OPERATIONAL PROGRAMME “INNOVATION AND COMPETITIVENESS” 2014-2020

Open for application by the deadline: 30 April 2020

Aim of the procedure

Provision of support to Bulgarian enterprises focused on enhancing innovation activity in the thematic areas of the Innovation Strategy for Smart Specialization (ISSS). The implementation of projects supported under the procedure should lead to the introduction of product innovation (good or service) or process innovation aimed at manufacturing goods and providing services. Implemented innovations should fall within the priority areas of ISSS thematic areas(1).

  • Implemented innovations should fall within the priority areas of ISSS thematic areas /Informatics and ICT; Mechatronics and Clean Technology;Industry for a healthy life and bio-technology; New technologies in the creative and recreational industries/.
  • Projects should aim at implementing an innovation that is own work or based on intellectual property rights already acquired by third parties.

In Item A (mandatory) of this procedure, depending on their needs and specific characteristics of the proposed project, applicants can choose from ONE of the applicable state/de minimis aid as follows:

1. „Regional investment aid“ – co-financing rate:

Category of enterprise Maximum aid intensity for activities outside the SWR (NUTS2)(2) Maximum aid intensity for activities in the SWR (NUTS2)
Micro and small enterprises 70% 45%
Medium-sized enterprises 60% 35%
Large enterprises 50% 25%

or

2. De minimis aid

The maximum amount of de minimis aid applied for, together with other minimum aid received by the applicant, may not exceed the BGN equivalent of EUR 200 000 and the BGN equivalent of EUR 100 000, in case of the same enterprise(3), which carries out road freight transport services at the expense of another entity for a period of three budget years (two previous plus the current year).

Category of enterprise Maximum aid intensity
Micro, small, medium-sized and large enterprises 70%

or

In Item B (optional) of this procedure the following regimes apply, depending on the category of the applicant enterprise:

  1. ”Advisory and support services for innovation support for SMEs”, applicable to micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises – maximum aid intensity – 70%.
  2. De minimis aid, applicable to large enterprises.

Eligible under the procedure are projects involving the following activities:

Item A “Investments” (mandatory)

  • Implementation of a product innovation (good or service) or business process innovation aimed at the production of goods and the provision of services through the acquisition of machinery, facilities, and equipment.
  • Implementation of а product innovation (good or service) or business process innovation aimed at manufacturing goods and providing them through the acquisition of specialized software (including development), patents, licenses, know-how, etc.

Item B “Services” (optional)

  • • Innovation advisory and supporting services.

The following types of costs are eligible under the procedure:

Item A “Investments” (mandatory)

  • Costs for the acquisition of machinery, facilities, and equipment representing fixed tangible assets(4) (FTA) required for the implementation of the project.
  • Costs for the acquisition of intangible assets (IA) – specialized software (incl. development), patents, licenses(5), know-how, etc., necessary for the implementation of the project.

Item B “Services” (optional)

  • • Costs for consultancy and supporting services in support of innovations.

Eligible candidates

  • Being a trader within the meaning of the Commercial Act or the Cooperatives Act or are equivalent within the meaning of the legislation of a Member State of the European Economic Area;
  • Having at least three completed financial years (2016, 2017 and 2018);
  • Potential applicants may not participate in the project selection procedure and may not receive a grant if they fall under the prohibition regimes of Commission Regulation (EU) № 651/2014 of 17 June 2014/ Commission Regulation (EU) № 1407/2013 of 18 December 2013, Regulation (EU) № 1301/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council and the European Structural and Investment Funds Management Act (ESIFA).

Maximum project implementation period

18 months

Procedure budget distribution by category of enterprise

Micro and small enterprises Medium-sized enterprises Large enterprises
54 763 240 BGN
28 000 000 EUR
43 028 260 BGN
22 000 000 EUR
19 558 300 BGN
10 000 000 EUR

Minimum and maximum amount of the grant for a specific project

Minimum amount of grant requested for an individual project Maximum amount of grant requested for an individual project depending on the category of the applicant company
100 000 BGN Micro and small enterprises: 500 000 BGN
Middle-sized enterprises: 750 000 BGN
Large enterprises: 1 000 000 BGN

Criteria and methodology for evaluation of project proposals

I. Innovation and marketability of the supported innovation 32
1. Degree of protection of the project-supported innovation 10
2. Novelty of the supported innovation 10
3. Market applicability and viability of innovation 12
II. Innovative capacity and financial stability of the applicant 39
1. Applicant’s experience in the implementation of innovative products (good or service) or the implementation of innovative processes 5
2. Enterprise Research and Development (R&D) for 2016, 2017 and 2018 5
3. Acquired industrial property rights(6) (7) (8) (9) 6
4. Comparison between the weighted EBITDA value for 2016, 2017 and 2018 and the value of declared total eligible project costs 5
5. Weighted profit margin (2016, 2017 and 2018) 5
6. Weighted Gross Value Added (2016, 2017 and 2018) 5
7. Weighted Long-Term Debt Ratio (2016, 2017 and 2018) 4
8. Weighted cost to income ratio (2016, 2017 and 2018) 4
III. Prioritizing projects 14
1. Regional specialization according to ISSS 3
2. Regional prioritization for projects 5
3. Upgrading results from innovation funding programs 3
4. Support for eco-innovation. 3
IV. Realistic cost of the project 5
1. Realistic cost of the project 5
Max points: 90

Notes:

1 According to the definitions and types of innovations based on the Oslo Manual (Oslo Manual 2018, 4th Edition © OECD / EUROPEAN COMMUNITIES 2018) referred to in clause 13.1 of the Conditions of Application.
2 According to the Classification of territorial units for statistical purposes in Bulgaria
3 In the sense of Art. 2, para. 2 of Commission Regulation (EU) No 1407/2013.
4 The cost of supply, installation, , testing and commissioning of equipment / machinery should be included in the total value of the relevant assets specified in the project budget (Item 5 of the Application Form). If they are indicated in separate lines in the project budget, they will be removed from the budget. With respect to the definition of tangible assets, Art. 2, para. 29 of Commission Regulation (EU) No 651/2014 and Annex 15.
5 incl. software licenses
6 The patent / registration certificate of a utility model that protects the innovation implemented under the project is not included.
7 If during the evaluation it is found that more than one project proposal has been submitted in which the same initial applicant and / or inventor is available for the same patent / utility model referred to in item 11.4. Industrial property rights in Criterion II.3. “Industrial property rights in respect of which the applicant, the manager and / or his partners are / are the original applicant and / or the inventor”, points under criterion II.3 will only be awarded to the project proposal submitted first in MIS 2020.
8 The criterion is assessed against the candidate, the manager, the chairman and / or the partners and / or (in the case of a joint stock company and a limited partnership with shares) the shareholders and / or the chairman of the board of directors or board of directors applicant and / or inventor.
9 The manager and / or partners and / or shareholders and / or the chairman of the board of directors or the board of directors should be entered in the Commercial Register or in the book of shareholders by the date of announcement of the procedure – 13.02.2020.

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