Discover who funds and benefits from early-stage proof of concept programmes


Peter White, Programme Director of YTKO, will be giving a presentation about “Best practices to ensure research commercialisation opportunities are validated and moved towards the market” at the Technology Innovations International (TII) Annual Conference today (23 April), in Thessaloniki, Greece.

Peter’s talk is entitled “Regional excellence in innovation - who funds and who benefits from early-stage proof of concept?”

The paper discusses how universities and research institutes look more and more to regional governments and development agencies to fund early stage commercialisation and prototyping, setting up proof of concept funds and programmes with public money. But is there an imbalance between regional economic needs and university ideals? As economic impacts become more and more a part of research measurement, Peter White reviews a range of proof of concept funds and schemes, shows how they deliver - or miss - required outcomes, and proposes new models for mutual benefit.

At a time when many proof of concept funds are quickly annexed as grant extensions, and regional funding is diverted to SME rescue initiatives across Europe, collaboration between all stakeholders to set and reach agreed goals is essential to continue to r=take science to market.

The presentation also considers the issues of culture change at researcher level, entrepreneurship training, and retaining skills and IP within regions and countries.

TII annual conference programme can be downloaded from:


About YTKO

YTKO deliver and manage a wide range of proven business start-up and growth programmes. These include proof of concept and enterprise fellowship schemes, women's enterprise support, increasing HEI: business engagement, mentoring and incubation, high-growth business acceleration, access to finance, innovation consultancy, and enterprise education.

YTKO's well resourced and managed proof of concept programmes provide pre-incubation support and skills development to accelerate science to market, and to train researchers in commercialisation processes and market needs.

A managed pre-incubation programme, such as the pioneering schemes developed by YTKO in the UK, helps achieve high rates of science commercialisation, job creation and company formation. An example of best practice is our BYEF programme, funded by regional development agency Yorkshire Forward, which resulted in the launch of 9 new companies and £4M in levered funding. Following these excellent results, YTKO is now managing a new programme for Yorkshire Forward, Yorkshire Enterprise Fellowships. YEF has double the funding, and the 65 proofs of concept cover all life science, healthcare and chemical sectors.


For more information

Virginie Vinel

St John’s Innovation Centre Cambridge CB4 0WS UK

+44 1223 421470


YTKO proudly delivers the Growth Coaching service as part of Growth Works, a transformational programme with a mission to create over 5000 new jobs, 1400 new apprenticeships and generate significant inward investment in Cambridgeshire & Peterborough over the next three years.

YTKO Group has worked for over 40 years to support the creation and growth of businesses, increasing revenues and ultimately contributing to economic prosperity. Through funded/sponsored programmes, we provide a range of services, spanning start-up, scale-up, finance and female entrepreneurship. We provide grant, loan and financial management services and deliver tailored training and mentoring programmes for specific client groups, together with creating peer to peer networking communities.