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According to the diagnosis presented in the Regional Operational Programme for Podkarpackie for 2014-2020 in the economy of the Podkarpackie region one can still observe the inter-sectoral differences in the scale of nnovation-related investments, as well as a negative trend presenting a decrease of the share of the innovative companies in the overall population of regional companies. As a consequence, the regional decision makers have identified as necessary the implementation of the schemes providing financial support to regional companies. The measure “Direct support for companies”, which has been implemented in the form of a grant scheme 1.4.1. in the framework of the Regional Operational Programme for Podkarpackie for 2014-2020, is one of abovementioned actions set-up by the regional authorities to improve the economic conditions in Podkarpackie. According to the Regional Operational Programme, the key objective of this measure is to stop the decline in the numbers of innovative companies. To this end, the following activities undertaken by the companies from Podkarpackie region were included as eligible for funding:
The total allocation of the measure amounts to €165m, and the eligible beneficiaries are micro- and small companies in the case of the support for the e-market activity development, and SMEs in the case of other projects.
The mid-term evaluation of the Regional Operational Programme for Podkarpackie for 2014-2020 revealed that the 2023 outcome indicator target for this measure (e.g. ‘The number of the newly created workplaces in the supported companies’) has been already achieved and surpassed. However, as the evaluation noted, the calculation should be treated carefully as the increase in workplaces created is likely to have been so positive due to the good economic situation.
The mid-term evaluation of the Regional Operational Programme for Podkarpackie for 2014-2020 highlighted that the implementation of the measure was systematic and well thought-out. The grants for the companies were allocated in five call till date, each with a different thematic focus and intended beneficiary. For instance, the first and the fifth calls were directed at support granted within the regional investment policy, the second call focused on de minimis aid, and the third was dedicated to IT projects.