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The main objective of this support measure is to increase R&D activities of companies as a result of increased private investment in innovation within regional smart specialisations. It is one of the new instruments foreseen as Activity 1.2. to be financed within the Regional Operational Programme 2014-2020. The design of this measure was inspired by a similar instrument implemented at national level during the 2014-2020 programming period that provided support for business R&D activities.Within this support measure, the funding will be provided for the following types of projects:
The target group of this support measure are enterprises and their networks/groupings, science-industry consortia, purposive vehicles/spin-offs set up by public research instititutions, as well as local government units and their groupings.The financial allocation form EU funds for this measure amounts to 81,520,000 EUR.
According to the mid-term evaluation report on the Wielkopolskie Regional Operational Programme 2014-2020 published in 2019, under this measure, 170 out of 371 applications submitted for co-financing were approved. The number of projects amounted to 126. As much as 45.7% of the allocation was contracted. Such programme indicators as the number of firms receiving aid, number of firms receiving subsidies, as well as the number of firms cooperating with research centres will be significantly exceeded. The cause for exceeding the indicator is the low value of projects, below PLN 1.3m, as compared to PLN 25m permissible in the Detailed Description of Priority Axes. The evaluators noted that the only indicator which will not be fully achieved will be the private investments supplementing public aid for enterprises (subsidies) indicator which will, however, achieve a satisfactory level of 85% of the target value. Since the interest in calls under Activity 1.2 had been very high, the evaluators made an optimistic assumption that the entire amount for the call announced in February 2019 (PLN 50m) would be contracted.
In summary, the most important “Do’s and Don’ts” when planning a similar measures are as follows: