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The objective of the measure (implemented in the form of a grant scheme I.1. in the framework of the Regional Operational Programme for Łódzkie 2014-2020 is to improve the market capabilities of the public R&D units of the Łódzkie region. The measure is motivated by the fact that the region is still characterized by relatively low levels of commercialisation of solutions developed by public R&D units, an insufficient quality of research infrastructure, as well as low levels of cooperation between public R&D and private sector entities. The measure supports projects devoted to the development of the strategic public R&D infrastructure capacity. There are two conditions which need to be met by projects for them to be eligible for co-financing: (i) the project has to comply with at least one of the region’s areas of smart specialisation and (ii) the project must include a presentation of the future ‘research agenda’ which demonstrates the appropriateness of the planned infrastructure to the regional companies’ needs. The eligible costs include both the investment in tangible assets and the know-how development.
The total allocation of funding for this measure amounts to € 59.90m, out of which €50.91m come from EU funds and €8.98m come from national funds (where €4.54m of those are public funds and €4.44m are private). Eligible beneficiaries include scientific units, universities, and scientific consortia.
In accordance with the content of the Regional Operational Programme for Łódzkie 2014-2020, there are three key indicators for measurement of the expected progress to be achieved by this instrument. The value of the first indicator (‘The number of scientists working in the improved R&D infrastructure units’) should reach 129 at 2023. In the case of second ('The number of companies using supported R&D infrastructure') and third indicator ('The number of supported R&D bodies'), it is assumed that until 2023 40 regional companies will cooperate with four co-financed scientific units. One should notice, that a similar instrument (Measure III.1) was developed in the Łódzkie region in the period 2007-2013.
Experience with this similar measure indicates that the planned values are identified properly as in the previous programming period the number of the supported scientific units amounted to three.
One of the most important issues to take into account when launching a similar measure is design of an appropriate ex-ante evaluation of the financial capacity of future beneficiaries.