Application process for research project grant
Adapted rules as of January 1, 2022
- The valorisation in Flanders should be at least 10 times the grant amount in the application. The valorisation amount is based on employment and investment in Flanders (= economic impact).
- Societal impact remains relevant and can provide extra points in the assessment.
The selectivity for projects submitted as of January 1, 2022 was established at the January 17, 2022 Decision Committee meeting of the Fund for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and will be applied as follows:
Based on the scores of "CRITICAL=exclusion, REASONABLE=-1, GOOD=0, VERY GOOD=+1", a project is eligible for funding provided that:
- no CRITICAL score was assigned.
- the sum of all scores on the quality axis ≥ -3 and the sum of all scores on the impact axis ≥ -3 and the sum total of the scores of both axes ≥ -5.
This corresponds to a maximum of three uncompensated points of interest (=reasonable score) per axis. The selection criteria for research and development projects are set out in Appendix 1 in the explanatory document. Depending on the available budget, the Decision Committee has the right to adjust the selectivity during the year. In the event of adjustment, it will be communicated timely on the website.
The scheme is permanently open for applications. Each application is handled individually. The VLAIO agency aims for a lead time of 90 business days for completing this process.
Before fully specifying the support application, you can request a meeting with one of our project advisors at firstname.lastname@example.org. They can provide initial advice on feasibility, point out gaps, and possibly help you find partners with the necessary expertise.
The application and evaluation process for research projects involves the following steps:
You can find an overview of all required documents to prepare your project application at the bottom of this page in the 'documents' section. We recommend that you review and assess your project based on the evaluation criteria in advance.
When filling out your application, you need to complete and upload some templates:
- The project description is a joint document for all project partners and is uploaded by the lead applicant.
- Each business partner must separately complete and upload the impact section (confidential from the other partners).
- Each project partner must prepare a project budget. This can be integrated in a single master file that is uploaded by the lead applicant. Alternatively, the partners can each upload their own project budget (confidential from the other partners; the lead applicant can see that a partner has uploaded a document, but is not authorised to view this document).
- In addition, each business partner will be requested to provide financial information about its company (interim/provisional key figures, possibly a financial statement that has not yet been filed; if relevant, an organisation chart with shareholders and participations, etc.) (confidential from the other partners).
2Submitting your application
Applications are submitted in digital format via the pink button on this page. An overview of all steps to be completed by the lead applicant and any partner is available. This document presents the information to be entered by screenshots, as well as the documents to be uploaded (clickable links). We recommend reviewing this document before starting your application.
Logging on to the portal is subject to access management of the Flemish government (with electronic identity card (eID) or one of the other options). Individuals who do not have an eID or equivalent card can make use of the option to mandate a Belgian contact to submit the application.
The first step in digital submission is the registration step (pre-application). When registering, you select whether to submit the application in Dutch or English. This choice cannot be changed subsequently and any partner will also have to complete their section in the same language.
After you register as the lead applicant, you will receive a specific link by email to further complete the application and upload all pre-filled templates. Remember to add any business or research partners first. They will then also receive an email with a link for digital completion of their sections of the application.
If you have not obtained a mandate to submit the application on behalf of your legal representative, then stop at the second to last step in the application process, and forward the specific link to your legal representative with a request to submit your section of the application. If you do have such a mandate, then you can finalise and submit it independently.
Any business or research partner will complete the same process for their respective sections.
Subsequently, everyone will receive a confirmation with a summary of the application in PDF format. No email? Ask all partners if everyone has completed and submitted their sections.
After submission, you cannot change anything! So check in advance that everything is filled in correctly and all figures entered (budget, etc.) are consistent with the completed templates.
3Explain your application to the VLAIO agency
After correct submission of your application, you will receive a confirmation. If not, assume that your application has not been submitted and contact us if necessary. Upon receipt of your application, we check eligibility. If your request is declared ineligible, we will notify you accordingly within 14 business days.
If your application is eligible, we will invite you for a meeting about your project. This explanatory interview will go into more detail about the information you have included in the application document and all the key aspects for correctly assessing the evaluation criteria. In particular, the innovative nature of your project and the added value of your project to your business will certainly be discussed.
After this discussion, you have the opportunity to provide (limited) additions to clarify the project before sending it to the external experts.
4The decision on your application
After the explanatory interview, the evaluation is initiated. The VLAIO agency always seeks the advice of independent external experts during the evaluation. They provide a written advice about the quality and potential of the project. You will receive their feedback and questions with the request to submit a brief response.
Based on all available information, a decision is made on whether or not to approve your application. You will be notified in writing of this decision with a substantive justification. In the event of a positive decision, the contract is established.
The funding may be granted conditionally with specific terms covering the start or implementation of the project. These conditions may be of an organisational, substantive or financial nature.
5Additional steps in the evaluation process
For the purpose of a qualitative evaluation, the VLAIO agency may request additional information and/or documentation (for example relating to the justification of the key figures in the business case), if necessary for a proper assessment. Such additional information can be requested at any time during the evaluation process.
Especially with large and/or complex projects, additional steps may be applied to arrive at the most justified decision.
Confidential processing of your application
The VLAIO agency is committed to confidential processing of your application. All possible measures are taken to ensure such confidentiality. The external experts are bound by a 5-year confidentiality clause.
Except for listing partners, title and funding, the VLAIO agency may not share or publish information about your application unless agreed in consultation. However, in any post-project communications about the successful realisation of your project, you are obliged to mention that you received funding for your project from the Flanders Innovation & Entrepreneurship agency (VLAIO).