Virtual Research Institute [Polish: Wirtualny Instytut Badawczy – WIB] is an innovative nationwide formula for conducting research with high potential for social and economic applications. The area of WIB research is medical biotechnology – oncology. The amount of PLN 450 million has been allocated to support research teams.
The Virtual Research Institute was defined by The April 4, 2019 Act on Supporting Scientific Activity From the Polish Science Fund (Journal of Laws of May 6, 2019, item 823), while the scope of financing, its size and purpose, as well as the managing entity were defined in the Communications of the Minister of Science and Higher Education.
The Virtual Research Institute program is a tool for distributing funds from the Polish Science Fund. Its aim is to finance the work of selected, internationally competitive research teams, conducting scientific activities with high potential for social and economic applications, under the guidance of a leader of recognized scientific achievements, whose aim is to commercialize its results.
Within the framework of the program, financing will be provided to research teams that will plan research tasks that fit into a specific research agenda. The program allows for the possibility of carrying out tasks located in various scientific units in Poland.
The entity managing the Virtual Research Institute program for the area of medical biotechnology – oncology is the Łukasiewicz Research Network – PORT Polish Center for Technology Development based in Wrocław.
Ultimately, it is possible to launch subsequent editions of the Virtual Research Institute program in other fields of science that are attractive for development of the Polish economy.
Documents related to the legal basis of WIB functioning and the rules of its coordination can be downloaded from the DOWNLOADS tab.
WIB – MEDICAL BIOTECHNOLOGY – ONCOLOGY
The funds of the WIB program in the area of medical biotechnology – oncology (a total of PLN 500 million) are allocated to:
- financing teams conducting scientific activity in a specific research area (medical biotechnology – oncology), the aim of which is to develop an IP with a high commercialization potential,
- commercialization of the results of research teams’ work or know-how related to the results.
The program gives the possibility to finance up to 100% of the costs of research tasks and does not impose financial limits as to the size of the budget outside the available allocation of the program.
The catalogue of eligible costs includes, inter alia:
- competitive remuneration of the research team,
- costs of using the research infrastructure, including depreciation of own equipment,
- the purchase of materials, small equipment and external services necessary for the proper conduct of the planned tests,
- project management and administration costs under direct costs,
- flat-rate indirect costs of 15%.
The research team consists of leader, other key personnel, and support staff. Key personnel, including the leader, may come from a variety of scientific entities, which will conclude a consortium agreement for the purpose of submitting a proposal and carrying out a joint research task. Key personnel, including the leader, are subject to criteria for evaluation of scientific achievements, career development, achievements and experience in conducting and managing scientific research, leadership of research teams and cooperation with business.
The process of selecting research teams is as follows:
- announcement of the call, launching of the call for proposals (WIB program website)
- call for proposals, information meetings, consultations
- completion of the call, list of applications submitted
- formal assessment of applications in terms of compliance of the documentation with the provisions of the competition rules
- substantive assessment based on scientific and economic and social criteria
- panel of experts
- ranking of applicants
- appeal procedure
- signing contracts for financing
In selecting research teams, the managing entity shall take into account:
- previous achievements of the members of the research team in the field of scientific activity and commercialization of the results of this activity;
- the potential of the research team to carry out scientific activities at the highest world-class level;
- the importance of the expected effects of scientific activity on the economic development and development policy of the country, including the contribution to the innovativeness of the economy;
- commercialization potential of the planned effects of scientific activity.
The role of the entity managing the WIB program is performed by the Łukasiewicz Research Network – PORT Polish Center for Technology Development based in Wrocław. The managing entity is responsible for organizing and conducting open call for proposals for the selection of research teams, organizing the work of experts, signing contracts for financing, supervision and support for the implementation of research tasks, distribution of fund resources, coordination of the process of commercialization of new technologies and products.
The planned call for proposals for research teams funding will be carried out at the turn of the year 2019/2020.
Announcements concerning competitions for the selection of research teams and experts, information about the dates of information and consultation meetings and all information concerning the implementation of the WIB program will be published on the WIB website on an ongoing basis. We invite you to visit the NEWS tab regularly.