Q1. What can I/we use the Awarded Budget for?
We would expect the money to be used to prototype and further develop your innovation and drive its spread and adoption across the wider HMC – with support and monitoring provided by AHS Office. Funding will support only operational requirements and it cannot be used to hire posts, purchasing equipment (other than equipment incorporated in the prototype), conferences and workshops, overtime nor incentive payment.
Q2. I have developed a medical device and have demonstrated proof of concept. Can I apply?
We would encourage you to contact the AHS Office for further advice but, for Innovation Awards we are looking to support innovation at it early stages of development. If your device has commercial value that would be considered as a separate case for support.
Q3. I need external expertise to develop my idea, would that compromise my Intellectual Property (IP)?
You need to ensure that IP are protected before disclosing your idea to others. We encourage you to contact the AHS Office to arrange a non-disclosure agreement. Once an idea is shared (i.e. out in the public domain) it is impossible to protect your IP rights unless there is an evidence trail.
Q4. What about IP rights – will AHS own them if I win a prize?
Yes, as an employee of HMC, HMC will own the IP rights. If the idea is developed by multiple organizations, HMC still owns the IP rights to this invention by rights of funding the development. Please be aware that IP ownership does not affect revenue sharing if the idea is commercialized; the net revenues are shared 50-50 between HMC and the inventor(s).
Q5. What happens to publishing about an idea that has been developed with outside partners?
First thing to consider is that publication may not harm the patent application of the idea/invention. We can postpone publication in order to protect the IP rights to the invention. If you publish, then the copy right and authorship stays with the authors not with HMC, but HMC policy on authorship apply when it comes to recognizing who can be deemed author in the publication. (HMC POLICY Link) (https://itawasol/EN/How%20We%20Work/HMC-Policies/Documents/RES%2011024%20Intellectual%20Property%20Protection.pdf
) If authors are from multiple organizations then HMC grants a perpetual license for non-commercial purposes on the copy right of the publication to these other organizations.
Q6. Who can apply for AHS Innovation Awards?
Applications are open to all HMC staff either individual, or teams or joint applications with AHS partners as long as the lead applicant is an HMC employee. Furthermore a letter of support from the AHS partner department head should be provided with the application. We have to assure ourselves that employees from other organizations are allowed to work on the invention, either within working hours or outside of working hours.
Q7. We work for AHS partner organizations, can we apply?
Yes, But only if you had an HMC employee in your team when the invention was done. Be aware that improper disclosure of inventors can affect the validity of the patent (application).
You should therefore not pick an HMC employee just to enable access to this Seed Funding Grant. This can have unfortunate consequences. Remember that HMC will claim IP ownership because of the employee and that the inclusion of an HMC employee affects the internal division of revenue shares.
Q8. Will AHS be assessing the winners in any way post awarding?
We want to ensure the prize money is being invested appropriately in the innovation. While we will not be conducting formal assessments, we will contact winners to check progress and whether other support should be provided. We have agreed a Memorandum of Understanding with Qatar Foundation to support the winner, if they have need for it, to develop and spread their innovation.
Q9. We have won other funding from HMC - can we still apply?
Yes, but you need to give a very clear explanation why additional funding through Innovation Awards is needed. And the other funding organization must not have claimed full IP ownership too.