Terms and conditions
The Strategy Fund (SF) was launched by the AO Foundation Board (AOFB) in December 2013 to fund early stage ideas for innovative products, services and technologies strategically relevant to any clinical area – preferably across clinical areas – in musculoskeletal disorders, including orthopedic trauma, spinal conditions, craniomaxillofacial surgery, veterinary surgery, and joint preservation and replacement.
Eligible projects must focus on either:
- Clinical tools and technologies for any element of the entire patient journey in musculoskeletal disorders, from diagnosis to post-operative care; or
- Educational tools, platforms or channels for lifelong training of surgeons.
We only support early-stage ideas with seed funding for direct project costs (no overhead). We do not fund educational events nor basic research.
Anyone with a compelling idea that fits the scope of the SF. All successful applicants should become members of an AO clinical division.
Applications are evaluated by the SF committee, which submits recommendations to the AOFB for approval. The committee comprises the following members: Neal Futran (chair), Jean Pierre Cabassu, Jeffrey Wang (AOFB representative).
Applications are evaluated for their impact on the mission of the AO and against the following criteria:
- Strategic impact and need
- Degree of innovation
- High potential growth area
- Quality of team
Short listed applicants will be invited to discuss their idea in person with the SF committee.
There is no pre-defined minimum or maximum amount of funding per project; rather each application is evaluated on its own merits. Financing is provided in tranches, tied to fulfilment of milestones and deliverables. This is managed on a case-by-case basis, depending upon the nature of and the needs of each approved project, and is specified in an agreement between the AO and the applicant covering all aspects of the project including funding, responsibilities and outcomes. Successful applicants are expected to fully document actual expenditure throughout the lifetime of the project. As we only provide seed funding, a prerequisite for approval is formal confirmation of how the project will be funded after the SF phase of the project is concluded.
Every approved project is closely monitored against agreed milestones and deliverables on an ongoing basis throughout the lifetime of the project, for which successful applicants must submit regular progress reports.
The deadline for each round of submission is either January 31 or July 31.
Applicants could be asked to supplement further details and short listed applicants will be invited for a live presentation. Final approval takes place in June and December.
General terms and conditions
Management of the SF
The SF operates under the management of the AOFB which, as the sole decision-making body, retains all rights to approve, reject or request amendments to any application at its discretion. The decisions of the AOFB are final and binding.
All applications are handled on a confidential basis. Only the AOFB and relevant members of AO management can access the applications, and only for the purpose of evaluation. We may involve external experts to assist with evaluation, if such experts sign non-disclosure agreements. We reserve the right to publicly use the applicant's name and photograph and details about the project for matters relating to the SF.
Successful applicants are exclusively responsible for the management and supervision of project personnel, in accordance with applicable legal and regulatory requirements including local laws and regulations.
Intellectual Property (IP)
If the SF funds a project for which IP already exists, any such IP shall be licensed to the AO in a separate agreement as a pre-requisite to obtain funding. If a project is fully funded by the SF, it is expected that ownership and/or rights for commercial valorisation of new IP resulting from it will belongs to the AO. Exceptions to this rule are possible and will be negotiated before the final project's approval.