RDI Fund 5th Call for Proposals Re-Opened!!
Concept Note Submission Deadline -Friday June 5th 2020 

In this reopened call, projects which directly address stakeholder needs in response to the COVID-19 pandemic are particularly encouraged.Competitive submissions would demonstrate explicit stakeholder need through direct requests for engagement, market opportunities arising, requests for technical assistance, or other means.

For the purpose of this call for proposals, "Proof of Concept" is defined by the RDI Fund as "the demonstration of the technical and/or economic feasibility of an idea". This idea can come from any field of study.   Read the Guide to Applicants here.



I-POC Grants are intended to foster the transformation of UWI discoveries and innovations into commercial products, processes and services and scalable development interventions for the benefit of the society. This is in keeping with the RDI Fund’s stated objective of supporting research-directed action that will have impact on policy, practice, products and/or services. It is envisioned that these grants will help to bridge the funding gap identified in academic entrepreneurship, often termed “the valley of death”, by supporting progression from pioneering research results through proof of concept.

The I‐POC Grants are intended to provide monetary support and commercialization resources/services to facilitate the demonstration of the technical and/or economic feasibility of an idea. This idea should be subject to an invention disclosure, legal agreement and/or some form of intellectual property (IP) protection which stipulates that the intellectual property (IP) in question is owned or co‐owned by The UWI. However, ideas which do not meet this requirement can still be considered. 

Focusing primarily on research ideas in the technology readiness levels (TRLs) 1‐6 with an already identified commercial and/or social application, I‐POC grants aim to protect, develop and scale indigenous innovation, inclusive of social innovation as well as innovation in the creative industries.

Activities which can be supported by I‐POC grants include:

  • Validating proof of concept for a social innovation or development intervention which is
    scalable and replicable
  • Creating an app to aid a socio‐economic intervention or creative experience
  • Product development, optimization and testing
  • Commercial feasibility studies for ideas with commercialization potential in the creative
  • Development of technology transfer solutions for industry partners, particularly SMEs
  • Enhancing product design and user experience
  • Research on understanding user behaviour
  • Research to address an industry‐specific barrier which impairs the ability to license or attract private investment
  • Risk mitigation studies to improve technology attractiveness to potential licensees


Activities which cannot be supported by this programme include:

  • Basic exploratory studies, theory development, model development
  • Activities which do not have a clear connection to commercialization, development solutions at scale and/or technology development

Important Notes

  1. Project Teams should be led by a Full Time UWI St Augustine academic staff member.
  2. The maximum financing request is TT$2M per project and the maximum period for project execution is 36 consecutive months.
  3. Proposals should be submitted using the RDI Fund’s I‐POC Grants Concept Note Template.
  4. Potential applicants should read the RDI Fund’s Operational Guidelines and the I‐POC Grants’ Guide to Applicants for further details on the eligibility criteria, technology readiness levels, and evaluation criteria.

To learn more about The UWI's Intellectual Property (IP) Management and Commercialisation Policy, IP Disclosure and IP Ownership, please refer to the St Augustine Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (STACIE) website.

For assistance with invention disclosure and proposal preparation for this call or any other internal or external call for proposals, email STACIE at StACIE@sta.uwi.edu.


Previously Awarded RDI Fund Grants


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