On 7th January 2021, the Cabinet of Ministers approved the regulation of the “Business Development, Innovation and SMEs” Programme of the Norwegian Financial Mechanism 2014-2020. Entrepreneurs will have access to a total of EUR 14,7 million in funding for innovative business development. The Investment and Development Agency of Latvia (LIAA) will be in charge of implementing the Programme.
The aim of the Programme is to encourage the development of higher added-value products and services in three areas: green innovation, welfare technologies, and information and communication technologies.
“With the help of the Norwegian financial instrument, we expect to gather positive examples of business models being adapted to new circumstances with increasingly high environmental standards and pressure to go digital. The support will allow for introducing new technologies, modernising production and increasing competitiveness,” explains Kaspars Rožkalns, Director of LIAA.
The funding will be available by application to small and medium enterprises developing new technologies to offer on the market. Companies may also apply if releasing new products and solutions into production, adapting or upgrading current production facilities or opening new ones. A newfound Technology Business Centre will act as a point of contact between entrepreneurs, universities and research institutions working on innovative ideas.
Scheduled to take place in Q1 of 2021, the “Introduction green innovation and ICT products into production” open call will be the first step in launching the Programme.
This part of the Programme will support the purchasing of new equipment, software, licenses and patents in the areas of green innovation and ICT. It will also support information and communication activities and events for the production launch of new products and technologies. To ensure knowledge exchange and encourage the production of products and technologies with a reduced environmental impact, support will also be afforded to attract project partners. In terms of ICT, it could be products that ensure the digitalisation or automation of the manufacturing process. To be eligible for participation in this open call, an applicant should be working towards the production of a new product.
Support for single projects within this call ranges from EUR 200 000 to EUR 600 000. The maximum aid intensity is 45% for medium enterprises and 55% for small enterprises from the total costs eligible of the project.
Open calls for small grant schemes are scheduled to be announced in Q2 and Q3, 2021. Companies will be able to receive co-financing of up to 70% of the total eligible costs of the project. This will cover activities such as experimental development, including the prototyping, testing and certification of a new product or technology, obtaining intellectual property rights, delivering information and communication campaigns, and finding project partners.
The amount of support for single projects within the small grant scheme ranges from EUR 10 000 to EUR 130 000, with a maximum aid intensity of 70%.
LIAA will implement the Programme in cooperation with Innovation Norway, a governmental institution of the Kingdom of Norway.
The Norwegian Financial Mechanism has allocated a total of EUR 12,5 million while the Latvian State has allocated EUR 2 205 882 in co-financing.
Please follow the Business and Innovation section of www.norwaygrants.lv
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