Frequently Asked Questions
For AO's innovation funding
In scope are ideas for:
Innovative products, services and initiatives strategically relevant to the core activities of the AO and/or the treatment of musculoskeletal disorders, including orthopedic trauma, spinal conditions, craniomaxillofacial surgery, veterinary surgery, joint preservation and replacement, and sport.
Out of scope are:
- Surgical instruments
- Pure research (unless part of a product development project)
- Clinical studies (unless part of a product development project)
- Product ideas where the IP is not protectable or older than five years
Eligibility and requirements
Anyone can apply to the AO's innovation funding.
Successful project proposal will be assigned to one of the two funding streams:
- The Development Incubator targets new product developments
- The Strategy Fund targets projects relevant to the AO mission
Requirements for new product development
- Patentable idea or patent application aiming to improve the treatment of patients with musculoskeletal diseases.
- Close collaboration with the Technology Transfer team throughout the evaluation and project phase.
- Relevance of addressed clinical problem
- Significant improvement over existing solutions – degree of innovation
- Strong business case
Requirements for strategic or educational projects
- Seed funding cover only direct project costs (no overhead);
- Projects need to be sustainable after seed funding.
Evaluation and timeline
Each application will be reviewed by the AO's Technology Transfer team and assigned to either:
- The Technology Transfer Board for product development projects or;
- The Strategy Fund Committee for strategic projects or in the field of surgeon education.
The deadline for submission of new project proposals is the last day of February and August each year.
The relevant governing body reviews all proposals twice a year, and each applicant receives the first feedback within two months.
Development Incubator process
Strategy Fund process
General terms and conditions
All applications will be handled on a confidential basis. Only the AO Foundation Board, the relevant funding governing body, and the AO 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 applicants gaining funding approval, the collaboration agreement with the AO grants the right to publicly use the applicant's name, photograph, and non-confidential details about the project, agreed beforehand with the applicant.
Intellectual Property (IP)
A cooperation contract will be negotiated to define the rights concerning the involved IP. Usually, any income generated by the projects will be shared between the AO and the inventor. The relative shares depend on the status of the idea when the collaboration started
Be ready to address the following:
Financial request (CHF)
For any other questions, please contact the team.