On behalf of WestFocus the Project for Accessible Research Knowledge (PARK) Board administers a Proof of Concept seed fund. The funds were provided by HEFCE, HSBC, JRA Associates, London Development Agency and the universities. This fund provides up to £50k of grant funding to the member universities to commercialise Intellectual Property. Unallocated Funds on the 1st January 2013 were just under £500,000.
Funds were first awarded in 2003 and the first returns from PARK investments received in 2013. Application is through a standard form. The proposers, (members of academic staff), are required to be supported in making their applications by their institution’s commercialisation specialists.
The PARK Board has one member for each of the universities making up the WestFocus consortium. The current Chair is Dr Alun Tlusty-Sheen, University of Westminster. Previous chairs were Tony Greenwood, Royal Holloway University of London and Keith Robson, Brunel University.
Funds are also available for indicative market studies to strengthen applications to the PARK Board.
Successful projects have gone on to draw in funds from other sources including exploitation partners, economic development agencies and business angels.