SEB finances innovative development projects of the student teams of the University of Tartu with 150,000 euros
On 23 January, SEB and the University of Tartu concluded a cooperation agreement for the formation of Vega fund. SEB Bank will finance the daily utilization of knowledge-intensive solutions through the fund intended for the students and researchers of the institutions of higher education. It will do this during three years in the amount of EUR 150,000.
According to Kalev Kaarna, Head of the Idea Lab of the University of Tartu, many potential research results of the researchers and students remain without attention, they never come to working prototypes and do not find application in daily life as research groups lack needed money for finishing the development work. “Very often they miss only a small cash injection for doing experiments and taking research results to an entrepreneur or client in an understandable form,” Kaarna described the gap, which Vega fund has been formed to fill.
When in UT Idea Lab the students from all faculties can figure out brilliant solutions to practical problems, develop conceptions of ideas and paper prototypes in interfield teams, then the newly formed Vega fund will make it possible to move on from paper to practical results.
Unlike other similar funding schemes, Vega fund will be open for the projects from all fields, and it does not impose any restrictions on the project’s budget. Funding can be applied for in the categories of small and large development projects and new teams, whereas students and researchers from other institutions of higher education will be able to apply together with UT students and researchers. In case of applications, a jury of seven expert members will assess the novelty of the solution, capability of the team and how carefully the business model has been considered.
Contests of development projects take place twice a year – the first call for proposals lasts from 23 January to 1 March. The students can individually apply for financing of the formation of a new team. Team funding is provided once a year – this year the due date of applications will be 1 March 2014.
Vega fund, the name inspired by the bright Vega star and the launcher, which took the student satellite EstCube-1 to the orbit, was formed to finance the cooperation of the students and researchers of the university with companies and to launch next bright knowledge-intensive solutions. SEB will finance the development projects of the students with EUR 108,000 and formation of new teams with EUR 42,000. Read more at Vega fund website.