For an ever-growing group of Polish companies and institutions, the word "innovation" ceases to be just a fashionable slogan and becomes a fact. This is due to the support of the National Centre for Research and Development (NCBR), an executive agency of the Minister of Science and Higher Education, which co-finances innovative projects with market potential conducted by scientists and entrepreneurs. The agency supports innovators at all stages of project implementation, helping "from idea to industry". By "insuring" the risk related to conducting R&D works, it enables to start or continue innovative projects, thanks to which entrepreneurs build their competitive advantage, while end-users stand a chance to use ever better products and services adapted to their needs.
One of the NCBR programmes that allow to effectively combine the demand from the market with the potential of teams capable of providing specific solutions which meet the needs of the ordering parties is e-Pionier. The ministerial agency supports young talented programmers through accelerators selected in competitions in the implementation of projects which, thanks to the use of new technologies, stand a chance to become breakthrough in solving significant social or economic problems. It is all about developing and implementing digital solutions that will improve the quality of life of the society.
With an NCBR allocation of PLN 100 million, e-Pionier is implemented in the pre-commercial procurement model (Pre Commercial Procurement). This means that the contracting party defines a specific problem for which there is no solution yet available on the market. NCBR thus not only transfers funds to create a new solution, but also helps to build a market for it. The accelerators selected by NCBR associate public institutions with interdisciplinary teams that create solutions which respond to specific social and economic problems. The following programmes are among those already being carried out under e-Pionier:
- a precise landing system on an unstable platform for an unmanned vehicle - demand reported by the Fire Protection Centre
- automatic multi-level parking system for bicycles - demand reported by the Board of Roads and Greenery of the City of Gdynia
- monitoring and warning system for changes in air quality - demand reported by Powiat Wadowice
- automatic system of verification of planned timetable implementation - demand reported by Goleniów Municipal Office.
As emphasised by NCBR Director Prof. Maciej Chorowski, under e-Pionier young creators have not only been provided with comprehensive support for their research projects, but given an opportunity to develop their own technology companies. One cannot overestimate the cooperation required in the implementation of such a project - working in an interdisciplinary team under the supervision of a mentor allows programme participants to gain experience which is so highly valued in business. The teams participating in the program gain not only funds for the technological and business verification of their ideas, but also consultancy in the fields design, intellectual property rights or technology, as well as an opportunity to develop their competences through participation in seminars, workshops or study visits.
More information about NCBR programmes can be found on the NCBR.gov.pl website
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