Over PLN 5 bn for innovative projects in 2016 and a further PLN 5.5 bn in 2017. The National Centre for Research and Development (NCBR), an executive agency of the Ministry of Science and Higher Education, invests in R&D projects helping innovators implement the best ideas.
- Under the Operational Programme Smart Growth we devoted nearly PLN 22 million to support NCBR R&D programmes and calls for proposals. In pursuing the objectives of Gowin Strategy and the Plan for Responsible Development, the NCBR supports innovative projects of scientists and entrepreneurs which will translate into economic development and improved quality of life in Poland - says Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Science and Higher Education Jarosław Gowin. - At the same time we do not limit ourselves to continuing the already introduced mechanisms to support R&D commercialisation. Taking advantage of world's best experiences like the US DARPA, we introduce new solutions and set ambitious but concrete goals, providing public support for high risk innovative projects - DPM Gowin emphasises.
NCBR – PO IR funds operator
The Operational Programme Smart Growth is EU’s largest national instrument which finances R&D and innovation. More than PLN 36 bn has been allocated for its implementation in 2014-20. More than a half of this amount, nearly PLN 22 bn, is at the disposal of the NCBR. NCBR - as an executive agency of the Ministry of Science and Higher Education – deals with supporting development and industrial research, R&D commercialisation and science-business collaboration. All these objectives are carried out primarily using PO IR funds. Within the current financial perspective, since 2015 the NCBR has already launched 16 calls for proposals and selected over 600 projects for funding, allocating over PLN 5 bn to this end.
- By co-financing innovative projects of scientists and entrepreneurs, we help reduce risks associated with R&D implementation, thus contributing to a better and faster research commercialisation. Watching the current effects of our actions, as measured by both the increase in business R&D expenditure as well as the growing number of science institutions collaborating with companies in the area of R&D, we look forward to further improvement of innovation indicators of the Polish economy in years to come – says NCBR Director Prof. Maciej Chorowski.
Fast Track for SMEs
In 2016, companies interested in R&D activities could once again apply for funding under the highly successful Fast Track. The NCBR conducted three separate calls for proposals: two for SMEs, including for those implementing projects in less developed regions, and one for large enterprises. A total of PLN 2.5 bn was devoted for R&D funding. In addition, entrepreneurs could also take advantage of Pilot Lines, a call for proposals which allowed companies to test innovative solutions prior to their introduction on the market. The NCBR supported companies with the amount of PLN 156 million.
8 sectoral programmes
Established at the request of entrepreneurs, among the NCBR priorities in 2016 were sectoral programmes which enable the realisation of large R&D projects in specific industries. The Centre launched 8 new programs for:
In the latter two, due to the large number of valuable projects, the NCBR increased the initial allocations by an additional PLN 48 million, whereas under INNOTABOR, a programme dedicated to rail vehicle producers industry, 13 projects with a total value of PLN 320 million are co-financed by the entrepreneurs themselves. Among other things, the following will be created thanks to the supports from this programme: world's first 4-axle locomotive with multi-drive systems as well as an innovative traction-less tram driving technology along with Poland’s first prototype of such vehicle.
Science-industry consortia could apply for funding of innovative projects in the framework of Regional Science and Research Agendas as well as Application Projects. The NCBR allocated a total of PLN 600 million to finance industrial research and experimental development carried out by consortia comprised of companies and science institutions. Scientists and entrepreneurs could also jointly apply for funds under the framework SYNCHEM. Set up by the NCBR together with Synthos S.A., the aim of the programme is to support R&D on a new generation of products in the chemical industry.
Fund of Funds
At the end of 2016 the NCBR also began the implementation of a new financial instrument - BRIdge VC. A Fund of Funds was created which will be managed by PFR Venture. The fund’s capitalisation will amount to EUR 450 million, half of which will be provided by the NCBR while the other half by private investors. VC funds launched in the programme will finance investment projects with a higher risk profile in the form of equity investments in technology companies in the SME sector. The Centre also selected partners in BRIdge Alfa. The latter will see the creation of further investment vehicles that will help commercialise the most innovative ideas at early development stages.
2017 plans – 3 new sectors
In 2017 years the NCBR will continue most of the earlier established programs, e.g. Fast Track - with a record budget of PLN 2.75 bn, sectoral programmes, Regional Science and Research Agendas as well as Application Projects. It will also launch three new sectoral programs for:
It will also launch two new joint ventures: the so-called INGA with PGNiG SA and GAZ SYSTEM SA, (allocation - PLN 200 million) and with PKP Polish Railway Lines (allocation - PLN 25 million).
The NCBR estimates that by the end of 2017, the value of co-financing agreements signed with beneficiaries could reach a total of PLN 10 bn which means that the NCBR would come close to 50% of PO IR at disposal of the NCBR.
Up-to-date information about calls for proposals announced by the NCBR under PO IR is available at www.ncbr.gov.pl
The National Centre for Research and Development
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