The 5% Initiative
In 2011, Polish state budget allocated a sum of approx. PLN 3 billion for grants and scientific research funding. This amount accounted for approx. 12% of the planned budget income from corporate income tax (estimated CIT income was PLN 24.8 billion). The existing model of research financing – i.e. by means of funding and subsidies granted either to winners of tender contests or pursuant to administrative decisions – does not constitute an efficient form of business support and does not increase the competitiveness of the Polish economy in the international arena.
- The 5% Initiative – an idea for scientific research financing
Therefore, Ericpol proposes to introduce an efficient and valid model for collaboration between businesses and scientific entities. This model would allow business entities to make active decisions about how they would wish to support scientific research, as 5% of the corporate income tax paid by businesses would be earmarked for listed projects submitted by scientific entities. Each business could decide individually which project from the list they want to support with their 5%. Following this model, approx. 40% of the resources earmarked for scientific research would be distributed in a completely new way. The remaining 60% would be distributed in the ‘old’ way and employed to finance e.g. primary research, which does not (and possibly could not) immediately contribute to economic and business growth.
This new model for financing will encourage cooperation between businesses and scientific and research entities. The business sector will be interested in spending ‘their’ money in the best possible way, whereas researchers will make their best efforts to obtain the funding. Neither state budget income nor the costs related to funding and subsidies granted will change. What will change, however, is the composition of the group of decision-makers. Thus, an actual demand for scientific research will be generated. If this model proves effective, the percentage of corporate income tax earmarked for the support of scientific research can be gradually increased depending on budget conditions: subsidies and funding for science may be increased or, alternatively, the ratio between business-supported research and research selected for financing from among tender contestants may be adjusted.