PLN 8 bn R&D funding up for grabs in NCBR 2016 competitions

12-January-2016, 11:16

With as much as PLN 8 billion R&D funding available for scientists and entrepreneurs, the National Centre for Research and Development (NCBR) announced its 2016 competition schedule.

 By increasing R&D engagement and using the results of the activities of scientists, Polish entrepreneurs can provide themselves with dynamic development and a long-term competitive edge. We want to support Polish companies in achieving these goals. We have appropriate resources to that end, while our wide and varied offer responds to the needs of businesses of all sizes and from various industries. We listen carefully to the voice of our partners and have significantly simplified the competition procedures as a result. This includes a simplified application submission and shorter decision-making processes. At the same time we hold competitions that help universities and science institutions increase their abilities to respond to economy’s needs – said the Director of the NCBR Prof. Krzysztof Jan Kurzyd┼éowski.
The year 2016 will see the NCBR announce 25 competitions (excluding competitions within the framework of international programs). Half of them are new proposals addressed both to entrepreneurs as well as universities and science units. Most competitions will be conducted under the Operational Programme Smart Growth. The call for proposals in the first of these, the so-called Demonstrator, announced already in December 2015 under Sub-Measure 1.1.2, has just begun and will last until the end of February. The NCBR has allocated PLN 500 million to support companies in their R&D activities crowned with demo versions of new products. In the autumn the NCBR will announce the second competition, with the same budget. Entrepreneurs will also be able to receive support in three competitions addressed to them under Sub-Measure 1.1.1, the so-called Fast Track. Its aim is to increase the innovation level of Polish enterprises by applying R&D results in their businesses. One of them - a novelty in the NCBR portfolio - will be dedicated to SMEs carrying out projects in less developed regions. The total budget for these competitions exceeds PLN 2 billion.
On the other hand, two new sectoral programmes will be launched under Measure 1.2. Established at the request of business groupings (associations, foundations, chambers of commerce, etc.), these respond to specific, identified sectoral needs, taking into account their development potential. The call for proposals under INNOCHEM, a programme addressed to the chemical industry, will begin on February 1. As for INNOTEXTILE – a programme dedicated to innovators from the textile industry – the call for proposals will start two months later. The NCBR has allocated PLN 180 million to support R&D in those sectors. At the same time, the NCBR will develop co-operation with partners from various industries through joint ventures, e.g. with Synthos SA, PGE SA and PKP Cargo.
Under the framework of the Operational Programme Smart Growth, the NCBR will also announce three new competitions addressed to consortia composed of science units and entrepreneurs as well as science units: Strategic Research Programmes for the Economy (Measure 4.1.1), Regional Science and Research Agendas (Measure 4.1.2), Virtual Institutes’ Research Programmes (Measure 4.1.3). The NCBR will also run the second competition under Sub-Measure 4.1.4 Application Projects. Furthermore, the NCBR will also continue innovative programmes such as BRIdge Alfa and BRIdge VC. Under these last two, in co-operation with partners identified – venture funds – the NCBR will offer public-private support for the most innovative projects.
In 2016, the NCBR will also announce 7 competitions under the Operational Programme Knowledge Education Development. Among other things, universities will be able to apply for resources to strengthen education in entrepreneurship and professional competencies, activities inclusive of employers in new education programmes, to improve the availability of international education programmes as well as to develop their portfolios in the implementation of the third mission of universities. This mission can be carried out e.g. through programmes implemented in co-operation with NGOs. Among the new programmes to be launched in 2016 is also E-Pionier, implemented as a pilot edition under the Operational Programme Digital Poland. The purpose of this first ever programme in Poland that assumes financing solutions in the pre-commercial procurement (PCP) model is to promote the potential of talented programmers to increase the application of digital solutions in the administration and the economy.
Finally, the NCBR will continue to carry out strategic R&D programmes based on the National Research Programme. Q2 2016 will offer the possibility to apply for funding in the third competition under BIOSTRATEG, a programme addressed to science consortia, and in TECHMATSTRATEG – a brand new programme aimed to support R&D in the field of materials technology. The NCBR will also announce competitions under LIDER – a programme supporting young scientists - and, which aims to promote innovative Polish micro, small and medium-sized enterprises in global markets. The call for proposals under the former will begin on 14 January and  last until 14 March, with PLN 40 million up for grabs for young leaders of the Polish science. In the latter, innovative companies focused on conquering foreign markets will be able to apply for NCBR support from April. Last but not least, 2016 will also see the NCBR announce another competition in R&D for the national security.
The full competition schedule is available on the NCBR website.

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