Monday, May 25, 2009

Scientist Office Grant

The Scientist Office provides support to Israeli hi-tech companies in the field of innovative research and development (R&D). A month ago we applied for such a support and I was advised (thanks to Avi) to summarize the experience for those who might be interested in the future.

Here is a short list of Don’ts and Dos from the technology perspective.

DON’Ts and DOs:
  • Don’t use external consultants:

    • All the information is freely available here.
    • The application forms are easy to follow and easy to understand.
    • Using an external consultant only adds complexity, sometimes due to his eagerness to “contribute” to the process.

  • Don’t write a lengthy application; Summarize your technology scantily, mainly describing the following:

    • What are the key points of the current technology (if exists any).
    • Why the current technology (or current market’s technology) doesn’t work for the required problem.
    • How your technology innovative development will address the required problem. Here you can broaden your key points and explain in more details what the technology steps you will apply. Any algorithmic or technology innovative solutions must be described in a high to mid level (All the Scientist Office’s inspectors should keep confidentiality).

  • Do provide a Block Diagram (possibly Component Diagram in UML) that describes in a high level the architecture of your future product.

    • Provide a short description for each component and emphasize the innovation in each component if exists.

  • Do provide R&D Tasks break down as follows:

    • Don’t break down the tasks to Design, QA or DB support. It’s obscure. Incorporate those inside the tasks themselves.
      For example:


      Don’t

      Do
      Task A = 6.5 months (resource time)

      • Design=0.5M
      • Dev=4M
      • DB=1M
      • QA=1M
      Task A = 6.5 months (resource time)

    • If you have a task that spans over 2 years (2-year application), divide the task by meaningful milestones.
      For example:


      Application

      Don’t

      Do

      Year 1
      Visual Studio Integration IVisual Studio Toolbar Integration

      Year 2
      Visual Studio Integration IIVisual Studio Property Plug-In Integration

  • Do a realistic estimation of the development tools and licenses:

    • Chief Scientist supports only development; don’t provide any production costs.
    • Chief Scientist supports one computer per R&D team member.
    • Chief Scientist encourages the use of local sub-contractors during the development phase.

  • Do be prepared to stand by your application:

    • To explain why your technology is needed.
    • To justify the feasibility of your solution; Show you have enough resources (or that you plan on hiring them) and demonstrate any technological proof of concept.
    • To justify any development cost or use of a sub-contractor.

I hope that this short list helps you, but if you still have questions you are most welcome to write me and I’ll gladly try to assist.

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