Nowadays, scientists have various opportunities to raise funds for their research and development. However, clear information about how, where, and when to apply, as well as the potential funding amounts, is lacking. In this article, you will find comprehensive information on these aspects and more.
Let's begin with the Technology Readiness Level (TRL). If you aim to develop your scientific work into a tangible product or service, you will likely go through the following 9 TRL stages:
- TRL 1: Basic principles observed and reported.
- TRL 2: Technology concept formulated.
- TRL 3: Experimental proof of concept.
- TRL 4: Technology validated in the lab.
- TRL 5: Technology validated in a relevant environment (industrially relevant environment for key enabling technologies).
- TRL 6: Technology demonstrated in a relevant environment (industrially relevant environment for key enabling technologies).
- TRL 7: System prototype demonstrated in an operational environment.
- TRL 8: System complete and qualified.
- TRL 9: Actual system proven in an operational environment (competitive manufacturing for key enabling technologies or in space).
Sometimes these stages can overlap, or an invention can skip certain steps due to market dynamics. To begin, identify the TRL of your startup. Next, read this article for VC investment rounds to familiarize yourself with pre-seed, seed, Series A, and Series B rounds.
In general, if your TRL falls within the range of 1-4, you are likely in the pre-seed stage. At this stage, it is challenging to secure investment because R&D inventions have a long return horizon and entail higher risks for investors. However, if your product is promising, you may raise slightly more than the average for this stage. It is advisable to apply to multiple EU calls and tenders to potentially secure around $50k per successful tender, allowing you to raise$200+k over two years.
If your TRL is between 4-8, you can seek seed-stage investments from investors. They may be willing to invest even 30+% more than the average for this stage since they understand that R&D inventions require more funding. Additionally, you can explore public funding options such as the EU EIC Accelerator, which offers funding of up to $2M.
If you have reached TRL 9 or have already entered the market, you can consider seed or Series A stages, which open the possibility of attracting international investors and large EU funds for funding.
Finally, it is essential to note that this information serves as a guide. It is indicative, and each invention is unique. Therefore, it is advisable to consult professionals to make more reliable decisions. We are here to help based on our experience working with VC funds, public funds, collaboration with Maria Gabriel, and our experience with over 60 startups.