This programme aims to support technological innovation within Walloon companies by conducting research (experimental development), to develop a new product, process, industrial design or service that satisfies market demand, and which is expected to be commercially viable in the short term. To do this, the company must collaborate with one or two research centres in Wallonia. The company is provided with funding in the form of a recoverable advance.
The company’s financial strength is evaluated in accordance with the procedure set out in the handbook (and on the Wallonia research and technology portal: http://recherche-technologie.wallonie.be/go/anafin), by requesting the drafting of a financial plan that details the funding of the project by the company.
This plan comprises elements that are used to assess the company’s financial ability to perform the activities and to use the expected results.
- Companies, regardless of their size, which have a business unit in Wallonia and satisfy the definition of the recommendation from the European Commission of 6 May 2003 (2003/361/EC) (Official Journal L124 of 20 May 2003). At the time of submitting the application, the company must not be experiencing difficulties, in accordance with the guidelines from the European Union concerning State aid and the rescue and restructuring of companies in difficulty.
- An approved research centre, that is, any organisation with the main objective of carrying out research and providing services that contribute to technological and economic development in Wallonia, which does not satisfy any of the definitions referred to in Articles 8 and 12 of the Decree and which has been approved in accordance with the provisions established in said Decree. The list of approved research centres is available on the Waltech website: http://www.wal-tech.be/
- Research centres backed by colleges, as referred to in the Decree from the Council of the French Community of 5 August 1995 establishing the general organisation of higher education in colleges, or the Decree from the Council of the German Community of 27 June 2005 concerning the creation of an autonomous college. The list of centres is available from SYNHERA: http://www.synhera.be.
The conditions according to which the aid will be granted, as well as the amount and the definition of admissible expenses, are established in the Decree of 3 July 2008 concerning support for research, development and innovation in Wallonia and its implementing decrees.
Admissible expenses expressed in percentages:
- The amount of the recoverable advance for the experimental development is: 35% for large companies and small, non-autonomous companies, 45% for medium enterprises and 55% for small enterprises.
- The amount of the subsidy for research centres is 75%.
Recoverable advances and subsidies are requested to cover all costs related to the performance of research, in accordance with Articles 22, 62 and 79 of the Decree of 3 July 2008 concerning support for research, development and innovation in Wallonia. They cover:
- staffing costs for researchers, technicians, administrators and managers;
- operating costs;
- general costs;
- cost of equipment used;
- subcontracting costs.
Research projects must last for a maximum of twenty-four months.
I. The submission procedure
This involves three successive stages:
Stage 1: Declaration of intent
A declaration of intent, in the form of a succinct proposal comprising a summary of the project and mentioning the partners (company and research centre(s), be they approved and/or supported by a college), must be sent to the administration using the online form, which is available below from the Wallonia research and technology portal. The submission dates for calls are indicated on the cover page.
There are no plans to advertise declarations of intent. The admissibility of the application will be confirmed in an email sent to the promoter.
Stage 2: Information and support meeting
Information and support meetings between the administration’s representatives and the project leaders will be organised after the declaration of intent has been submitted and until the final proposal is submitted. Applicants will present their project to the administration, with a view to receiving support. The administration is responsible for contacting project leaders to organise these meetings.
Stage 3: Detailed proposal
The detailed proposal (online form and any annexes requested) will be completed and sent to the administration using the online form, which is available on the Wallonia research and technology portal, no later than the deadline for the submission of complete proposals. This is indicated on the cover page. Only these detailed proposals will be considered, with the date on which the electronic submission is received on the administration’s server being decisive. In the event of multiple electronic submissions of the same detailed proposal, only the last version submitted before the submission deadline will be considered.
Only detailed proposals that were the subject of an admissible prior declaration of intent (stage 1) and a meeting to present the project to the administration (stage 2), and which were prepared using the aforementioned submission form and filed in accordance with the conditions set out above, are eligible for this programme. The administration will then send the promoter confirmation of receipt of the detailed proposal by email. This confirmation of receipt mentions the project number, which must be used in any subsequent correspondence.
After the deadline for submitting detailed proposals, the administration will only consider elements that are provided upon its request as part of its evaluation.
In order to perform the financial analysis outlined in point 7, companies will send a statement (even if it is still provisional) of the annual accounts for the last fiscal year (if the latter are yet to be published by the Central Balance Sheet Office) when submitting the final proposal. These documents will be processed with restricted distribution (Royal Decree of 24 March 2000).
Identification, authentication and signing
Funding applications are submitted exclusively via the online ONTIME platform, which is part of the Wallonia research and technology portal.
This platform works with a strong authentication system, which requires an email address. If you have not already done so, you will need to create an account on the platform via a link that is provided on the home page. Every time you log in, a temporary password will be sent to this email address so you can connect.
Note that the platform does not currently use any electronic-signing mechanism for submitting funding applications.
II. The selection procedure
The selection procedure involves three stages:
Stage 1: Eligibility
The eligibility of each of the detailed proposals is examined by the administration, based on the criteria outlined in point five. Ineligible detailed proposals are not evaluated. The promoter is notified of this decision in writing.
Stage 2: Evaluation
The evaluation process involves two parallel stages: a technical evaluation stage and a financial evaluation stage:
1) Technical evaluation
The administration evaluates the projects that have been submitted based on six criteria and ratings, which are outlined in point eight. The evaluation results in an overall score of between 0 and 100 (that is, the sum of the scores for all the individual criteria). The administration may use independent experts. There are two possible outcomes of the technical evaluation:
Favourable: The project receives a score greater than, or equal to, 60% for each of the evaluation criteria; Unfavourable: The project receives a score lower than 60% for at least one of the evaluation criteria.
2) Financial evaluation
The administration evaluates the financial strength of companies, based on a financial plan that details the funding of the project by the companies. This plan comprises elements that are used to assess the company’s financial ability to perform the activities and to use the expected results.
There are four possible outcomes of the financial evaluation:
- Favourable: the company is not experiencing difficulties, in accordance with the guidelines from the European Union concerning State aid and the rescue and restructuring of companies in difficulty, and it has sufficient financial capacity to complete the project (along with its other ongoing projects);
- Ineligible: the company is experiencing difficulties, in accordance with the guidelines from the European Union concerning State aid and the rescue and restructuring of companies in difficulty. In this case, the project’s technical evaluation is not carried out.
- Favourable, subject to conditions : the company is not experiencing difficulties, in accordance with the guidelines from the European Union concerning State aid and the rescue and restructuring of companies in difficulty, but it does not have sufficient financial capacity to complete the project (along with its other ongoing projects). Therefore, the project's funding is conditional on the lifting of the financial conditions established by the Financial analysis department.
- Favourable, subject to reservations: depending on the time of year the call is launched, relative to the closing of the industrial partner’s annual accounts, the financial opinion may be subject to reservations: the company must provide additional information (such as more recent accounts), based on which the Financial analysis department will issue a final decision.
For more information about potential conditions or reservations which may be issued by the Financial analysis department, please contact the Department at email@example.com.
3) Summary of the evaluations and classification
The overall evaluation of a detailed proposal entails the combination of the technical evaluation and the financial evaluation. There are five categories:
- Favourable: The detailed proposal receives a favourable outcome from the technical evaluation and the financial evaluation;
- Favourable, subject to conditions: The detailed proposal received a favourable outcome from the technical evaluation and the financial evaluation, but there are certain financial conditions.
- Favourable, subject to reservations: The detailed proposal receives a favourable outcome from the technical evaluation, but the outcome of the financial evaluation is favourable, subject to reservations. In this case, the funding process will be conditional on a prior final, favourable opinion from the Financial analysis department.
- Unfavourable: The detailed proposal does not receive a favourable outcome from the technical evaluations;
- Ineligible: The detailed proposal does not satisfy at least one of the eligibility criteria.
Projects that are deemed admissible for funding (favourable, favourable, subject to conditions, favourable, subject to reservations) are included in a ranking list, which is sent to the selection jury. The administration provides the selection jury with the eligibility report (comprising the summary and the eligibility opinion) for all the submitted projects and the evaluation reports (comprising both technical and financial evaluations) for all the projects that were declared eligible.
Stage 3: the jury
The selection jury comprises a representative for the Minister for Research, a representative for the Minister for Economy, four representatives from the "Scientific policy cluster" centre of excellence from Wallonia’s Economic and Social Council, seven sector-specific specialists and three representatives from the administration. The selection jury meets within six months of the detailed proposals being submitted.
Based on the eligibility and evaluation reports, discussions and the available budget, the selection jury provides the Minister for Research with the following:
the ranking of the projects, which is determined based on the scores from the evaluations carried out by SPW-EER;
the minutes of the meeting, as validated by all members of the jury who were present, which summarises the various matters discussed and the results of the votes;
if necessary, the report, as validated by the jury, which summarises the jury’s argued and justified comments and/or recommendations.
Any conflict of interest is strictly prohibited within the selection jury. The utmost confidentiality is guaranteed within the jury. Clauses and procedures that prevent any conflict of interest and guarantee the confidentiality of documents and discussions and the functioning of the jury are defined in the internal rules.
III. Supporting documents to be provided
- Non-confidential CV
- Previous research
- Cooperation agreement
- Business plan – Impact study – Market study
- Industrialisation process and marketing plan
- Company information (last balance sheet)
- Signature of the project partners (scan)
IV. Application-processing deadlines
Generally speaking, the time between the submission of your application and notification of the financing decision varies between three months and six months. This time frame is provided as an indication and may not be met. We do everything we can to provide you with a decision as quickly as possible.
- The promoter of the project will be a company.
- The project must pertain to the development of new products, processes, industrial designs or services, or a notable improvement in existing products, processes, industrial designs or services. Incremental innovation is preferred. The project may involve the creation of complex system components, in particular to facilitate the validation of the technologies implemented, including prototypes.
- The submitted project will be innovative, in line with the needs of the company. The project will be subject to an economic feasibility study, which specifies the way in which the results will facilitate the development of the company’s activities.
- The length of the research will be justified by measures implemented to achieve the established objective. The duration of the agreement that binds the Walloon region to the project partners will be limited to two years.
- The research deliverable must be unique, quantifiable, clearly identified, described in a comprehensive manner and justified by its potential to provide added value. The company is required to receive support from at least one research centre.
- The consortium for a submitted project must only comprise one company and a maximum of two research centres (1+2). More specifically, the following consortia are permitted: 1 company + 1 approved research centre; 1 company + 2 approved research centres; 1 company + 1 research centre that is backed by a college; 1 company + 2 research centres that are backed by a college; 1 company + 1 approved research centre + 1 research centre that is backed by a college
- The total budget for the project, which is at least €200,000, must be distributed equally between the company and the research centre(s) (be they approved and/or backed by a college), based on a maximum distribution ratio of 70%/30% if the promoter is a SME, or 60%/40% if the promoter is a large company.
The conditions according to which the aid is granted, as well as the amount and the definition of admissible expenses, are established in the Decree of 3 July 2008 concerning support for research, development and innovation in Wallonia and its implementing decrees. The text of this Decree can be found at the following addresses:
Decree of 3 July 2008 concerning support for research, development and innovation in Wallonia
Decree of 13 March 2014 amending the Decree of 3 July 2008 concerning support for research, development and innovation in Wallonia
Decree of 21 May 2015 concerning the amendment of the Decree of 3 July 2008 concerning support for research, development and innovation in Wallonia
The Decrees from the Walloon Government that are applicable to this call can be found at the following addresses:
Decree from the Walloon Government of 18 September 2008 concerning support for research, development and innovation in Wallonia
Decree from the Walloon Government of 30 April 2009, adopted in application of Article 123 of the Decree of 3 July 2008 concerning support for research, development and innovation in Wallonia
Text concerning the Management of State aid for research, development and innovation(2014/C 198/01).
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