Piotr Dardziński, the Deputy Minister of Science and Higher Education, announced on Friday that later this year, in the fourth quarter, the Virtual Institute (WIB) team will start recruiting talent. Earlier, by the third quarter, the research agenda will be ready.
On Friday, Deputy Minister Dardziński talked about the details and details of the Virtual Institute at a panel meeting of the Third Health Challenge Conference (HCC) held in Katowice from March 8th to 10th. Current status of preparations.
This is about implementing the concept proposed by Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Science and Higher Education Jarosław Gowin last year. According to their announcement, the new institution will invest 500 million zlotys for scientific research in Poland, mainly involving biotechnology and biomedicine.
Deputy Minister Dardziński recalled that while the then Deputy Minister of Science and the current Minister of Health Łukasz Szumowski was studying, the project of the Virtual Institute was still under development. It was decided to allocate 500 million zlotys from the state budget for the organization and operation of WIB.
“The name + virtual + is literal in a sense, (…) the virtual academy will be realized with a formula we copied from the Belgian experience. We hope to build an institution that will not focus on buildings and laboratories- Often the laboratories we use are not fully utilized as we want-and will focus on building teams focused on achieving clear goals quickly”-he explained as the Deputy Minister of Science.
The first batch of recruitment for the Virtual Institute will begin in the fourth quarter of this year. We want to establish an organizational infrastructure before the end of June, that is, we must find an operator. Dardziński said that this may be-ultimately unresolved-a subsidiary of the company, supervised by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education, namely EIT Plus in Wroclaw, which has its own research infrastructure that can be used.
He made reservations that they will not be the same organization. “The company’s goal will be to execute the entire plan or recruit experts. They will work with government decision makers to determine the goals to be achieved, that is, the preparation of the research agenda. He announced that by the third quarter, we should have a research agenda. In the fourth quarter, we should recruit for the team.
He emphasized that the focus of the entire project is to be able to flexibly form a team, in accordance with the slogan of “talent-knowledge-funding” in existing research institutions, universities or enterprises to conduct specific research personnel.
The deputy minister emphasized that the financing of the project is long-term, so the team does not have to apply for additional funds every year. When talking about the 500 million zlotys of WIB funding that will be divided into 10 years, that is 50 million zlotys per year, he reserved that this is not about expensive clinical trials, but the first phase of testing.
“Other types of capital flows will prepare for the implementation or continuation of the projects implemented by the Virtual Institute. Therefore, we invested in the first and most difficult initial stage,” Dardziński announced.
Minister Szumowski, who participated in the same panel discussion, added that, literally, the mission of WIB is not to fund the research and development of new molecules.
There is still a long way to go from basic research to drugs. However, if we do not have basic research, medical devices, biotechnology, early research on important molecules in cells, etc., then we will not have so many start-ups in the future. First, they can provide truly innovative medical products,” the Minister of Health Emphasize.
Dardziński added that in this case-basic research-medical equipment or non-pharmaceutical technologies will have a place in the virtual institute.
PAP-Polish Science, Mateusz Babak