The Foundation for Polish Science is launching a new line-up of offers for financing of innovative research with funds from the Smart Growth Operational Programme. Over PLN 305 million will be spent to solve scientific issues of applied importance in research teams, about PLN 205 million will go to creators of technology projects, and about PLN 100 million will be earmarked for researchers seeking to return to scientific work in Poland. The first competitions will be announced at the beginning of February.
Support will be granted under five programmes: TEAM, TEAM-TECH, FIRST TEAM, POWROTY/REINTEGRATION and HOMING. Depending on the programme, it will be possible to obtain from several hundred thousand to several million zlotys for implementation of innovative projects that fall within the National Smart Specializations—identified fields of the economy where Poland seeks to grow its potential to compete at a global level. Firms will also be able to obtain this support. They will receive up to 80% of financing for projects based on rules for award of state aid.
To apply for funding, researchers need to hold at least a doctorate, regardless of nationality. Projects may be realized at research units, in an enterprise, or—in certain instances—in a scientific and industrial consortium. The greatest amount of funds will be earmarked for creation of teams. Funding will be available for experienced researchers pursuing groundbreaking, world-class research programmes (the TEAM project), as well as young PhDs seeking support for creation of their first team (the FIRST TEAM programme). There is a special offer for people with great experience in implementing research results. TEAM-TECH was created with them in mind, as a programme financing team projects aimed at development of technologies, processes, or innovative projects in cooperation with a commercial partner. In this programme, in the future it will also be possible to fund teams developing research services using existing infrastructure. The Foundation will also help make it easier for young PhDs to return to scientific work following an interruption for parenting or work in a non-scientific field (the POWROTY/REINTEGRATION programme). In the HOMING programme, they will be offered grants for postdoctoral fellowships for researchers wishing to return to Poland or come to Poland from abroad.
Recruitment for these programmes is scheduled to last through the end of 2019, with an average of two rounds per year. Every application filed with the Foundation will undergo formal review and a three-stage merits assessment by reviewers and experts on scientific, commercial and interdisciplinary panels.
All of the funds come from the Smart Growth Operational Programme 2014–2020 (Measure 4.4, Increasing human potential in the R&D sector). The Foundation anticipates that the funds will enable financing of over 350 grants, including creation of over 150 teams. Over 2,100 young researchers (undergraduates, doctoral students, PhDs and postdocs) will be involved in implementing projects.
Detailed information in English: YouTube.
See also: 2016_01_22_Info_Day_presentation in Polish and in English.