Baekeland mandates focus on supporting doctoral research in close cooperation with business/industrial sector. The projects in question are assigned to a consortium of a Flemish company and a Flemish university. Other types of knowledge centres (or research institutes, strategic research centres, colleges, etc.) could also act as host institutes in so far that they cooperate with a scientific supervisor affiliated with a university. The projects relate to doctorate-level research which, if successful, will have a clear economic purpose and add value for the company involved in the project. A Baekeland mandate includes the financing of salary costs, operating expenses, equipment expenses and fixed costs related to one specific employee.
At least five parties are involved in a Baekeland mandate:
- VLAIO, which grants the mandate and provides a subsidy of 50 to 80% of the approved project budget (depending on the size of the applicant company).
- The company, that acts as the main applicant, appoints an industrial promotor and is responsible for the co-funding.
- The mandate holder, who is employed by the company or research institution.
- The knowledge centre with which the mandate holder is associated.
- The promotor responsible for the doctoral supervision and who is affiliated with a university.
The research may take place in both the research institute and the company. A mandate normally lasts four years, with a mid-term review after two years. Part-time staffing is possible (minimum 50%).
Baekeland mandates are open to all candidates who are admitted into a doctoral programme by a Flemish university. The scheme is therefore open to all nationalities and to all people holding diplomas that the education institute accepts for subscribing to a doctoral programme. Anyone wishing to apply for a Baekeland mandate must first set up a partnership with a company and a university promotor. The application will be submitted by the company. Any company with a Flemish seat may submit an application. The mandate holder may be an employee of the company or an employee of the research institution.
There are two annual deadlines for the submission of applications: in the beginning of March and in the beginning of September.
The Research Coordination office:
- Helps with process-related questions (e.g. questions about the application template, submission procedure etc.).
- Acts as an intermediary between the researchers and VLAIO
- Acts as an intermediary when internal (TTO, PER, FIN) or external (ICL, etc.) consultation is necessary
- Helps with preparing the project budget
- Checks the final project budget
- Helps with administrative formalities relating to Hasselt University
- Coordinates the signing process of the declaration of intent by the rector