VLAIO’s Innovation mandates are intended for postdoctoral researchers who wish to deploy active efforts to achieve the effective transfer, the exploitation and the utilisation of their research findings, either through a collaboration with an existing company, or a new spin-off company to be established.
There are thus various types of mandates:
1) Innovation mandates leading to the establishment of a spin-off company (spin-off mandates). The main objective of this type of innovation mandates is to establish a spin-off developing an industrial activity in Flanders. The mandates are 100% funded by the Agency for up to 2 years. The mandate stops the moment the spin-off is established.
2) Innovation mandates involving cooperation with existing companies. These innovation mandates may consist of 2 phases:
· Exceptionally, a first phase of up to 12 months can be supported by a 100% subsidy to the university/knowledge centre. This is a stage during which more research is required to assess the feasibility in a business context. Should the assessment be positive, this phase is followed by the second phase, the transfer of results.
· A second phase of up to 24 months, in which a company is the applicant and is responsible for the strategic orientation of the research, and provides co-financing (VLAIO provides a subsidy of 50 to 80% of the approved project budget, depending on the size of the applicant company). In Phase 2, the funding is granted as direct state aid to companies.
Mandates starting with Phase 1 shall proceed to Phase 2 after 6 months or after 12 months at the latest. The total project can run over 24 months or a maximum of 36 months.
The application should clearly indicate which type of mandate has been chosen. There are different application forms corresponding to the different types of mandates.
The funding programme is open to anyone who holds a doctorate (PhD) diploma. VLAIO does not impose any additional restrictions. The scheme is therefore open to all nationalities and all academic disciplines. All companies with activities in Flanders may take the role of applicant in Phase 2. For spin-off mandates, provisions must be made to set up the company in Flanders.
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