KU Leuven: Aeschylus provides final push for applied research

29 Sep 2011 | Network Updates | Update from KU Leuven
These updates are republished press releases and communications from members of the Science|Business Network

The Aeschylus philanthropy platform, recently established by K.U.Leuven, seeks funding for promising research projects in applied sciences that are in the final phase of development, just on the verge of commercialisation via spin-off or licensing. The platform supports research projects that have exhausted all other available funding sources, but which are just shy of securing venture capital. Aeschylus empowers private contributors to give these projects the final, crucial push they need to allow socially effective, breakthrough technologies to reach their target groups faster.

 “We work on two levels,” says Innovation Manager Hannes De Wachter, who steers the newly minted project from within K.U.Leuven Research & Development (LRD). “First of all, we do matchmaking: the perfect coupling of contributor and research project. With matchmaking, the contributor fully funds a given project. Such contributions are often upwards of 100,000 euro. Alongside this, we have a Pooled Fund: here, we bundle the resources of multiple contributors and a jury selects the projects.”

Aeschylus funds allow researchers to strive for a breakthrough in a period of six months to three-to-four years. Contributors receive regular progress reports and enjoy privileged contact with renowned researchers. Once the applied research is ready for spin-off, the contributor is first in line to invest in the new technology if he so desires. The contributor is also keen on the fact that part of the potential profits from valorisation eventually makes its way back to Aeschylus to support new projects.

“Aeschylus is an extension of existing patronage formulas such as research funds and endowed professorships. Like these, LRD and the Leuven University Fund (LUF) guarantee the academic freedom of the research. It remains philanthropy, with all its financial advantages for the contributors,” says Isabel Penne, Director of the Leuven University Fund.

You can find more information and a list of funded projects, including each project’s remaining funding duration and requested funds, at www.aeschylus-philanthropy.eu. Researchers can also apply for project funding via the website.

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