Project development process
Until October 2012, the centre will focus primarily on the development of 50 3-year long collaborative projects between either Lancaster University or the University of Liverpool and 50 of the regionís most ambitious businesses.
The process for developing a three-year intensive collaborative project via the centre will follow a simple 8 stage process which will take 6 weeks.
- Expression of Interest: Expressions of interest in undertaking a collaborative project can only be made on-line via this website. These expressions will allow a company to register their interest and outline the broad area in which they would wish to consider collaboration. This simple process will also allow the centre to check a companyís eligibility to receive support.
- Matching the expression to expertise: On submission of an expression, the centre will consider whether either of the universities have the appropriate expertise. A response to your expression will be provided within 5 working days (1 week) of your expression of interest being received. This response will confirm whether the centre feels it has the expertise to help. The matching of companies to academic colleagues will be done by a team of centre colleagues from both Liverpool and Lancaster University. This process will be managed by Inventya Ltd.
- Allocation of a named academic collaborator: If either of the universities has relevant expertise then then a meeting will be arranged between a named academic member of staff at one of the two universities within 10 working days (2 weeks). This meeting will aim to develop an outline to a proposed collaborative project. Where both universities are in a position to develop a project, the company will be asked to decide which university it would prefer to work with.
- Development of the application: Following a meeting the centre will provide secure access to an on-line application form and permit 15 working days (3 weeks) for its completion.
- Assessment of the application: A submitted application will be considered by two panels. One panel will consider the quality and originality of the research and development proposed to be undertaken in the project. A separate panel will consider the benefits the project proposes to bring to the companyís plans for growth. Each panel will score the proposals, with average scores of each panel accounting for 50% of the total score allocated to a proposal. A threshold score will be set, above which projects will be considered appropriate to receive funding. The project selection process will take place within 10 working days from the submission of the full project application (2 weeks). At this stage any conflicts of interest in a proposal will be reported and acknowledged.
- Advertisement of successful projects: If approved for funding, project summaries will be used as the basis of an advertisement to recruit a graduate with appropriate skills, qualifications and experience to undertake the project.
- Recruitment and allocation of a graduate: Recruitment of graduates will take place between March and September, for a 1 October 2012 start. Companies will participate in the recruitment of the graduate, which will be managed by one of the two partner universities.
- Completion of due diligence process on all partner companies: This stage confirms that full and complete information is in place for each company partner. This final stage may also include a short meeting between the company proposer and one or both of the project directors and/or appointed persons from external organisations. Following the conclusion of this stage, funds are released to enable the project to commence.
An initial expression of interest, should therefore, in following the above proposed response times, if selected and developed, result in a decision to recruit a graduate within 6 weeks.