Frequently Asked Questions

GENERAL INFORMATION

What Does SAIRA Stand for?

SAIRA is a digital matchmaking platform focused on Sustainability, Access, Innovation, Research, and Application.

When, Where & Why Was SAIRA Founded?

The idea for SAIRA emerged in 2017 out of the “Fraunhofer for Development” (F4D) project that already worked with WAITRO to identify local challenges through expertise of RTOs. However, the matching process was quite tedious, and the F4D team finally thought of a much more efficient and easy way to bring together Solution Seekers and Problem Solvers from all over the world: an online platform. They gained the support of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research and were able to go ahead with building the Open Innovation Hub SAIRA. In 2018 the digital infrastructure was set up and at the end of the year Dr. Eckart Bierdümpel, head of the project, was elected as WAITRO’s Secretary General. SAIRA was presented at the 24th WAITRO General Assembly in Penang, Malaysia and received very positive feedback. With the support of the more than 160 WAITRO member organisations SAIRA’s foundation is a strong pool of highly qualified researchers that are available to collaborate on global challenges. SAIRA was launched on the 10th of January in 2019.

Where Is SAIRA Operated?

SAIRA is operated and hosted by the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft in Germany.

Who Can Join SAIRA?

SAIRA is a matchmaking service for researchers that are working for member RTOs of WAITRO as well as employees of companies and start-ups.

How Much Does it Cost to Join SAIRA?

Nothing, the use of SAIRA is free. SAIRA is funded by the German Ministry of Education and Research and has no commercial aim.

Registering on SAIRA as a company or start-up (Solution Seeker) and using the tools “Industrial Challenges” and “Start-Up Challenges” is completely free of charge for individuals working for companies and start-ups.

Registering on SAIRA as a WAITRO member (Problem Solver) and using all the tools is completely free of charge for researchers of RTOs, which are members of the World Association of Industrial and Technological Research Organizations (WAITRO).

FAQs OF PROBLEM SOLVERS

How Do I Register as a Problem Solver?

To register as a Problem Solver, you need to be a WAITRO member. Use your institutional e-mail address to sign up, otherwise the system can not recognize your affiliation with WAITRO.

Can I Begin Drafting a Proposal and Finish it Later?

Yes, you can start a proposal draft and come back later to finish it. Once you have submitted your proposal you cannot edit it anymore.

Can I Submit Multiple Proposals to Multiple Challenges?

Yes, you can propose solutions for as many challenges as you like. Make sure to only submit well developed and thought through proposals.

Can I Submit Multiple Solutions for One Challenge?

Yes, but it is strongly recommended that you only submit well thought through and developed solutions.

Can I Contact a Platform Member without Posting a Challenge or Submitting a Proposal?

No, contact a person that submitted a challenge, project idea or a proposal

Is it Possible to Collaborate with More Than One Party?

Yes. In fact, for some projects it might be beneficiary for more collaborators to come together.

USER TOOLS & WORKSPACES

What Is a Work Space?

We have created a secure online room called workspace, which guarantees Problem Solvers and Solution Seekers the sharing of confidential communication after a successful matchmaking.

In SAIRA’s workspaces, our users can exchange ideas.

How Do I Open a Workspace?

To open a workspace, you must accept a proposal submitted by a Problem Solver. Once you have accepted a proposal, the button “Open Workspace” will appear, so you can easily start your collaboration.

INTERLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS & POSTING CHALLENGES

How Is Intellectual Property (IP) Managed Throughout the Process?

That depends on you. If you post an idea on SAIRA, your IP rights remain with you. Once you start a collaboration, it depends on you and your team and how you draft your Confidential Disclosure Agreement (CDA) or Non Disclosure Agreement (NDA). Whenever uploading a proposal and sharing your idea, we do advise you to not give out any confidential information unless all parties involved have signed an NDA.

Does My Idea Need to Be at a Certain Development Stage to Be Posted as a Challenge?

No, however, the more detailed you describe the challenge the easier it will be to exactly tailor solutions to the problem you are describing.

Is there a Limit to the Number of Challenges I Can Post?

No, you can post as many challenges as you want. However, we ask you to not post any challenges unless you actually plan to collaborate on them and want to implement them.

Do I Have Limited Time to Accept or Reject a Proposal?

No. However, we strongly recommend to accept proposals no later than 3 weeks after the submission deadline has passed.

Is it Possible to Reuse the Same Idea for Different Applications?

There is no commercial use of ideas unless it has been explicitly stated in a collaboration agreement.

FUNDING & FINANCING

Does SAIRA or WAITRO Provide Funding for Research Projects?

No, SAIRA does not provide direct funding. However, part of our service is to identify and draw attention to funding opportunities. Calls and requests for innovative research are frequently disseminated. We actively approach potential investors and promote SAIRA projects to acquire financial means. SAIRA also facilitates cooperation with companies and paves the way to conduct contract research.

FAQs OF SOLUTION SEEKERS

How Do I Register on SAIRA as a Solution Seeker?

To register as a Solution Seeker you have to work for a company or at a start-up. You can register on SAIRA for free and upload your challenge.

Can I Draft a Challenge and Finish it Later?

Yes, you draft a Challenge and come back later to finish it. Once you have submitted your Challenge you cannot edit it anymore.

Can I Submit Multiple Challenges?

Yes, you can propose solutions for as many challenges as you like. Make sure to only submit well developed and thought through proposals.

Can I Contact a Platform Member without Posting a Challenge?

No, contact a person that submitted a challenge, project idea or a proposal.

Is it Possible to Collaborate with More Than One Party?

Yes. In fact, for some projects it might be beneficiary for more collaborators to come together.

Who Can See my Challenges?

Challenges are never disclosed to other Solution Seekers. Only SAIRA’s Problem Solvers and you can see your uploaded Challenge.

Do I Have to Pay for Proposals submitted to My Challenges?

You are not obligated to pay for proposed solutions. You only pay for R&D services (Industrial Challenges) after a cooperation agreement is signed.