Terms and Conditions

CYPRUS SEEDS 3RD CALL FOR APPLICATIONS

TERMS AND CONDITIONS

Contents

Introduction 2

Governance & Funding: 2

Sustainability of the Program: 3

Terms & Conditions for applying 4

Eligibility Criteria 4

Collaborations 5

Selection Criteria: 5

Application Process 6

Eligible expenses 6

Other important considerations: 7

Governance & Funding:

Cyprus Seeds is a national effort, dedicated to creating value for Cyprus by bringing to the market the innovations created in the labs of the Cypriot academic and research institutions. Therefore, eligible for applying are teams consisting of at least one graduate student or a post-doc or a researcher, and one Principal Investigator, from such institutions.

Projects are approved after a competitive process that involves only non-Cyprus-based experienced evaluators with relevant scientific and business backgrounds.

Funding is in the form of grants. Selected projects will be granted €30.000 for the 18-month duration of the cycle.

Approved funds will be provided to each successful team through the Hosting Institution of the Principal Investigator (PI). Only the following types of organisations that are established in Cyprus are eligible Hosting Institutions:

  1. Private and Public universities.
  2. Private and Public research institutions (such as The Cyprus Institute and The Cyprus Institute of Neurology & Genetics).
  3. Centres of Excellence.

Hosting Institutions will not deduct overheads from the grant amount to be approved by Cyprus Seeds.

Approved funds will be released in three (3) tranches during the 18-month duration of the Program:

  1. The 1st tranche will be 10% of the total funds and will be released at the beginning of the 18-month period.
  2. The 2nd tranche will be the balance of 40% of total funds and will be released in the middle of the funding period after the submission of a satisfactory interim report by the participating teams.
  3. The final tranche will be the remaining total funds and will be released after the completion of the funding cycle, and the audit of the project by an independent auditor.

In some cases, funding and non-financial support may be renewed for the same project for another cycle. However, the award will be subject to the submission of a new application. 

Sustainability of the Program: 

Cyprus Seeds relies on the generosity of corporations, individuals, and organisations that share its vision of building a science-based entrepreneurial ecosystem in Cyprus. For this reason, Cyprus Seeds welcomes donations from the founders of the startups that result from the support of the Cyprus Seeds program. The donation will be in the form of equity participation in the range of 1%- 5% of the founders’ equity.

Terms & Conditions for applying

Eligibility Criteria

  1. Cyprus Seeds is targeting research teams who intend to take their work from the lab to the marketplace and wish to reach a stage where they can attract private investment. Research teams who do not intend to commercialise their work should refrain from applying.
  2. Only researcher teams, not individuals, are eligible to apply, and companies may be formed during the course of the 18-month cycle.
  3. Research teams should comprise, as a minimum, a Principal Investigator and a graduate student or a post-doc, or a researcher from a university or research institution from the private or public sectors, and/or Centre of Excellence.
  4. Companies are not eligible to apply to the Cyprus Seeds Program.
  5. Only the following types of organisations that are established in Cyprus can act as the Hosting Institutions for the Principal Investigator:
    1. Private and public universities.
    2. Private and public research institutions, such as The Cyprus Institute and The Cyprus Institute of Neurology & Genetics.
    3.  Centres of Excellence.
  6. Research projects from any industry sector and technology field are eligible.

The submission of the Application form should be in English.

The Application form must be submitted by the 16th of November 2022, before 11:59 PM (GMT+2) at [email protected]

Collaborations

Applications can include collaborations with universities, research centres, and/or companies in and outside Cyprus, assuming the following guidelines are met:

  1. The core of the work of the project funded by Cyprus Seeds is conducted at a Cypriot university or research institute or Centre of Excellence.
  2. Any eventual IP derived from work funded by Cyprus Seeds will be owned by the Cypriot Hosting Institution, thus, giving the Cypriot Hosting institution the freedom to commercialise the work through a spin-off or a licensing agreement.
  3. In the case that more than one university or/and Centre of Excellence and/or research centre will be participating in a project, then a letter signed between the involved institution should be submitted stating the project’s IP ownership/governance. It should be clear to applicants that, unlike other Funding programs, Cyprus Seeds is not placing a premium on Applications where consortiums are in place.

Selection Criteria:

Applications will be selected on the basis of the following evaluation criteria:

  1. Potential for economic, environmental, and social impact at the national and global level.
  2. Proposed technology and technical readiness (the project should be in the range TRL 3 – 5).
  3. Market need/fit.
  4. Scientific merit.
  5. Project team (clear roles and responsibilities, skills complementarity, previous business and/or startup experience).

Extra points will be given to projects:

  1. Which tackle climate change and environmental protection.
  2. With a clear IP strategy and IP protection status.

Applications must solely be the original work of the research team. The work of selected teams should not violate any contract or third-party rights, (including patents, copyrights, trade secrets, trademarks, publicity, or privacy rights). Teams should not disclose proprietary or confidential information of another person or entity.

The submission of the Application to the Cyprus Seeds Program will be treated in strict confidence by the Cyprus Seeds Committee of Evaluators. To this effect, all evaluators will sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement. 

Application Process

  1. Applications should be submitted by the 16th of November 2022 before 11:59 P.M.(GMT+2). 
  2. Short-listed candidates will be notified by the 5th of December 2022.
  3. Short-listed candidates will be invited for an interview with a committee of foreign evaluators, which will take place on the 7th and 8th of December.
  4. The teams selected to join the 3rd cycle of the Cyprus Seeds Program will be notified on the 12th of December 2022.
  5. The 3rd cycle of the Cyprus Seeds program will commence on the 10th of January 2023.

Eligible expenses

A total amount of €30.000, in the form of a grant, will be awarded to each academic team to be selected. The expenses for funding should be clearly detailed in the Application form. Any changes to the allocation of funding during the 18-month funding period, will need to be approved by Cyprus Seeds.  

The eligible expenses are indicated below:

  1. Salary of a graduate student, post-doc, or researcher but not that of faculty. 
  2. Filing for a provisional patent if required; eligible are only cases where no patent exists or the patent funds provided by the Hosting Institution are insufficient. The amount dedicated to patent-related expenses will not exceed €15.000.
  3. Purchase of consumables and special equipment not available or paid by the Hosting Institution. This expense will be subject to approval by Cyprus Seeds Management Team
  4. Travelling to meet with potential clients or investors. Travelling expenses will be subject to approval by the Cyprus Seeds Management Team.

In some cases, funding and non-financial support will be awarded to the same project for a second cycle. However, the award will be subject to the submission of a new Application.

Other important considerations: 

  1. Cyprus Seeds will release funding under the condition that the Hosting Institution will not deduct overheads.
  2. The training offered by Cyprus Seeds is intented for the researcher and/or graduate student in the selected teams. In particular, the primary target of the training is the person who will start a company (the Champion). Of course, the Principal Investigator is also encouraged to be present in all the training and mentoring offered during th life of the cycle.
  3. The “Champion” of the project team must be present in all Cyprus Seeds activities, which may include presentations, reviews, mentoring, training workshops, and the Demo Day.
  4. Cyprus Seeds Management team will organise the mentoring sessions for each team. At least one meeting per month will be scheduled. If the team fails to participate in the calls, then Cyprus Seeds keeps the grant dedicated to the mentors. 
  5. Any selected team may be asked to participate in media and press publications related to the Cyprus Seeds program. In particular, selected teams may be asked to: 
  1. Provide a short-written description with non-confidential information on their project, which may be released publicly.
  2. Share their experience with the Cyprus Seeds program.
  3. Provide information about their research, to be included in the website and other publications of Cyprus Seeds, such as its Quarterly Newsletter.
  1. Participating in media and promotional activities to be pursued by Cyprus Seeds in no way requires selected teams to disclose proprietary or otherwise confidential information related to their research.
  2. Cyprus Seeds logo and contribution should be included in the teams’ presentations and publications relevant to the project.
  3. Any selected team engaged in immoral activities, including lying, cheating, or any activity which may adversely affect the image of Cyprus Seeds, will be disqualified from the Cyprus Seeds Program.
  4. Cyprus Seeds reserves the right to terminate, at any time, selected teams who violate the Terms & Conditions and processes or do not adequately perform what was described in the Application.
  5. Cyprus Seeds Executive Committee, Evaluators, and Mentors agree to maintain strict confidentiality over any proprietary information contained in the Applications submitted by Principal Investigators. Moreover, Evaluators and Mentors sign that they will not share the content of the Applications with others outside of the Grant Review Committee.
  6. The Cyprus Seeds Management Team should be invited to all meetings organised by the teams with potential clients and investors.
  7. Under no circumstances will Cyprus Seeds, Directors, Officers, Employees, or the Selection Committee, Evaluators, and Mentors be liable to any person whatsoever for any advice, information, or decisions made in the course of the program or for direct, indirect, incidental, consequential or special damages of any kind, including economic damages or injury to property and lost profits, or liable for any claims for compensation whatsoever. The party receiving the advice shall be solely responsible for evaluating any advice and determining whether to rely on it or not.

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