The Rousse Chamber of Commerce and Industry announces a potential opportunity for companies that want to develop innovative products and ideas. The new procedure "Development of innovations in enterprises" will soon be opened, offering free financing of up to BGN 500,000.
This new initiative of the Ministry of Innovation and Growth is financed with a budget of BGN 127 million and aims to stimulate innovation in five key sectors: Informatics and ICT; Mechatronics and microelectronics; Healthy living, bioeconomy and biotechnology industries; New technologies in creative and recreational industries; Clean technologies, circular and low-carbon economy.
This is the first time in the history of the Operational Program "Competitiveness" that such a significant budget has been provided to support the development of innovations by businesses. The scheme is aimed at micro, small, medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and small mid-cap companies (up to 499 employees). Large enterprises can apply if they partner with SMEs or small companies. The main condition for participation is to have an innovative idea with a strong market potential.
The main costs that will be eligible are for staff remuneration, purchase of necessary materials and consumables, as well as external services for the development of the innovation product and depreciation of equipment. The program offers a significant advantage, providing the opportunity for companies to cover the costs of hiring qualified specialists, scientists, technologists, and this applies to both the candidate and the partner.
It is important to note that costs for the protection of industrial property at the national and international level, as well as other costs for external services, will also be eligible. The total value of the grant can reach up to BGN 500,000, with the percentage of support varying up to 60% of the estimated costs, depending on the category of the enterprise. Each project must be completed within a maximum period of 18 months.
After the end of the current program, a second procedure will be opened, which will focus on "Implementation" of already developed innovations, with almost twice the budget. This second measure will enable companies to implement already developed products and services that may have been created by the same company or by subcontractors.
The evaluation of the projects will be carried out in view of the financial sustainability and profile of the applicants, as well as their experience in the development of innovations. For a successful application, it is important that businesses provide evidence of their previous experience in the field of innovation. To this end, they should ensure that the company's annual report reflects past experience with innovation by completing the often-overlooked optional, self-titled statements of research and innovation activity.