Current state of subsidy programmes
The end of the Operational Programme Enterprise and Innovation for Competitiveness (OPEIC) period is approaching. Below, we provide an overview of the calls currently open, mainly focusing on research and development and innovations in production. At the same time, the Technology Agency of the Czech Republic (TA CR) has also announced new grant opportunities.
Calls to participate in OPEIC
OPEIC programmes currently open include the Potential Programme, which supports the establishment or the expansion of research and development centres. The programme aims to support investment expenditure on tangible and intangible assets, newly built constructions and other equipment, covering 50% of eligible expenses and distributing a subsidy per project ranging between CZK 2 million to CZK 50 million. Applications will be accepted until 23 November 2020.
The Application Programme helps cover operating expenses incurred to perform industrial research and experimental development projects. Depending on the programme conditions, support is provided in respect of 25–65% of eligible expenses such as wages, contractual research expenses, research and development advisory services, depreciation of tools, devices and equipment, additional overheads and other operating expenses. Large businesses carrying out projects but not cooperating with small or medium-size businesses may receive subsidies ranging between CZK 2 million to CZK 50 million; projects meeting the criteria of intervention codes 065 and/or 063 (see below) may receive subsidies ranging from CZK 2 million to CZK 100 million. Applications will be accepted until 15 December 2020.
The Innovation Programme is aimed at supporting innovative activities in production. Applications will be accepted from 15 October 2020 to 29 January 2021. The programme supports expenditure on constructions, technologies, software and data, project documentation, intellectual property rights, product certification, and marketing innovation. The aid intensity for large enterprises is 25% and the granted project subsidy may be in the range of CZK 1 million to CZK 75 million.
To participate in the above calls, large businesses must continue to fulfil intervention code criteria, in particular those of intervention codes 065 and 063 (except for the above mentioned projects within the Application Programme), which mainly cover projects having a positive impact on the environment. They must therefore focus on the low-carbon economy and climate change resilience (code 065) or cooperate with an SME on a given project (code 063).
Calls announced by the Technology Agency of the Czech Republic (TA CR)
In September, TA CR informed that it was planning to announce the fourth call under the TREND programme supporting industrial research and experimental development on 13 January 2021. This will be a call to participate in Sub-Programme 2 – Newcomers, designed for businesses that have not been drawing research and development subsidies exceeding CZK 1 million for the last five years.
The TREND programme as a departmental programme of the Ministry of Industry and Trade mainly focuses on enhancing the international competitiveness of enterprises, expanding their markets abroad and penetrating new ones. Project outputs that will be supported include industrial design or utility models, prototypes or functional samples, software, pilot plants or verified technology, and patents or methodologies (both only in combination with previous results).
Support will be provided in respect of operating expenses (wages including scholarships, subcontracting, project-related indirect and direct costs), with a maximum aid intensity of up to 80% and a maximum subsidy per project of EUR 15 million. Support may also be drawn by applicants from Prague.
Within the evaluation process, projects concerning sectors such as Industry 4.0, Automotive, Technology 5G or projects aimed at mitigating health threats such as COVID-19 and their effects will be given preference. Furthermore, the programme favours projects carried out in structurally affected regions; these together with other detailed information will be specified in the tender documentation at the moment the call is announced.
Should you be interested, we will provide you with more detailed information on the programmes or assess the adequacy of the above programmes and other speciﬁc criteria for your planned activities.