Objectives of the programme
Contents presented in this article are preliminary information about the Virtual Research Institute (Polish: Wirtualny Instytut Badawczy – WIB) and are intended for potential Applicants to familiarize themselves with the Open Competion being prepared as early as possible.
In connection with the above, ŁUKASIEWICZ – PORT clearly informs that the presented responses cannot constitute the basis for formulating subsequent claims against ŁUKASIEWICZ – PORT as the Managing Entity.
The Virtual Research Institute Programme is aimed at financing the work of selected internationally competitive research teams conducting research activities with a high potential for socio-economic applications, supervised by leaders with recognised academic achievements, the purpose of which is the commercialisation of its results. The allocation for the performance of the programme amounts to PLN 450,000,000 and will be used for the financing (up to 100%) of research tasks carried out in the field of medical biotechnology – oncology. As a rule, the programme does not dictate any specific financial envelope for a single research task (the minimum/maximum value of the task) over the specific, total value of the allocation for the programme.
The research topics eligible for financing from the programme include in particular:
- precision oncology, including the new immuno-oncology therapies;
- cancer recurrence prevention through recognition of their mechanisms and the development of the proper interventions;
- diagnostics: development of selective, specific and cost-effective markers for early detection of cancer;
- clarification of the mechanisms and processes playing a key role in cancer development;
- other, therapeutically and socially important topics in the field of medical biotechnology – oncology.
The above catalogue should be considered as an example. It does not include all research topics eligible for financing from the programme if they relate to the field of medical biotechnology – oncology and have a high potential for socio-economic application and commercialisation.
Moreover, financing the research activities of a research team from the programme does not exclude the performance and financing of pre-clinical tests related to the development works if they are justified and eligible for financing from the programme.
Regardless of the selected topic of the research tasks selected for financing, their objective must be the development of an IP with a potential for commercialisation.
The managing entity does not define any closed catalogue of output indicators. The applicant has to define them in its application for funding each time and individually. The technology/group of technologies developed as part of the work conducted by the research team should be the final output indicator. The output indicators should be measurable, achievable and compliant with the work plan adopted for the research team.
Research tasks will be carried out by research teams formed by the key personnel (the leader and other members of the key team) and the support personnel. All members of the team need to be employed by research units covered by the system of higher education and science based on the territory of Poland. The programme admits carrying out the task in the form of a consortium of research units. Only a scientist with recognised achievements (i.a. a doctoral title) may be the project leader. The leader will be responsible for the substantive performance of the research task, coordination of work of the research team, coordination of the process of reporting on task performance progress and contacts with the managing entity.
The applicants may be recruited only from among the entities mentioned in Art. 7 (1) points 1, 3-6 and 8 of the Act of 20 July 2018 – Law on Higher Education and Science (Journal of Laws of 30 August 2018, item 1668 as amended) .
According to the programme, research teams are obliged to provide in their application for funding a detailed description of the research task and its work plan for the maximum period of 5 years. In the above-mentioned period, the research team should achieve the objective in the form of a technology/group of technologies developed according to the relevant procedures and standards necessary for its commercialisation and implementation and which will be qualified to enter the stage of development, and later, commercialisation. At the request of the leader, financing of the research team can be extended for a maximum further period of 5 years. If such application is submitted, the research team will be obliged to present the proposal for continuing the research task or carrying out a new research task based on new ideas or concepts. The presented proposal will be evaluated in a manner and under the principles set out by the managing entity.
The catalogue of eligible costs includes the following categories of expenditure:
- remuneration of members of research teams,
- costs of research equipment and write-offs on fixed and intangible assets, including, i.a., depreciation of equipment, hire and lease; the purchase of new equipment is allowed up to the amount of PLN 100,000.00 net, following the proper justification of the expenditure,
- costs of subcontracting/external services,
- other direct costs, including, among others, the purchase of materials, small equipment, official trips, publications, expert opinions and analyses, and the costs of administration and management directly related to the project.
The programme provides for the application of a flat rate to cover the indirect costs of the projects, equal up to 15% of the total eligible direct costs, excluding subcontracting/external services, research equipment, fixed and intangible assets.
During the execution of the task, the applicant and other units must comply with the provisions of the Public Procurement Law, to the extent in which they are subject to this law. If the specific expenditure is not subject to these provisions, the units will be obliged to apply the principle of competitiveness interpreted at least as the necessity of comparing market offers.
The eligibility period for the expenditure of research teams may start no earlier than on the day following the day of submitting the application.
The research teams selected under competition will be invited to sign the funding agreement. The programme provides financing of up to 100% of eligible costs. According to the principle of cost pre-financing, the funding will be paid out in tranches, in quarterly periods. However, after the first year of performance of the task, the amount of instalments will depend on the level of settlement of funds paid out in the previous reporting periods.
When the agreement is signed, the research team will be required to submit quarterly substantive and financial reports on the progress of research task performance. The reports will be evaluated by employees of the managing entity and dedicated experts in the fields of science and economy related to the research task. The approval of reports will be the condition for the payment of subsequent tranches of funds (with the exception of the first year of funding).
Based on the periodic reports submitted, the managing entity will decide if the financing of a research task will be continued, continued under specific conditions, suspended, stopped or finished.
The call is planned to be announced in 2020
The documentation attached in the announcement of the call will be the only source of binding information on its terms and conditions