The WIB Virtual Research Institute represents an innovative formula for conducting research at a national level with a strong potential commercialisation.
The Polish government has allocated PLN 450 million from the Polish Science Fund for the first WIB Programme supporting scientific research and development in the field of medical biotechnology. Up to 10 research teams will be established within 10 years from the launching of the Programme in 2020.
The WIB Programme will finance successful teams under the guidance of the leaders with recognized scientific achievements to undertake research projects selected competitively for their potential to develop new Intellectual Property (IP) outcomes (such as new products and technologies) which can be commercialised successfully.
The first competition within the programme was concluded with one selected research team (link) receiving approximately PLN 70 million to finance its scientific activities.
The third competition is now open with a settlement date scheduled for the first quarter of 2024.
More about the competition (link)
Please find more information for scientists who would like to take part in the competition below:
In order to be eligible for funding within the WIB Programme it must be in the field of medical biotechnology and must have a high potential for commercialisation.
Exemplary research topics within the field of medical biotechnology include the development of new therapies based on:
– therapeutic use of RNA biology,
– targeted protein degradation technologies,
– next generations of cell therapies,
– targeted genomic therapy, including gene therapies,
– next generations of biopharmaceutical/biological drugs,
or other therapeutically and socially relevant topics within the field of medical biotechnology.
Currently, the first research project funded within the WIB programme, began in February 2022, is focused on the development of high-efficacy therapeutic mRNA technology and its use in cancer immunotherapy.
The programme does not exclude the possibility of implementing and funding pre-clinical research linked to the project, where this is justified by the outcomes of the project, and can be financed from the programme funds.
The goal of successfully funded applications must be to generate new Intellectual Property outcomes with strong potential for commercialisation, including for example patents or start-up ventures.
More about the rules of the programme in the competition documents here (link)
GROUPS OF RECIPIENTS OF THE PROGRAMME
The Programme distinguishes the following direct recipients of the Virtual Research Institute:
Research team: A group of scientists, consisting of key scientific personnel (leader, members of the key team), and support staff employed by the applicant or by other units, where the research is to be carried out by a consortium of entities.
The programme allows for the involvement of foreign scientists in the research team, provided that, from the day of commencement of work on a research task financed from the programme they will be physically employed in the Polish scientific unit performing the task until the task is completed.
More about the research team here: (link).
Applicant: The scientific unit or entity permanently employing the leader of the research team and potentially other key members and support personnel.
Other units – Other scientific units or entities employing other members of the key and support personnel responsible for undertaking research tasks within a consortium led and coordinated by the applicant.
In the case of a research team created as a consortium from several units, the applicant, i.e. the unit employing the leader, will represent all consortium members in the relationship with the WIB Managing Entity. The consortium agreement should be concluded before the application is submitted and guidelines as to its scope are included in the competition documentation.
THE APPLICANT AND OTHER ENTITIES
All entities directly involved in the research tasks must be established in the territory of the Republic of Poland.
Applicants may only be entities listed in Art. 11 of the Act of April 4, 2019 on supporting scientific activity from Polish Science Fund (Journal of Laws of May 6, 2019, item 823) with reference to Art. 7 (1) (1), (3-6) and (8) of the Act of July 20, 2018 Law on Higher Education and Science (Journal of Laws of August 30, 2018, item 1668, as amended):
- Polish Academy of Sciences,
- scientific institutes of the Polish Academy of Sciences,
- research institutes,
- international research institutes established on the basis of separate act, operating in the territory of the Republic of Poland,
- other entities conducting mainly scientific activity independently and continuously.
Other scientific units may be any unit from the catalogue of acceptable entities (above), as for the applicant, and other legal persons or organizational units without legal personality which are not an applicant and which employ at least one person from the research team.