Three Polish projects are among 31 applications qualified by the European Commission for the next stage of the TEAMING of EXCELLENCE competition. The Foundation for Polish Science helped prepare the winning applications.
Participation in TEAMING OF EXCELLENCE was open to 15 EU member states and some EU-associated countries. A total of 169 projects were submitted, including 19 from Poland. The EC announced the results on Friday, 30 January.
The victorious research teams from Warsaw, Wrocław and Łódź submitted projects involving setting up a new research unit in Poland in cooperation with a foreign partner conducting research of the highest world standard. Now they have one year to prepare a detailed business plan for the new structure. If it is approved, they stand a chance of receiving funding of up to 20 million euros over a period of seven years.
“This unquestionable success of the Polish teams is the result of exceptional cooperation of scientists from Poland and other countries as well as a number of institutions: the Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education, the National Centre for Research and Development (NCBiR) and the FNP. We are pleased that it was effective and are keeping our fingers crossed for the competition’s next stage to go just as well,” says Prof. Maciej Żylicz, President of the Foundation for Polish Science.
TEAMING of EXCELLENCE is an instrument in which the European Commission announced an international call for applications in December 2013. The concept is to establish new research and development centres in the least innovative EU member states, in strategic partnerships with leading research institutions from another EU or EU-associated country. This has been the latest effort to respond to significant differences in the level of innovation between regions of the European Research Area.
“TEAMING of EXCELLENCE is an opportunity to set up new, international research units in Poland and to develop a culture of research excellence in our country. There is no doubt that having such centres would also contribute to creating attractive and competitive jobs for the best researchers from all over the world. That is why the Foundation, responding to an invitation from the Ministry of Science and Higher Education, has committed itself to supporting the participation of Polish teams in this competition”, Prof. Żylicz explains.
The Foundation ran an information campaign about TEAMING OF EXCELLENCE and offered support in preparing relevant, correct and attractive applications. The proposal was targeted at teams that wanted to found completely new, international research units in Poland together with a respected foreign partner.
The Foundation received 43 projects for consideration. After an analysis based on the criteria from the call for applications, the FNP selected 10 projects that best fulfilled the requirements. The FNP’s support for these projects included drawing up and supplying expert analyses on the EC’s premises, objectives and expectations connected with TEAMING of EXCELLENCE; organizing a few individual sessions for each project applicant (over 40 individual meetings in all), at which international experts discussed the draft applications with the applicants; having the applications evaluated by international experts, and regular consultations. The applications were prepared and formally submitted by the NCBiR, the official coordinator.
The projects selected for the competition’s next stage:
- International Centre for Research on Innovative Biobased Materials (ICRI-BioM) in Łódź, formed by the Łódź University of Technology, the Medical University of Łódź, the University of Łódź and the Polish Academy of Sciences’ Centre for Molecular and Macromolecular Studies in association with two Max Planck institutions from Germany: the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) in Mainz and the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry (MPIbpc) in Göttingen – in the chemical and advanced materials sciences
- Wroclaw Centre for Excellence formed by the Wrocław University of Technology and the Fraunhofer Institute of Dresden and the University of Wurzburg from Germany – in photonics and nanomaterials
- CEZAMAT Environment in Warsaw formed by the Warsaw University of Technology, Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute and CEA-Tech (France) – in innovative self-organizing chemical and biochemical sensor networks for identifying threats to the natural environment.