Application of State Aid Rules to national and regional funding schemes that offer alternative support to SME Instrument project proposals with a Horizon 2020 'Seal of Excellence'

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Date : 01/09/2017

The purpose of the note is to explain in simple terms and in full respect of the General Block Exemption Regulation how to conceive public support schemes in a way that they can provide funding to outstanding SME innovation project proposals under the Horizon 2020 SME Instrument scheme that were awarded a "Seal of Excellence".


The Seal of Excellence is a quality label awarded by the European Commission to excellent research and innovation project proposals that were submitted and positively evaluated under Horizon 2020. Although these could not be funded due to insufficient Horizon 2020 budget, they have much potential to contribute significantly to economic development thanks to their innovative, cutting-edge nature. The Seal allows regions, Member States or any other funding bodies to easily identify these high quality proposals that have succeeded in the independent highly competitive evaluation at EU level, and offer alternative support to them.

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