ASTANA – Astana’s Technology Commercialisation Centre (TCC) issued a new call for proposals on Sept. 16 as part of its efforts to support the commercialisation of innovative technologies in Kazakhstan.
Applications are being accepted for two types of grants: a six-month proof of concept grant of $120,000 for earlier-stage technologies and a 12-month grant of $400,000 to develop an industrial prototype for technologies further along in their development. The application deadline is Oct. 15.
Originally planned for early next year, the new call for proposals was moved up to this fall because of the great interest in and success of the first round, TCC Lead Expert Erik Azulay said. More than 500 applications were received by the centre for the first round of grants last year; 16 were selected for funding after a multi-step peer review process that evaluated them on their scientific and commercial merit. The first round of funding, 710 million tenge (US$3.9 million), was distributed in August.
The TCC was created by the Kazakh Ministry of Education and Science as a separate, private organisation to help scientists and innovators bring their ideas to market. The grant programme, which is tasked with creating closer ties between science and markets in Kazakhstan, is funded in part by the World Bank. International experts provided by CRDF Global and trained Kazakh colleagues mentor grant recipients in the commercialisation process, from research to the creation of start-up companies to full commercialisation.