The Bridge Gap Fund (the Fund) is established with the support of the Funding from the University, the Knowledge Transfer Earmarked Grant from the Hong Kong Government as well as other resources. The Fund is jointly introduced by the Office of Knowledge Transfer (OKT) and the Technology Transfer Center (TTC)..
- The Fund is to facilitate HKUST technology towards commercialization by enriching technology pipeline at HKUST for industry collaboration and/or adoption, or forming startups, and enhancing the willingness of HKUST research teams to participate in R&D for commercialization.
- The Fund aims to create more viable intellectual property from HKUST’s technology by promoting more translational research. The Fund serves as a bridge between HKUST research community and society based on HKUST's research strengths for societal impact.
Form of Funding Support
- Each approved project will typically receive funding support of up to HK$ 0.5M (net project funding). The total BGF for this Call for Proposal is up to HK$ 5M.
- Funding support is to fund eligible activities within the project. Funding for a project is available for up to twelve (12) months (from the project commencement date) with tangible deliverables. The expenditure incurred must commence only after the approval of the Fund and cannot be used retrospectively. Unexpended balance must be returned to the university.
- For project intended to work with the HKUST Sustainable Smart Campus as a Living Lab (SSC) initiative of the University, each project will be further supported with a funding of up to HK$0.1M. The use of this SSC funding should include additional educational components, for example initiating student projects such as MSc, UROP, FYP, USEL projects, etc. For this part, the proposal needs to specify how and/or where the project will be implemented on campus, what educational components will be added, and how the 100K funding will be spent. The award of this funding will be subject to the approval of the SSC Committee following the criteria listed in https://ssc.ust.hk/get-involved/selection-criteria.
- Project coordinator should submit a project progress report every 6 months and work closely with TTC during and after the project execution. Regular review of the development progress will be implemented to facilitate commercialization.
- Applicants must be full-time faculty members of HKUST.
- Projects should demonstrate advancement in technology readiness of HKUST research outputs, prospect of adoption by industry partners, or establishment of startup. Projects that focus on basic research are NOT eligible.
- Applicant can submit more than one application for different projects.
- Applicant is required to complete all sections of the Application Form and provide supporting documents, including technology positioning, commercialization plan, including forming startup companies.
- Once the application is approved, the applicant will become the recipient of the Fund and is responsible for the following:
- Execution of the approved project;
- Overseeing and reporting the progress of the project;
- Ensuring proper use of the approved project fund in accordance with this Guideline;
- Attending progress review meetings for the project;
- Meeting with industry partners for potential technology adoption or forming startups;
- Working with TTC technology cluster Heads on commercialization of the project.
Selection Mechanism & Criteria
- Project selection criteria include availability of IP protection, commercial potential and impact. Applicants must demonstrate their projects with commercial potentials, including but not limited to forming start-ups, and/or foreseeable adoption and application by industries for further downstream development using available funding sources (excluding ITF Tier-3 funding).
- In considering an application, the Review Committee will evaluate, at a minimum, the following criteria:
- Novelty and Technology Merit
- Novelty and innovation
- Stage of development of the technology & implementation plan
- Measurable deliverables
- Potential for Technology Transfer and Commercialization
- Technology for industry partners and startups to adopt
- Market opportunities
- Generation of economics and benefits to the society
- Team Expertise and Commercialization Management
- The capability and commitment of the project team towards commercialization of the technology
- Overall planning of the project that demonstrates the intended work to be completed within the proposed period
- Intellectual Property Status
- Intellectual property position, including patent / patent application, copyrights, software, know-how, etc. that already exist or would be developed during the project
Intellectual Property Rights (IPR)
- All IPR arising from the Fund project will be owned by the University, unless alternative arrangement is specified.
- The recipient is required to inform the TTC on any new intellectual property that may arise from the project.
- Licensing arrangement of IPR arising from the Fund follows the University's IP Policy (https://ttc.ust.hk/index.php?p=4&sp=46).
- Any substantial changes from the original project outlined in the funding request must report to TTC for approval.
- OKT reserves the right to terminate the project where there is evidence that the project fails to adhere to the project proposal, unless a change has been agreed in writing.
- The Project cannot be extended, and unexpended balance must be returned to the University.
- The University’s policies governing the usage of research funding, IP ownership, recovery of direct IP protection and development cost and distribution of revenue will apply to the Fund.
- Fail to achieve the deliverables or non-compliance with the terms and conditions associated with the project is a factor in which OKT will take into account in considering future applications from the same applicant or the same project team members.
- The applicant is required to declare in the application whether the applicant has sought or is seeking funding support for the project from other funding sources. Double subvention for the project will not be allowed.
- The Fund will not cover:
- General administration and overhead;
- General office IT equipment;
- Depreciation / amortization or provisions not presenting actual expenses incurred;
- Maintenance cost of existing equipment;
- Utilities – charges for electricity, gas, water, telephone, fax, etc;
- Travel, accommodation and subsistence (except local travel expenses within Greater Bay Area on a reimbursement basis).
The above list is not exhaustive. Applicant should consult the TTC for any questions regarding eligible costs for the Fund.
- Upon receipt of an application, TTC may seek clarification or supplementary information from the applicant.
- The full application will be submitted to the Fund Review Committee, the Committee will be chaired by AVP-KT, members may include D/Heads of TTC, faculty members in related technology areas, as well as external experts.
- The functions of the Committee are to assess, review and approve the proposals submitted to the Committee.
- To avoid conflict of interest, member(s) of the Fund Review Committee will be required to declare whether they are directly or indirectly related to an application and, if so, will be refrained from participating in the discussion of the particular application.
- Only shortlisted candidates will be invited to attend the Review Meeting to present the application and answer questions from the Review Committee.
Notification of Results
- If an application is recommended for funding support, an offer letter will be issued to the successful applicant. The letter may include special terms and conditions associated with the project imposed by the Review Committee. The applicant may need to revise the application form accordingly before the funding could be issued.
- If an application is unsuccessful, the applicant will be notified in writing.
- Each applicant will have 14 calendar days from the date of offer to accept the offer.
- For each successful application, the applicant will be the recipient for the approved funding. The recipient has to comply with this Guideline and all the terms and conditions laid down in the offer letter.
Disbursement of the Fund
- Unless otherwise stated, disbursement of the approved Fund will be made through the Research Office (RO) after receipt of duly signed acceptance of the offer together with all required documents.
- The applicant shall be responsible for any project expenditures and commitments in excess of the amount approved as stated in the offer letter.
Submission of Progress and Final Reports
- All projects are monitored against their progress on milestones and deliverables throughout the project period. Mid-term evaluation shall be required. Upon request by TTC or as specified in the terms and conditions associated with the project, recipients will provide timely progress reports for assessment.
- The applicant will submit the final report for the project within one (1) month from the project completion or early termination date.
- Typically, the final report should include, but not limited to the following:
- Achievements of the project with respect to the objectives and deliverables;
- Actual Expenditure for the project, including unexpended funds for the project to be returned to the University;
- Post-project commercialization plan.
- Progress and final reports should be prepared in the standard format. In-depth technical details should be provided to facilitate assessment. Upon request by the TTC, recipients will provide timely clarification and / or additional information to substantiate the content of progress and final reports.
- The report(s) will be reviewed by TTC and submitted to AVP-KT for further consideration and comments.
- The applicant should ensure that all procurements for goods and services should be carried out in an unbiased and fair manner and must comply with the current procurement policy at the University.