The projects which are implemented in this funding programme are Strategic Basic Research projects with an economic finality, that are innovative and provide the post-doctoral researcher with ample intellectual properties. Innovation mandates aim to build up scientific or technological knowledge as a basis for economic applications. They present a risk level that is too high to allow their execution as an industrial R&D project
The funding programme is open to anyone who holds a doctorate (PhD) diploma. Flanders Innovation & Entrepreneurship (VLAIO) does not impose any additional restrictions. The scheme is therefore open to all nationalities and all academic disciplines. A postdoctoral researcher acts as the candidate mandate holder, with the guidance of one (or more) academic promotors and one (or more) industrial mentors. The academic promotors monitor the scientific quality and progress of the project. The industrial mentors are responsible for the strategic orientation of the research and guide the candidate on valorisation issues. They participate in determining the research tasks that are necessary to ensure that scientific research results can be transferred to industry. In the second phase, the company is the applicant and is responsible for the co-financing of the project (see further).
A project proposal should be defined and developed in consultation with all partners: the company (companies), the knowledge centre(s) and the candidate mandate holder. The partners must sign a mutual cooperation agreement. This cooperation agreement is preferably appended when submitting the project application; if not, at least a term sheet outlining the mutual agreement between the partners concerning the intellectual property rights on the project results must be signed and submitted before the date stated in the call document.
An innovation mandate provides funding for salary costs, operating costs, equipment costs and fixed costs in relation to one specific employee (the mandate holder). The standard rules of the VLAIO cost model apply a priori. The budget includes the pay-roll for the mandate holder, operating costs, equipment costs and fixed costs. The sum of the non-pay-roll costs (= operating cost+ equipment costs+ fixed costs) is maximum € 40,000 per year in full-time.