On the 14th of July, 2020 the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Latvia signed the Agreement on the implementation of the Norway Grants programme “Business Development, Innovation, Small and Medium Enterprises” in Latvia. The programme will be carried out by the Investment and Development Agency of Latvia (LIAA) as a Programme operator and will provide an opportunity for enterprises to attract co-financing of 35% to 70% of the eligible costs of the project for the implementation of green technologies and innovations.
The programme aims to promote and contribute to value creation and sustainable growth in Latvia’s private business sector. Under the terms of the programme, support will be provided to small and medium-sized enterprises in three areas: green innovation, information and communication technologies (ICT) and welfare technologies.
“This programme will motivate companies to think actively how to make their work more efficient by introducing environmentally friendly and innovative technologies based on the development of new export-friendly products. Currently, the manufacturing industry in Latvia has been mainly characterized by low-tech companies. The share of both medium-high and high-tech companies is only 15% of the total manufacturing industry. The EU average is 47%. The high added value can be provided only by the high-tech companies, therefore with the support of Norway Grants, we want to stimulate the development of such technologies in Latvian companies,” emphasizes Kaspars Rožkalns, director of LIAA.
The programme has been formed in order to provide number of activities to support entrepreneurship. A call for proposals (main call) will be announced in the area of “Introduction of Green innovation and ICT products into production””, aiming to support the introduction of environmentally friendly production processes and ICT solutions, improving the efficiency of production processes and thereby promoting the competitiveness of businesses. Available grant for this activity is from €200 to €600 thousand.
Two small grant schemes will be available as well. “Development of Green Innovation and ICT products” aiming to promote green innovation and the creation of ICT products and services, as well as “Development of welfare technologies”, aiming to improve the quality of day-to-day life of different groups of society by developing tailored solutions that contribute not only to quality of life but also to safety and mobility. These grants will encourage not only development of green innovations and ICT products and technologies, but also the introduction of technologies that support home care, provide e-health services, patient mobility, communication between different welfare system providers and other technological solutions aimed at improving the quality of life of citizens. The grant amount for a project promoter is between €10 and €130 thousand.
A pre-defined project “Technology Business Centre” will also be implemented within the programme. This project will be implemented by LIAA together with the project partners –University of Latvia, Riga Technical university and Riga Stradins university. The Technology Business Center will provide entrepreneurs with an in-depth knowledge of developing innovative business ideas, product prototyping and marketing. Clients will be provided with high-quality training as well as product and service prototyping with industry expertise.
The total grant for “Business and Innovation” programme is €14.7 million, including Norway Grant for an amount of €12.5 million and national co-financing – €2.2 million. The programme is being implemented by LIAA till 30 April 2024
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