In essence, the only possible grant title within the grant program portfolio is the Innovation Program from the Operational Program Enterprise and Innovation for Competitiveness (OP EIC). At the end of this year, the seventh call focusing on innovative projects will be announced. It will certainly be one of the penultimate challenges in this programming period, as it has been known so far.
The Innovation Program can support the acquisition of buildings, technologies, SW and HW and other non-investment items that the applicant needs to start the production of a new or sufficiently innovated product. In such a case, the applicant will describe in its intention the innovation that will be related to the project, while the project will always focus on both product and process innovation (with the introduction of production of a new or innovated product there will be changes in the production process and thus a process innovation). Subsequently, it is chosen which of these innovations will be crucial for the project (most often the product is chosen). For this pivotal innovation, it is then necessary to demonstrate the minimum degree of innovation, where the requirements depend on the size of the enterprise and are determined by methodological steps.
The most important basis to be included in an aid application is to prove the existence of an innovative product. This must be proven either by the company’s own development (there must be documents to prove this development – internal protocols, the existence of a prototype, etc.) or by means of so-called technology transfer (eg the innovated product will be manufactured under the license).
Eligible applicants in this call are small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), but also large enterprises. However, for large companies, the fundamental condition has so far been that the project must have a demonstrable positive impact on the environment (for example, projects focusing on electromobility are considered by the evaluators as having a positive impact on the environment almost always). This condition will probably be retained in the newly planned call.
An interesting fact is that in the last closed fifth call out of the total allocation of CZK 2.7 billion, only about CZK 1.2 billion was allocated to businesses on the basis of a legal act. For large enterprises only about 138 million CZK. From this it can be concluded that in order to increase the use of subsidies by enterprises, the terms of this call will have to be adjusted to make them more acceptable to companies (and especially large ones). It is also true that a project with a score that guarantees the acceptability of the project has almost a certain chance of promising a subsidy.
In conclusion, it is worth mentioning that this call is ongoing, so whoever submits among the first will also be ranked among the first and will receive funding before those who come later. However, due to the excess of offering funds, the time aspect of submitting an application does not play a very important role.
Assumed essential data for the call:
- Aid intensity (EU co-financing) – 25% for large enterprise, 35% for medium enterprise and 45% for small enterprise
- Project subsidies up to CZK 40 million
- Total allocation of call CZK 1 billion
- Project deadline 31.12.2022
- Call for proposals 27.9.2019
- Receiving applications since 16.10.2019