Undertake a proof of concept process

By undertaking a proof of concept (POC) process you are gathering sufficient evidence of the technical viability of your product or service. Some commercial feasibility assumptions or conclusions may need to be adjusted as new knowledge of the product emerges.

The POC stage generates knowledge about the product’s design, performance, production requirements, and preliminary production costs. The end result is a working model known as a prototype.

Ideas are turned into operational form (not necessarily the final form). The core functionality of the idea is tested, basic prototypes may be developed and IP registration can be established. It is essential that the results of a POC are reproducible, and, if relevant, the quality expectations of the relevant regulatory community are satisfied. The table below provides further clarification and detail of the typical activities that could be involved in a POC. Some activities will involve:

  • initial production of a new product prototype and testing that it can actually be used as planned
  • running a new process for the first time and testing that it performs the desired transformation of inputs to outputs
  • delivering a service for the first time, testing that the expected benefits to recipients are realised and that the delivery method is effective.

Typical activities involved before, during and after POC activities for certain product classes:



Engineering and manufacturing

Information technology and telecommunications

Research and development

  • Research solutions
  • Identification of lead compound for trials
  • Develop pre-clinical solutions
  • Toxicity testing
  • Optimisation
  • Research solutions
  • Research components
  • Establish specifications
  • Process flow diagram
  • Process and instrumentation diagram
  • Modelling
  • Simulation
  • Develop solutions for core innovations
  • Research solutions
  • Requirements analysis
  • System design
  • Functional specification
  • Software requirements documentation
  • Modelling
  • Build of first prototype (core innovation)

Proof of concept

  • Build and test full prototype
  • Integrate components
  • Laboratory tests
  • Optimisation
  • Refine design
  • Integration
  • Build first version of product
  • Alpha, pilot testing
  • System, load, interoperability testing
  • Platform support
  • Integration
  • Optimisation
  • Implementation and Quality Assurance documentation

Early stage commercialisation

  • Field trials
  • Design production process
  • Tool-up for trial production
  • Trial production
  • Test procedures documentation
  • Beta testing
  • Field trials
  • Test procedures documentation

Some essential, yet generic, activities in the POC:

  • examine the operational requirements of the product or process
  • identify potential safety and environmental hazards
  • conduct a preliminary production assessment
  • conduct a preliminary manufacturing assessment
  • estimate engineering prototype costs.

Also consider...