Fast Track millions for companies in less developed regions
Micro- and SMEs will compete for a total of PLN 750 million. This is the amount of funding available for industrial research and development work in another competition under the so-called Fast Track. The flagship initiative of the NCBR will this time see a vast amount of money dedicated to projects implemented outside the Mazowsze region.
The innovative formula of Fast Track is based on two foundations: reducing formalities to a minimum and a short decision-making time - about 60 days. The procedure is intuitive and the entire application can be completed and submitted electronically. In the new competition, support for projects located in the Mazowsze region amounts to PLN 76 million, with PLN 674 million up for grabs for projects implemented elsewhere in Poland.
- Innovative projects, such as software for drones or smart medical wristbands often arise in small centres way beyond the centre of Poland. By directing a dedicated stream of funding towards them, we want to support a more balanced regional development. The new edition of Fast Track is meant to encourage researchers and entrepreneurs creating new solutions to become the engines of innovation in their local communities - DPM Jarosław Gowin, Minister of Science and Higher Education, explains.
Under Fast Track, micro, small and medium entrepreneurs can apply for funding for projects involving industrial R&D, or development works on products and technological solutions that serve the development of business conducted and sharpening the company's competitive edge. The subject of the work must fall within one of the so-called National Smart Specialisations. The funding rate reaches up to 80 percent, depending on e.g. the size of the company.
- The balance of Fast Track from 2015 until today shows that it is the NCBR’s most popular competition. Since the opening of the first calls for proposals for SMEs, entrepreneurs have submitted 2,219 projects worth five times more than the program budget envisaged - PLN 13,15 billion, with the allocation per competition totalling PLN 2,35 billion - NCBR Director Prof. Maciej Chorowski indicates.
The list of companies that received support under Fast Track for SMEs includes:
Saule Technologies of Olga Malinkiewicz, the creator of the breakthrough technology of printing of photovoltaic cells on a flexible foil, which can be e.g. glued to the mobile phone and allow its charging by the light
Efneo, creator of the drive system for electric bicycles
Poltreg, which developed a vaccine against diabetes based on TREGS method
Apeiron Synthesis, with the project of producing a new generation of catalysts used e.g. in the production of medicines and cosmetics.
In the new edition of Fast Track, as in the past, following a formal verification, projects will be evaluated by a panel of experts as regards their science-technology and business-economy aspects.
The minimum value of the eligible costs of the project co-funded under competition will be PLN 2 million in the case of SMEs planning to implement a project in the regions classified as less developed ones, and PLN 5 million for those implemented in the Mazowieckie region. The maximum value of funding per company may reach from EUR 15 to 50 million.
The call for proposals will begin on 1 September 1 and last until 30 December 2016.
This is already the fifth competition announced by the NCBR under Sub-Measure 1.1.1 of the Operational Programme Smart Growth (PO IR) “Industrial R&D carried out by enterprises” PO Intelligent Development. The aim of PO IR is to increase the innovativeness of Polish enterprises by applying R&D results in their business activities.