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Baekeland mandates

What are the next steps after VLAIO decides to support the project?

  • 1

    In case of a positive decision, a support agreement is concluded between the ‘Fonds voor Innoveren en Ondernemen’ and the primary applicant (company). The support agreement is a best efforts obligation (It binds the partners to make every effort to achieve the described innovation goal, and it includes a commitment for sufficient valorisation in Flanders in the case of successful results.).

    Where relevant, VLAIO will incorporate specific conditions into the agreement, such as the authorisation of ethics committees, ownership of required permits, etc.

    The support agreement can only be concluded after reception of the cooperation agreement.

  • 2

    The innovation goal is the starting point of a support agreement. Adjustments/ changes within the scope of the innovation goal are possible without the need to adjust the agreement.

    Standard project reporting consists of short follow-up report cards for each payment, a mid-term report and a final report when the project is completed. The final report has to include:

    • A summary of the scientific results (academic progress);
    • Implementation of the innovation goal, including the strategic application;
    • Valorisation report;
    • Financial report.
  • 3

    Halfway the project, an interim evaluation is made to evaluate the progress of the project and to monitor whether the mandate is being allocated properly according to the agreed upon objectives.

    The interim evaluation is based on a report about the results and the prospects for future applications. The mandate holder is always given the opportunity to have an interview with the external experts, a setting in which various elements can be explained. If deemed relevant, the scientific supervisor and the industrial mentor can also be invited for a discussion.

    If during the course of the mandate, the partners wish to significantly change the innovation goal, this may also have to be submitted to the jury of external experts during the interim evaluation. In the case of positive advice, the mandate can progress further with the adjusted innovation goal. With this decision, the jury shall take into account the quality of the proposed change, but also the feasibility of the adjusted innovation goal within the remaining period, including the possibility of completing the doctorate.

  • 4

    The purpose of a Baekeland mandate is to achieve a doctorate. Publishing is very important for a doctoral candidate. Therefore, as part of the Baekeland mandate, the mandate holder also has the right to publish. Within the agreements about intellectual property, publication might be postponed due to reasons of patent applications. The possibility of the mandate holder to publish cannot be denied without valid reasons.

  • 5

    The payment of this subsidy occurs in yearly instalments. The amount of these instalments has been agreed upon at the start of the project.

    The first instalment is paid at the start of the project.

    The primary applicant is responsible for the timely payment of any partners in instalments. The university is a contractual research partner. The primary applicant is responsible for paying all research partner costs that are part of the eligible costs for which the applicant receives the subsidy.

    Payment by VLAIO is conditional on the proper implementation of the project and on compliance with the reporting and notification requirements.

    At the end of the project, a final verification of the real costs is made. Based on the accepted costs and the applied support percentages, the total support is determined and the final instalment is paid, whereas the instalments already paid are taken into account.

Modified Process Flow for submitting the final financial report for innovation support

The modified process flow for having an accountant or auditor submit the final financial report applies to companies that submitted a project application after 1/07/2021 with the exception of:  

  • companies/knowledge institutions that have previously made agreements with VLAIO on gross wages for employee categories
  • organisations using government pay scales 

Organisations that fall under this exemption regime need only have their legal representative upload the final financial report and do not need to have it verified by a chartered accountant or auditor.

For companies that have submitted a project application after 1/07/2021, the final financial report along with the Accountant's Report and supporting documents must be uploaded by the chartered accountant or auditor. 

The lead applicant and any business partners each prepare a final financial report separately. 
They engage an accountant or auditor to perform specific work described in the Accountant’s Report.
The company collects the necessary supporting documents for eligible costs. (see Accountant’s Report Appendix 1 File: supporting documents provided by the Applicant). 

Costs may include:

  • personnel costs
  • operating costs
  • third-party service costs
  • investment costs

The completed final financial report, supporting documents, with the decision letter, the link to the VLAIO portal and any appendices and addenda are provided to the auditor or the chartered accountant. 

The auditor or the chartered accountant requests the approved budget from VLAIO - verificatie@vlaio.be

Based on:

  • the approved budget
  • the final financial report
  • the supporting documents
  • the decision letter 
  • any appendices and addenda 

the auditor or accountant performs the specific work described in the Accountant's Report noting any findings. After signing the report, the auditor or accountant uploads this document along with the final financial report including supporting documents via the VLAIO portal.

(*) As a result, the legal representative gives power of attorney to The Professional to upload the required reports on the VLAIO portal.

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