Frequently Asked Questions

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The area of focus is improvement in patient care as it applies to orthopedic trauma, spinal conditions, craniomaxillofacial surgery, and veterinary surgery.

Out of scope are:

  • Surgical instruments
  • Pure research (unless it translates into product development)
  • Education
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Ideas where the IP is not protectable
  • IP older than five years


What is expected of a successful AODI fund applicant?

  • Patentable idea or patent application aiming to improve the treatment of patients with musculoskeletal diseases.

  • To engage during the evaluation with AO Development Incubator (AODI) to confirm inventiveness and novelty and drafting a patent unless a patent already exists or has been applied for.

  • To work with the program manager to support the development and execution of the proof of concept (PoC) phase.

  • To provide a point of contact/feedback to PoC researchers and developers.

  • To support the developing organization with regular reviews and site visits.

  • To invest time and effort leading up to the initial development of a PoC.


What can you expect from AODI?

  • Absolute confidentiality—a non-disclosure agreement will be signed as a first step in the approval process.

  • Support (expert know-how, manpower, and financial) in the following tasks to achieve a PoC:

    IP protection and 'freedom to operate' for the PoC phase
    Project planning and execution
    Access to the AO network
    Finding appropriate partners for the valorization of the concept

What level of funding can be applied for?

The AODI can invest up to USD 3 million over 5 years.

It is critical to provide as much detail as possible about the amount, timing, and type of funding required by your proposal. In addition, you should also provide further explanation and justification as to how funds will be utilized and describe in detail the corresponding outcomes and deliverables.

Is it possible for additional funding partners to be involved?

Depending on the project, additional partners may be involved.​


Who evaluates the applications?

Each application will be evaluated by the AODI team, and ultimately by the AODI Board​. The AODI Board review all received proposals twice a year, in June and December, and each applicant will receive feedback within two months.

How will my application be evaluated?

  1. Based on the non-confidential information submitted, the AODI team selects a longlist of projects that fit our focus area, fulfil the basic requirements for ideas, and have promising potential for valorization.
  2. In close cooperation with the inventor and experts from the AO network the idea will be rated with respect to IP, technical feasibility, clinical benefits, and market potential.

What happens after I send in the application form?

Shortlisted candidates will be invited to discuss their idea in person with the AODI Board.​



All applications will be handled on a confidential basis. Only the AO Foundation Board, AODI Board, and relevant members of AO Foundation Executive Management will have access to the applications, and only for the purpose of evaluation. Experts will be involved only under a non-disclosure agreement. For those applications that gain funding approval, the AO Foundation reserves the right to publicly use the applicant's name, photograph, and details about the project for matters relating to AODI.

Intellectual Property (IP)

A cooperation contract will be negotiated to define the rights concerning the involved IP. Usually any generated income from the projects will be shared between the AO and the inventor. The relative shares depend on the status of the idea when the common project started.​



For any other questions, please contact the AODI team, at​