MOE De-Centralised Gap Funding (MDGF)

MOE De-Centralized Gap Funding (MDGF)

MOE De-Centralised Gap Funding (MDGF) supported Commercialisation Programme’s Mission

Helping our researchers make meaningful impact through research Commercialisation




 Creating opportunities for SMU Faculty/Researchers to take their invention to market




  • Selected projects get funded by MOE De-centralised Gap Funding (MDGF – MD/POC/iCAS)
  • Embark on a commercial mission to solve a business problem
  • Validate the business problem and a solution
  • Foster ability to deliver multiple use cases as part of POC validation
  • Perform market and customer validation through Lean Launchpad (LLP) and/or consulting services available through IIE Ecosystem
  • Potential to create new Invention Disclosures and Intellectual Property with SMU
  • Receive nurturing, guidance, support and access to advisors and industry experts from IIE
  • Receive recognition from Provost / IIE updates IRIS CV system / get featured in the newsletter
  • Spin-off a company, licence technology, attract private investment, apply for more grants, continue research in SMU



      List of main activities that could take place during the MDGF funding period



      Two tracks supported by MOE De-centralised Gap Funding (MDGF)


    Track I: MDGF – MD / MDGF - POC 
    Track II: MDGF - iCAS 
    • All commercialisation activities will be carried out by Principal Investigator(PI) & team with IIE’s support, guidance and necessary approvals.
    • IIE to drive such commercialisation projects end-to-end where the PI will be required to perform the Invention Disclosure and provide technology/consultancy. 
    • Separate Terms & Conditions may apply.
    • Please contact IIE to apply for this service

    Choose the most suitable grant based on the maturity level of your project/idea

    MDGF – MD (Market Discovery)
    Max up to : 50K & period 6 months
    MDGF – POC (Proof of Concept) 
    Max up to : 250K & period 12 months

    Objective: Establish commercial value proposition

    Objective: Establish minimally viable product


    • Complete market opportunity discovery for the technology
    • Partially completed minimally viable product/prototype
    • Identification of the customer segment(s) to service
    • Identification of unique problems to solve
    • Detailed business plan must match commercial value proposition
    • LLP Alumni viewed favorably
    • Must have customer segment clarity
    • Project team with Entrepreneur Lead and Engineers/Programmers


    Business Plan must include but not limited to: 

    • Market Opportunity
    • POC roadmap
    • Minimally Viable Product Scope(MVP)


    • MVP/POC projects for customer(s) from the target segments

    POC Scope:

    • Develop minimally viable product/prototype for each POC project
    • Clarity on compelling pain points.
    • How many customers you talked to before deciding the POC?
    • Why no solution exists?
    • Why your solution is unique?
    • How likely the POC customer will become a paid customer or purchase a trial licence?
    • Product specifications & brochure for further marketing effort.
    • Potential for filing an IP on the technology developed for this stage?

    Other requirements on a need basis, part of the funds could  be utilized (if necessary): 

    Attend Lean Launchpad (LLP) and other programs recommended by IIE

    Engage consulting services available under IIE Ecosystem


























    Way Forward

    Creates ample opportunities for SMU Faculty/Researchers to go-to-market with a game changing company


    Way Forward





    Application Timeline

    Call for Application (CFA) is open all through the year



    Application Process

    Track I: MDGF – MD / MDGF - POC

    1. Invention Disclosure with ORTT (If not submitted before, please download the form here and submit it to ORTT) 
    2. Business Presentation (a template provided for reference and convenience.)
    3. IIE Application Form
    4. Accolades / Feedback received for the research
    5. Latest Research Report submitted to Dean/Funding Agency
    6. Please contact IIE (jayc [at] (subject: Commercialisation%20Grant) (Jay) - jayc [at]

    Track II: MDGF - iCAS 

    1. Please contact IIE to apply for this service (jayc [at] (subject: Commercialisation%20Grant) (Jay) - jayc [at]



    Project Eligibility Criteria

    1. Invention Disclosure with ORTT must be completed
    2. Research Projects (PI must be SMU faculty)
    3. PhD Students Research projects (PI or CO-PI must be SMU faculty)
    4. PhD Students doing industry collaboration (Must be SMU-owned Intellectual Property, PI or CO-PI must be SMU faculty)
    5. SMU Industry Collaboration Research Projects (Must be SMU-owned Intellectual Property)

    Team Eligibility Criteria

    Team must comprise of the first 3 entities

    1. Lead Principal Investigator (PI) (Must be SMU Faculty, PhD students may be considered on a case-to-case basis)
    2. Entrepreneur Lead (A sample job description available in resource centre
    3. Engineers/Programmers (A sample job description available in resource centre
    4. Access to Industry Volunteer Mentor (optional)



    Selection Criteria 

    Commercialisation Potential 

    • Does the project address an important unmet need?  
    • Does the project engage in market validation to identify the beachhead market? 
    • What is the addressable market size? Market size, needs and competition
    • Does the proposed technology have a sustainable competitive advantage against competing patents/ research labs/products/companies? The technology's novelty and need.  
    • Does the project propose a clear business model? Does the project have a clear market & product development roadmap? What are the possible barriers to entry? Technology readiness for the market.   
    • Is there any potential trial user?
    • Business Presentation (a template provided for reference and convenience)



    • Does the team have the necessary technical, business management and development expertise and resources?
    • Does the team have key/potential partnerships (collaborators from industry etc) that will enable faster development of the technology and shorten the time to market?
    • Team must comprise of Project Lead, Entrepreneurial Lead & Engineers/Programmers.


    Technical Innovation




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