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RESOLVE: the Program

In the last decade, Portugal invested significantly in R&D, which was followed by complementary measures in the areas of technology transfer and entrepreneurship. As a result, progress metrics such as the number of PhDs, patents and new technology-based companies registered significant improvements. However, according to the Innovation Barometer COTEC 2014, the final results fell short of the expectations, as measured by economic impact and innovation.

The missing link in this inconsistency, also known as the "valley of death", relates to obstacles in the transition from an existing or emerging technology to the creation of a compelling new market-driven business. Our vision is to overcome these obstacles, supporting the progress of knowledge from the laboratory bench to the point where it provides the basis of a commercially successful business.

 

 

RESOLVE is a health technology-based Program designed to provide support and management tools to early-stage projects and start-ups in the health sector, focused on the transformation of innovative research into profitable ventures. The aim is to foster the transfer of knowledge, ultimately leading to licensing patents or launching start-ups by teams of researchers and entrepreneurs involved in this area. RESOLVE is hosted at i3S (involving IBMC, INEB and Ipatimup) and is funded by NORTE2020.

RESOLVE consists of 3 central actions:

Action 1

The RESOLVE Toolbox was designed to help the selected teams to overcome frequent barreirs that scientists/inventors face in the complex road of bringing their ideas to the health market and ultimately to patients. These Tools will be provided according to the results of the selection process and will support seed projects to achieve their valorisation goals in a short deadline.

 

Action 2

The RESOLVE Program will open one call for applications per year, over the next two years, to recruit innovative seed projects and start-ups in the Health sector, based or to be based in the North of Portugal. In the two calls, an aggregate of at least 10 high potential projects will be selected through a two-stage process. In the first stage, candidate projects will be evaluated on the basis of their written applications. The chosen projects will be invited to an elevator pitch and an interview with a panel of experts. Selected projects will proceed to Action 3, and will receive specific support through the RESOLVE Toolbox.

 

Eligibility Criteria

All innovative projects in the health and biomedical fields from Northern Region of Portugal (NUTS II) are eligible (see Rules and Regulations). The projects will be selected with basis on the following criteria:

  1. Scientific, technological and clinical potential; 
  2. Correspondence to unmet clinical needs; 
  3. Status of knowledge/technology protection; 
  4. Maturity of the technology (TRL – between 3 and 5 at the time of application).
  5. Need to carry out validation and proofs of concept.

 

Action 3

The entrepreneurial projects selected in Action 2 will be provided with targeted and intelligent support to maximize their consolidation and valorisation potential.

The jury feedback report to each selected project will consist of a detailed examination of the project characteristics, including the degree of maturity and the team needs. This diagnostic report will also state which specific RESOLVE Tools are more adequate to address their specific gaps and to leverage their technology projects successfully. In addition to these actions, members of RESOLVE and MBA student Teams will be allocated to each project, providing mentoring and management support. The remaining candidate projects will have a jury feedback report, providing them with an opportunity to redirect efforts and increase their chance of future success. 

For additional information, see the RESOLVE Rules and Regulations.

Team

The RESOLVE Team, based at the institutes that comprise i3S (INEB, IBMC and Ipatimup), is perfectly positioned to implement the RESOLVE Program, taking into account not only the profile and skills of each member, but also i3S features that provide an exceptional opportunity to support the selected projects.

The RESOLVE Team members have a vast experience in technology transfer and translation services and in the identification of high potential technology-based entrepreneurial projects. They have solid connections with investors and stakeholders, entities that offer MBAs and strong relationships with medical centres and health professionals. Regulatory, intellectual property, business and clinical affairs as well as quality, innovation, technology and entrepreneurship management of the RESOLVE Team are valuable skills to effectively and efficiently handle the wide variety of RESOLVE activities. 

On the other hand, i3S has an outstanding capacity for the development of health technologies, services and equipment, with a portfolio of more than 20 patents and having launched around 10 spin-offs in recent years, thus constituting a remarkable core-basis to the RESOLVE Program success.