The first problem was associated with the need to develop a PoC funding in Europe, as Belgian universities had a problem of premature technologies that were not yet attractive to industry. The universities had to ask private investors to set up spin- off companies to check and to validate these early stage technologies. However, private investors were reluctant to get involved in such risky projects and were requesting additional validation and de-risking activities.
The second problem was associated with selecting the most appropriate projects for PoC funding from 50-60 on-going projects at the University of Liege. Since it may take 2 or more years for maturation of a project, it is important to choose the right moment for entering the PoC funding in order to get new deliverables, which can get a project to the next stage.
To resolve the first problem, in 2010, the Walloon regional government established a PoC funding scheme, under which each large university in Wallonia received 500,000 euro per year. To resolve the second problem and select appropriate projects for PoC funding, the TTO uses two formalized assessment tools.