Phase 1 (2 weeks)

There are three steps which should be followed in phase 1. Initially a proposal is submitted to AIAP office by filing of an idea/project application form (A1) available online or physically submitting it to the AIAPp office*. In addition, request for proposals (RFP) by the AIAP can be announced for different themes during the academic year. In step 2, proposals received will be sorted by the AIAP based on newness, project maturity and applicant category (i.e. students, Administrators or Academic Staff).  Internal assessment and if necessary external consultation on the feasibility of the submitted proposals will be carried out in step 3 and the outcome of this step will be conveyed to the applicant within four weeks from the date of the proposal submission.  In this phase, the applicant will be only required to fill and submit idea/project application form to the AIAP office and wait for the AIAP office response. A project leader will be responsible for the proposal submission, communications and compliance of all AIAP requirements and SQU regulations. In return, the project content in the proposals will be handled with full confidentiality, by the AIAP office unless the provider (or any team member) has disclosed by any means to others. 

* AIAP office located at SQU Commercial center, first floor above Bank Muscat branch, Room no.3


Q-   Can I submit a proposal on behalf of my friend or a colleague?
 A  Project leader should submit the proposal
Q-   Is it possible to submit a proposal where the implementation can continue after my graduation from SQU?
 A Yes. However, it is preferred the lifetime of the project implementation to be during the student/staff study or work at SQU
Q-   Can I submit a proposal if it has been submitted elsewhere for consideration or presented in an event or competition?
 A  Yes, as far that it does not cause conflicts and problems of information being disclosed during the previous events
Q-   How will AIAP insure confidentiality of my idea?
 A Receiving your idea by AIAP office confirms the confidentiality. However, this is only if you have not disclosed partially or completely any information by any means to others
Q-   If I have a conflict with other members of the team who provided the idea/project, how will AIAP help in this regard?
 A In the event of any issues or conflicts between members, the AIAP office will not be responsible. In this regard, the idea leader or PI is encouraged to have two agreements (i.e. non-disclosure and ownership and beneficiary agreements) before the submission of the idea. 
Q-   If I have already started working in my idea/project can I submit a proposal for support?
 A  Yes, you can submit the proposal; however the level of maturity and type of support should be made clear
Q-   If my proposal has been already supported by other parties can I submit a proposal?
 A  Yes, however, your agreement details with other parties need be made clear and if required their approval for you to get extra support from AIAP will be needed.
Q-   If my idea is rejected can I resubmit again after improvement?
 A  This will depend on the assessment by the AIAP office. In case resubmission is possible you will be notified by the AIAP office
Q-   If I have an idea before submission, would the AIAP office assist me in gauging if it is novel or not?
 A In general the idea owner should make an effort to check the newness of the idea. If potential, AIAP can offer advice on tools used for this purpose
Q-   If my idea is rejected, will AIAP office provide the reasons for rejection?
 A Yes and if possible with advise for future considerations
Q-   What are the criteria used to assess submitted ideas/projects?
 A  Newness, innovativeness, adding value, realistic, practical, applicability, economically feasible, valuable outcomes 
Q-   How many times can an individual submit an idea during the AIAP lifetime?
 A  In principle as many as he/she wants
Q-   Can I submit a proposal if it is part of my under graduate or postgraduate project?
 A  Yes you can as far that the expected outcomes are within the lifetime of the AIAP. In this case an approval of your academic project supervisor will be needed, also indicating to whom the ownership should be and if  he/she will be among the beneficiaries or not.



Phase 2 (2-6 weeks)

For those proposals which made it to phase 2 the steps to be followed will be different depending on idea/project maturity, funding status and if SQU staff assistance is needed or not . For those ideas/projects which need SQU staff assistance, colleges/centers will be contacted to nominate a faculty or a technician who can help. This will be done through the office of the Assistant Dean of Post Graduate and Research (PGSR) in each college or through the director of the center concerned. It should be mentioned here that assistance can be directly requested if an SQU staff is nominated by the applicant or by the AIAP office - the office where the SQU staff works will be notified by AIAP in this regard. In case of not finding a proper SQU staff to assist, the idea provider will be notified. On the other hand, if SQU staff is found, in order to insure the rights of both parties, a non-disclosure and ownership agreement between the applicant and SQU staff needs to be signed. This step is supplemented by filling of an application details form (A2)- where more details on the idea are requested. If the SQU assistant is not required, the applicant can directly fill the application details form and wait for the AIAP office feedback. In a situation where not enough information is provided, an idea provider can be asked to rewrite and re-submit the of application details form. Based on the evaluation of information provided in the application details form, unsuccessful idea providers will be notified. It should be noted that in phase 2 the idea/project provider will only be required to fill the application details form, sign the non-discloser and ownership agreement if needed and wait for the AIAP response. Those projects which passed phase 1 and need full or partial AIAP funding, the corresponding PIs will be requested to fill the application details form and follow the same processes of assessment as those applicable for ideas proposed. A fast track will be adopted to process projects which are completed or almost completed and ready to deliver the outcomes. In this case the expected outcomes will be reviewed and assessed for the eligibility of AIAP support. Depending on the complexity of each proposal, phase 2 activities should be completed in 2 to 6 weeks.


Q-   If a non-discloser and ownership agreement is needed how can AIAP help? 
 A Non- disclosure and ownership agreement is between the idea provider and any SQU staff/s, AIAP can only give an advise on the content of the agreement without any legal responsibility
Q-   Are the criteria used to assess submitted ideas/projects in phase 2 different from those of phase 1?
 A The criteria are the same. However, these criteria will be assessed against more details provided in phase 2 by filling the application details form.  In some cases an evidence of patent search results of idea/project might be required by the AIAP office. 

Phase 3 (18 months)

In this phase (figure 3), the AIAP office will proceed and process those successful applications by sending Terms of Reference (TOR) to the Research Council (TRC) and to the Deputy Vice Chancellor of Post Graduate and Research (DVC-PGSR) for the final approval. It should be noted that in phase 3 the idea/project provider will be required to work on his/her idea/project, update the AIAP of his/her project implementation progress and deliver the project outcomes. Equally the AIAP office in this phase will be following the progress and deliverable as stated in the application details form. The time needed for phase 3 should not exceed 3 years.


Q-   What type of support the AIAP will provide?
 A It depends on the nature, maturity and requirements of the proposed idea/project. The support can be in terms of advice, linking for technical and commercial support, finance and intellectual property filing
Q-   If my idea/project is feasible but needs large amount of financial support can AIAP help?
 A AIAP can help few potential cases up to 50,000 R.O. However, anything more than 50,000 AIAP will offer an advice for linking with other research fund schemes and providers 
Q-  How can AIAP help to find space for the execution of my idea?
 A In this regard, AIAP office can only assist in contacting colleges/centers within SQU to provide the working space, but no guarantee is given in this regard. The decision for the space provision and associated logistics and safety issues of use of the space are left to colleges/centers
Q-  If my project is already funded by SQU through Internal Grant (IG), His Majesty Strategic Research Grants (SRG) or TRC can I get more support from AIAP?
 A Yes. However, the outcome of your project should be within the lifetime of AIAP and consultation with SQU Deanship of Research and TRC will be essential in this case
Q-  Is it possible to recruit a post doc or a research assistant from AIAP support funds?
 A The research assistant/s can work on the implementation of the idea/project and can be considered among the beneficiaries in case if the outcome of the idea/project generates income.

Phase 4

This is the final phase where the idea/project outcome values are received. As illustrated in figure 4, the outcomes will be sorted by AIAP office as patentable and non-patentable. The patentable outcomes will include those that generate patents and those generated patents which can be licensed or spin off for commercialization - both of which will be subjected to follow the SQU IP policy. The non-patentable outcomes will include those with innovative solutions which add value and those which have potential direct commercialization characters. The innovative solutions will be implemented after coordination with beneficiaries where the idea/project holder needs to fill valuable outcome (A3) form. Those outcomes with potential direct commercialization character will be evolved as spin offs or as business entities with other partners. 

Q-  What is the role of AIAP in phase 4?
 A AIAP can help you in IP issues, patent filing, linking you with potential funding bodies for commercialization or with users who can benefit from your outcomes and advise on drafting a business plan
Q-  If I graduate and my idea/project has been implemented to whom will the ownership go?
 A Any IP issue will be subjected to SQU IP policy
Q-  Can AIAP provide funds to establish my business?
 A AIAP can only connect you to established SME support and funding programs such as PASMED, Rafud Fund, Sharaka and others
Q-  If I have utilized AIAP funds to build my prototype and then I leave SQU, can I take the prototype with me?
 A Any equipment, tools or items purchased from AIAP will be the property of SQU. However, those simple tools used as integrated parts of a prototype can be kept by the idea/project owner.

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