Proof Of Concept.
This usually is a prototype
of some sort, that test
s whether the assumptions
made during the development
stage of the project are valid. It is then used to gather data
to further improve
the design, so that the design goals
of the project can be met.
A POC can be a real-world object, e.g. the first flying scale model of a new aircraft, or something more virtual, like a new design for a computer program.
In the process of going from a good idea to a finished product or technology, the POC is an important step.