. The process is the same for Phase I and Phase II: Letter of Intent and Full Proposal.

STEP 1: Letter of Intent

All Applicants must first submit a Letter of Intent. Based on the Letter of Intent, Applicants will be invited to submit a Full Proposal. Applicants must use the POC Letter of Intent Form to submit their Letter of Intent. The POC Letter of Intent Form can be found here:

STEP 2: Full Proposal (by invitation only)

Applicants will be invited to submit a full proposal by POC Program Staff. At that time, Applicants will be notified whether they will submit a proposal for Phase I or Phase II. A Full Proposal Form specific to Phase I or Phase II will only be sent to those who have been invited.

Applicants can consult with POC Program Staff for guidance on preparing their applications. Email for assistance.


Key Dates and Submission Email

* This is closed.

LETTER OF INTENT DUE DATE May 12, Friday 2017 (by 5:00 p.m. JST)
FULL PROPOSAL SUBMISSION DEADLINE July 21, Friday 2017 (by 5:00 p.m. JST)
NOTIFICATION OF AWARD August - September 2017
PROJECT END DATE 31 March, 2019

Documents & Forms

On Going POC Projects

The OIST Proof of Concept Program is a systematic way to enhance the commercial value of intellectual property and technology developed at OIST. In addition to funding, program participants are offered a suite of services to help them advance their research discoveries towards commercialization. Industry experts from around the world are matched one-to-one with each project to act as mentors. Projects Managers from the Technology Licensing and Business Development Sections provide industry, market intelligence, and ensure that projects receive the necessary resources to meet their milestones. Educational seminars on entrepreneurship, business, and product development supplement the participants' professional development. This suite of services is unique to the OIST POC Program and is not provided by other POC Programs in Japan or around the world.



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Micro/Bio/Nanofluidics Unit

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The Proof-of-Concept Program is supported by the OIST Technology Development and Innovation Center