European Commission - Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs

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Grants for the improvement of business competitiveness through the support to Innovative Business Associations

Title of measure
Full title in national language:
Subvenciones dirigidas a mejorar la competitividad empresarial a través del apoyo a las Agrupaciones Empresariales Innovadoras
Policy objectives Plus
2.3. Knowledge transfer structures between academia and industry
5.1. Cluster development
Presentation of the measure:

This support measure aims to fund the implementation of innovative collaborative projects carried out by the Innovative Business Associations (AAEEII) by promoting the development of actions to improve the competitiveness, productivity and innovation of companies.
The objective of the measure is to strength the link between Research, Innovation and Education, facilitating the knowledge transfer and thus improving regional competitiveness and achieving greater diversification of production structures.
The beneficiaries must be entities incorporated as AEI, cluster or similar designation, belonging to one of the areas defined by the pattern of regional specialisation RIS3.

This grant covers a percentage of the eligible costs of the project. Activities supported are divided in four types and each type has specific funding.

  • Type a) covers 70% of the eligible costs with a maximum of €25,000.
  • Type b) and c) covers 70% of the eligible costs with a maximum of €75,000.
  • Type d) for AEI covers 70% of the eligible costs and for clusters it covers 50% of the eligible cost with a maximum of €75,000 in both cases.
Budget, source and type of funding
National public funds
Regional public funds €70,000€250,000€247,473
EU Structural Funds €70,000€250,000€247,474
Private funds
Form of funding provided
Policy learning
To what extent the measure can be considered as a success and worthy of policy learning?:
There has been a positive response by beneficiaries to the measure (e.g. over-subscribed in terms of requested versus available budget) but it is too early to judge results or impact
Evidence of outcomes based on evaluation and other evidence:

In 2015, 14 projects were supported under this framework with € 128.640. The measure reaches very different industrial sectors including, for instance, health, automotive, energy, information and communications technology and food. The following table shows the number of eligible projects of each sector in 2015:

Health 4
Energy 3
Automotive 2
Capital equipment 1
Construction industry 1
Food 2

Two of these projects were carried out in cooperation between a two clusters and both were related to health sector.
It is important to mention that the total economic budget of the programme was not totally covered. Moreover, half of projects did not reach the maximum amount of 10.000 euros by project. This could mean than it would be necessary to study the proper dimensions of the target projects.

What are the most important “Do’s and Don’ts” that regional stakeholders should be aware of when launching a similar measure?:

This measure promotes the creation and development of clusters which has turned into a priority of the policy of industrial development at European, national and of course, regional level. The support to the AAEEII is integrated in the European strategy of promotion of the competitiveness of the SMEs, in order to prevent market failures related to problems of coordination and cooperation among them.
On the other hand, this measure is also aligned with the actions of promotion and consolidation of clusters launched by the Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism.

Would you recommend this measure as an example of regional good practice to policy-makers from other regions ?:
Evaluation report(s)