In March 2011, President Barack Obama announced the creation of the Proof of Concept Center (PoCC) program as part of the i6 Green Challenge to promote clean energy advancement and economic growth, an integral little bit of his Startup America initiative. Managed through the Economic Development Administration (EDA), this program encouraged the creation of PoCCs targeted at accelerating the introduction of green technologies to increase the nation’s competitiveness and hasten its financial recovery.
1 million to each of seven new PoCCs. 500,000 for growing existing centers or developing commercialization centers to concentrate on later-stage research. This program increases an important question: What’s a PoCC and exactly how is it different from other initiatives to stimulate innovation? PoCCs are designed to help address the particularly troublesome gap between the invention of a particular technology and its own further development into new products or applications.
The problem is that in most cases neither the faculty researcher who makes a breakthrough nor the school itself gets the information had a need to understand its value to outsiders or the contacts and incentives essential to develop it. In the jargon of economics, there are informational, motivational, and institutional asymmetries.
Public funding of PoCCs symbolizes a new approach to technology development. Many people became alert to PoCCs only with the current federal initiative, but the first PoCCs were established more than 10 years back and were part of a broader trend emphasizing the development, transfer, and commercialization of university or college technologies.
- Names to approach