Expert panel - as the best way to the most innovative projects
Topic of the practice
Good Practice Information
The Lower Silesian Intermediate Body (DIP), as a young institution established by the Parliament of Dolnośląskie Province in late 2007, faces a huge challenge. Not only did it have to independently achieve its institutional capacity, but at the same time be prepared to handle entities applying for a grant. On the other hand, created from scratch, it was free of ossified solutions, schematic action, rigid procedures, which allowed for the introduction of new, unused to date solutions.
From the beginning, the main purpose of the institution's activity was to facilitate entrepreneurs to use the funds assigned to them. Hence, simplification of documentation, creation of a computer application for filing applications, on-line registration of applications, numerous training courses and publications explaining procedures for applying for grants. These activities were to encourage companies to invest in projects leading not only to their development, but primarily to the implementation of innovative solutions.
To enable the development of a broad range of companies DIP organises competitions to promote innovation at different levels. Two calls organised in 2008 and 2009 concerned broadly understood innovation relating to the enterprise level. The call which will be held in 2010 will concern innovation of regional significance, and will also fit one of the areas listed in the Lower Silesia Innovation Strategy. Due to the highly-specialist nature of the competition a panel of experts will be appointed to evaluate the level of innovative solutions. Entrepreneurs will also have an opportunity to present their projects and to answer the experts' questions during several minutes' presentations. Such an assessment of applications has been introduced for the first time in Poland. Raising the level of innovation in competitions is a conscious activity of the institution which aims at supporting businesses at various stages of development and their readiness to implement innovative solutions.
Evidence of success
Evaluation research and tests of implementation of the funds in the previous funding perspective showed that the procedure for applying for grants is complicated, documents are confusing and excessively complex. Therefore, the Lower Silesian Intermediate Body from the outset sought to make changes for the benefit of beneficiaries. The applications were simplified and shortened, instructions for their completion were created, the number of annexes was limited, a separate feasibility study or business plan was abandoned. Many of the documents are only required before signing an agreement rather than at the stage of application. Within two years, employees of the Information Point have given over 27,000 consultations. The level of substantive preparation of the employees and their culture have been highly valued by entrepreneurs.
Contact details to obtain further information on the practice
Mrs. Justyna Lasak
The Lower Silesia Intermediate Body, Organisational Department, Information and Promotion Division