THE NATIONAL CENTRE FOR RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT AS PROGRAMME OPERATOR OF THE PROGRAMME ‘APPLIED RESEARCH’
IMPLEMENTED UNDER THE NORWEGIAN FINANCIAL MECHANISM 2014-2021

ANNOUNCES
THE POLNOR 2019 CALL FOR PROPOSALS

1. Objective of the Programme

The Programme ‘Applied Research’ has been established under the priority sector Innovation, Research, Education and Competitiveness. The objective of Programme ‘Applied Research’ is to enhance performance of Polish applied research in Poland through improved research cooperation between Poland and Norway. The cooperation is to be based on equal partnerships between Norwegian and Polish research institutions and enterprises. The call will support the establishment of long-term strategic partnerships between research institutions and enterprises in Norway and Poland through large bilateral research projects in order to enhance the quality of scientific outputs, upgrade the international visibility of Polish science, establish public-private partnerships, reinforce the links between innovation, research and education and boost innovation. The aim of the Programme is to prepare Project Promoters, project partners and researchers for further research cooperation within the European Framework Programmes for research and technological development and demonstration activities as well as for cooperation within other European programmes and initiatives. The Programme contributes to the development of the European Research Area.

Expected results of POLNOR 2019 Call for Proposals are:

  • enhanced cooperation between the Polish and Norwegian partners involved in projects with the aim for building cooperation for future activities,
  • support to technology transfer, sharing experiences and best practices between science and enterprises,
  • development of new products and technologies,
  • internationally refereed joint publications in the best journals (quality publications available in open access will be promoted),
  • active involvement of young researchers in the projects. 


2. Thematic areas

  • Welfare, health and care,
  • Digital and industry,
  • Food and natural resources,
  • Energy, transport and climate,
  • Social and economic development,
  • Unmanned vehicles

More detailed description of the thematic areas of the POLNOR 2019 Call for Proposals is presented in the document ‘Description of the call areas’.

3. Types of entities eligible for funding

  1. Eligible project promoter (applicant):
    1. Research organisation as defined in the Commission Regulation (EU) No 651/2014 of 17 June 2014 declaring certain categories of aid compatible with the internal market in application of Articles 107 and 108 of the Treaty, and as stipulated in Article 37 paragraph 1 of the Act on the National Centre for Research and Development, established as a legal person in Poland
    2. Enterprise as defined in the Commission Regulation (EU) No 651/2014 of 17 June 2014 declaring certain categories of aid compatible with the internal market in application of Articles 107 and 108 of the Treaty, established in Poland
  2. Eligible project partners:
    1. Norwegian research organisations, as defined in the Commission Regulation (EU) No 651/2014 of 17 June 2014 declaring certain categories of aid compatible with the internal market in application of Articles 107 and 108 of the Treaty complying with the provisions of the RCN (DPP) guidelines for approval of research organisation, however, the lead Norwegian partner shall be approved by the RCN (DPP) in accordance with the provisions of the RCN (DPP) guidelines for approval of research organisation.
    2. Research organisations, as defined in the Commission Regulation (EU) No 651/2014 of 17 June 2014 declaring certain categories of aid compatible with the internal market in application of Articles 107 and 108 of the Treaty and as stipulated in the Polish Law on Higher Education and Science and in the Act on the National Centre for Research and Development, established as a legal person in Poland
    3. Enterprises as defined in the Commission Regulation (EU) No 651/2014 of 17 June 2014 declaring certain categories of aid compatible with the internal market in application of Articles 107 and 108 of the Treaty, established in Poland and Norway.

4. Project Promoter, Project Partners and Principal Investigator

Projects have to be submitted by consortia comprising at least one Polish and one Norwegian entity. The eligible consortium has to include at least one enterprise, established in Poland or Norway.

For each proposal, the project partners designate a Project Promoter (PP) which has the formal administrative responsibility for the project, and has to submit the proposal on their behalf. Project Promoter must be duly authorized to represent all partners on behalf of which it submits the project proposal.

The Project Promoter is responsible for signing the partnership agreement with the project partners. The partnership agreement should be in English and should be submitted to the Programme Operator before the signing of the project contract with the NCBR.

The Project Promoter designate the Principal Investigator (PI), coming from one of the Polish institutions, who is the researcher having the scientific lead of the project on a daily basis.

The Programme ‘Applied Research’ supports early stage researchers, who are planning their career in international science. With this aim in mind, the POLNOR 2019 Call features a separate ranking list for applications, in which the Principal Investigator fits the criteria of ‘young researcher’, as defined in Article 360 section 2 point 2 and Article 360 section 3 of the Act of 20 July 2018 on the Law of Higher Education and Science, (Journal of Laws item 1668, 2018).

5. Type of research

The POLNOR 2019 Call for Proposals aims to support international, Polish-Norwegian research projects. The following types of research/development are eligible:

  • Fundamental/Basic research, as defined in Article 2(84) of Commission Regulation (EU) No. 651/2014,
  • Industrial research, as defined in Article 2(85) of Commission Regulation (EU) No. 651/2014,
  • Experimental development, as defined in Article 2(86) of Commission Regulation (EU) No. 651/2014. 

The costs of fundamental/basic research are eligible only if they are in direct relation to, and necessary for industrial or experimental research planned in the proposal. They may comprise a maximum of 10% of total eligible costs of the Project.

6. The amount of co-financing

Grants in the POLNOR 2019 call may cover up to 100% of eligible costs for research organisations. In case of enterprises, funding quota will be decided on a case-by-case basis depending on the size of the company, type of research/development, under the Regulation of the Minister of Science and Higher Education of 25 February 2015 on criteria and rules on granting state aid and de minimis aid through the National Centre for Research and Development, published in Journal of Laws item 299, 2015.
Only basic/industrial research and experimental development will be funded. Other type of activities (e.g. coordination, dissemination, management) may only be parts of research tasks.

 

Large Enterprises

Medium Enterprises

Small Enterprises

Research organizations

Fundamental
/Basic Research

Up to 100%

Up to 100%

Up to 100%

Up to 100%

Industrial Research

Up to

50+15

(max 65 %)

Up to

50+10+15

(max 75 %)

Up to

50+20+15

(max 80 %)

Up to

100 %

Experimental development

Up to

25+15

(max 40 %)

Up to

25+10+15

(max 50 %)

Up to

25+20+15

(max 60 %)

Up to

100 %

The budgetary allocation to partners should reflect the actual contribution made by each party and should be the subject of negotiation between the Project Promoter and the project partner. It is expected that the eligible costs claimed by the Norwegian entities participating in the project shall normally not exceed 40% of the total eligible costs of the project.

7. The budget of the POLNOR 2019 Call for Proposals and indicative budgets for the thematic areas

The total allocation earmarked for the POLNOR 2019 Call for Proposals is EUR 49 745 454, which will devoted for the co-financing of projects within the six thematic areas listed in the second point of this announcement. The minimum project financing amount is EUR 500 000 and the maximum is EUR 1 500 000. A foreseen duration of projects is up to 3 years.

Budget allocations for the 6 thematic areas are indicative, as follows:

  • Welfare, health and care – EUR 10 000 000,
  • Digital and industry - EUR 10 000 000,
  • Food and natural resources - EUR 10 000 000,
  • Energy, transport and climate - EUR 10 000 000,
  • Social and economic development - EUR 5 245 454,
  • Unmanned vehicles – EUR 4 500 000.


8. Eligible expenditures

  1. Direct cost:
    1. Staff
    2. Consumables and supplies
    3. Equipment
    4. Travel
    5. Other direct costs
    6. Subcontracting
  2. Indirect cost (overheads)


The description of the categories of costs listed above can be found in ‘Cost Eligibility Guide’. The first and final dates of eligibility of each project will be stated in the project contract for that project. Expenditures incurred after 30 April 2024 shall not be eligible.

9. The currency used for the project proposal’s budget and the settlement of costs in the project implementation

The currency used for completing the Project Budget, payments from the Programme Operator and settlements between the Project Promoter and settlements between the Project Partner(s) will be in the Polish zloty (PLN). The European Central Bank’s exchange rate from the date of the call launch will be used for calculating all cost related to the project application and implementation. The project contract will contain the maximum amount of the project grant in euro.

10. The eligibility criteria of the call

The following eligibility criteria apply to all proposals submitted under the call:

  1. receipt of proposal by the Programme Operator before the deadline date and time established in the call and in compliance with ‘Guide For Applicants POLNOR 2019 Call’, p. 2.6;
  2. fulfilment of conditions related to:
    1. composition of the project consortium as defined in ‘Guide For Applicants POLNOR 2019 Call’, p. 2.1,
    2. Project Promoter and project partners eligibility as defined in ‘Guide For Applicants POLNOR 2019 Call’, p. 2.2 and 2.3,
    3. minimum and maximum amount of grant assistance as defined in ‘Guide For Applicants POLNOR 2019 Call’, p. 2.5.1,
    4. maximum project duration and final cost eligibility date as defined in ‘Guide For Applicants POLNOR 2019 Call’, p. 2.5.1,
    5. types of activities as defined in ‘Guide For Applicants POLNOR 2019 Call’, p. 2.5.1,
    6. currency as defined in ‘Guide For Applicants POLNOR 2019 Call’, p. 2.5.2,
    7. cost categories as defined in ‘Guide For Applicants POLNOR 2019 Call’, p. 2.5.4,
    8. intensity of state aid as defined in ‘Guide For Applicants POLNOR 2019 Call’, p. 2.5.5;
  3. confirmation that Project Promoter and project partners:
    1. comply with the principle of equal opportunities and non-discrimination, including accessibility for people with disabilities and the principle of equality between women and men,
    2. are not excluded from the possibility of receiving funding as defined in ‘Guide For Applicants POLNOR 2019 Call’, p. 2.1;
  4. completeness of the proposal as required in the ‘Proposal Manual’;
  5. accordance with the scope of the call as stipulated in ‘Description of the call areas’ - the content of the proposal must relate to the topics of the call; a proposal will only be deemed ineligible on grounds of 'scope' in clear-cut cases.

11. Evaluation process and selection criteria

Evaluation consists of formal (administrative) assessment and scientific peer-review. Only the proposals that meet the formal criteria will be subject to scientific peer-review.
The formal appraisal is carried out by the Programme Operator. The scientific-peer review is carried out by international experts and consists of 2 stages:

  • Individual assessment by experts
  • Consensus assessment by experts.

Following the eligibility check and depending on the number and topics of proposals received, the Programme Operator in consultation with the Programme Committee and Donor Program Partner, decides whether it is appropriate to include a panel review within the selection procedure.

The proposal can receive a total number of 25 points in the evaluation procedure. To be recommended for funding, the proposal must receive at least 15 points and pass all the thresholds according to the values presented in the table below.

Criteria

Thresholds 

     Weight

1. Relevance in relation to the objective and priorities of the research programme

YES

N/A

2. Scientific and/or technical excellence

3/5

x3

3. Quality and efficiency of the implementation and management, including quality and implementation capacity of the applicants and contribution to capacity and competence building

3/5

x1

4. The potential impact through the development, dissemination and use of project results

3/5

x1

The preparation of final ranking lists and recommendation of the proposals for funding are the tasks of the Programme Committee. The Director of the Programme Operator issues funding decisions for the proposals recommended for financing by the Programme Committee.
More detailed information on evaluation procedure is presented in the document ‘Guide for Evaluators’.

12. Payment system

Payments towards the projects are executed in the form of advance payments. The first advance instalment of maximum 30% of the total grant amount will be transferred within 30 days from the signature of the project contract to the Project Promoter through Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego (BGK). The Programme Operator places a payment order. Further advance instalment(s) will be transferred to the project in accordance with an individual schedule of payments and upon approval of the payment request(s), as stipulated in the project contract. These further instalments may be paid when at least 70% of the previous advance instalment(s) has been reported as incurred and not later than 15 days after the Programme Operator’s approval of payment requests.
In case of justified doubts as to the proper performance of the project and in exceptional cases, e.g. unclear financial status, previous irregularities, warning signals /suspicion of financial abuse, a payment model in the form of reimbursement of incurred expenditure may apply to a project, after the analysis (the analysis concerns in particular the situation of the Project Promotor or Project Partner/s as well as scientific and financial progress of the project).

13. Submission of proposals

Applications from Project Promoters for financial support under the POLNOR 2019 Call are made in the form of project proposals submitted to the Programme Operator.

Project Promoter must be duly authorized to represent all partners on behalf of which it submits the project proposal (at least a letter of intent should be signed).

Proposals shall be submitted electronically in English through the Programme Operator’s Electronic Proposal Submission Service (EPSS), available under the following address: https://lsi.ncbr.gov.pl/ 

The Project Promoter can edit and validate the proposal until the closing date of the call. Only proposals that have been completed fully and correctly may be submitted.

Proposals shall be submitted no later than 16:00 (CET) before the relevant submission deadline. Among the applicants in a proposed partnership, only the Project Promoter (identified by user id and password) is authorised to submit a proposal.

Detailed description of the application form and the instruction on how to submit the proposal are presented in ‘Proposal Manual’. Please be informed that the disclosure of any consultant involved in the preparation of the project application is required.

14. Duration of the POLNOR 2019 Call for Proposals

The on-line submission system will be available for applicants as of 23 September 2019.
The deadline for submission of proposals is 12 December 2019 16:00 CET.

15. Call documents

  1. Description of the call areas
  2. Guide for Applicants
  3. Cost eligibility guide
  4. Guide for Evaluators
  5. Proposal Manual
  6. Proposal Manual Annexes:
  7. Project contract template

16. Legal acts

  • Regulation on the implementation of the European Economic Area (EEA) and Norwegian Financial Mechanisms 2014-2021, hereinafter referred to as ‘Regulation’;
  • Guideline for Research Programmes – rules for the establishment and implementation of programmes falling under the Programme Area “Research”, in frame of the ‘Regulation’;
  • Programme Agreement between the Financial Mechanism Committee and Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Investment and Economic Development of the Republic of Poland for the financing of the Programme “Applied Research”;
  • Act of 30 April 2010 on the National Centre for Research and Development (Journal of Laws item 1249, 2018);
  • Act of 20 July 2018 on the Law of Higher Education and Science, (Journal of Laws item 1668, 2018);
  • Regulation of the Minister of Science and Higher Education of 17 September 2010 on the detailed mode of performance of tasks of the National Centre for Research and Development (Journal of Laws No 178 item 1200);
  • Regulation of the Minister of Science and Higher Education of 25 February 2015 on criteria and rules on granting state aid and ‘de minimis’ aid through the National Centre for Research and Development (Journal of Laws item 299, 2015).


17. Question and queries to the Programme Operator

For additional information, please contact:

  • Maciej Jędrzejek - office: +48 22 39 07 160
  • Konrad Kosecki - office: +48 22 39 07 460
  • Krystyna Maciejko - office: +48 22 39 07 489
  • Hanna Sroczyńska - office: +48 22 39 07 198
  • Ewelina Wildner - office: +48 22 39 07 123

The following e-mail address should be used when contacting the NCBR on the matters concerning the POLNOR 2019 Call for Proposals: norwaygrants-at-ncbr.gov.pl