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Getting grant support for innovations development

 Information and communication technologies (ICT) are a major engine for building a competitive economy based on knowledge and innovation. The investments and innovations in ICT are a key for raising EU productivity and in this context ICT is declared as a strategic sector for Bulgaria being the only industry that have opened more than 35,000 jobs over the last 10 years and have created added value four times more than all other sectors. It is important to point out that a serious financial resource is allocated in support for innovations and is accessible in the form of grant funding to IT companies under the Operational programme Innovations and competitiveness 2014-2020. With a total budget of 35 million EUR under this programme, in May 2017 is expected to be launched a grant procedure in support for the development of product and manufacturing innovations. The procedure will support enterprises, established in Bulgaria or other EU country with at least 3 years of experience and without category limitations for projects targeted at development of new innovative products or services. Partnership with R&D organizations will be also supported.

Applicants will be able to apply for a grant funding between 100,000 and 1 mln. BGN for expenses directly related and necessary for a new product or service development.

Project implementation should lead to the development of a product innovation in the following priority areas of the Innovation Strategy for intelligent specialization (ISIS):

Applicants can choose between two state aid regimes applicable according to the specifics of their project and included activities.

The activities under Aid for research and development should fall within one of the following categories-industrial research or experimental development depending on the stage of the innovation development. The eligible costs could include:

-personnel costs-researchers, technicians and other supporting staff to the extent employed on the project;

-costs of instruments and equipment to the extent and for the period used for the project. Where such instruments and equipment are not used for their full life for the project, only the depreciation costs corresponding to the life of the project are considered as eligible;

-materials and consumables required for the innovation development;

-knowledge and patents bought or licensed from outside sources, as well as costs for consultancy services exclusively for the project;

The aid intensity for each beneficiary is determined according to the stage of the innovation and the applicant category and shall not exceed 80 % . The grant intensity will be determined as follows:

Enterprise category

For industrial research

For experimental development

Micro and small

70 %



60 %



50 %


15% to the above limits shall be added for projects including active partnership with a research organization.

For expenses under “de minimis aid”, applicants can receive up to 200,000 EUR and up to 70% of the total eligible costs, irrespective of their category or the stage of the innovation project. Here, the eligible cost could include the acquisition of tangible and/or intangible assets necessary for the innovation development, including production or testing equipment, elements or units for prototyping etc. as well as costs for intellectual property protection.

The application deadline is expected to be 90 days and the deadline for implementation of projects -24 months.

Later this year, in June, another grant opportunity for supporting the creation of thematically focused laboratories for the business is expected to start. The total budget available will be 5 million EUR. The procedure will support established experienced companies for equipment of thematically focused laboratories within the thematic areas of ISIS as stated above. The grant can cover between 25-60% of the project expenses depending on the project and the applicant category and up to 1 250 000 BGN.

EU Consult team has a profound experience and knowledge in grant projects in the field of innovations development and is open for cooperation and consultancies.

Created by: noavis