With the completion of the 1st successful cycle, the single RTDI State Aid Action “Research – Create – Innovate” continues dynamically with a 2nd cycle, which was presented in Athens on the 8th of April 2019 at the Eugenides Foundation Amphitheater. This action is funded by the Operational Program ‘Competitiveness, Entrepreneurship, Innovation’ (EPAnEK 2014-2020).
This action is directly related to correlate innovation and academic research to competitiveness and entrepreneurship, with the ultimate goal of productivity. Its main purpose is to provide direct financial support for the promotion of research activities and quality innovations, with a policy to make better use of scientific knowledge. It aims at economic development, integration of innovative knowledge and increase of employment, while maintaining a balance of public and private sector participation. This action intends to support the development of synergies among enterprises and research and development centers as well as to support the patentability of research results.
In the context of the 2nd cycle, enterprises located or having an annex in Greece are being focused. Their proposals of projects should apply to one of the following four (4) categories of Interventions (Operations): I) Research and Development by Enterprises, II) Business Partnerships with Research Organizations, III) Exploitation of Research Results and the new Intervention of the 2nd cycle IV) Enterprises with a ‘Seal of Excellence’ (“Horizon 2020”). As for the 4th one, these are proposals considered by the SME (Small and Medium-sized Enterprises) Instrument as highly innovative but could not be funded due to insufficient budget. There is regional and thematic resource allocation. The main thematic areas are: information & communication technologies, food industry, health & medicine, tourism & culture, etc. The level of subsidy is determined by the nature of research and the size of each company. The duration of the projects’ implementation is thirty (30) months starting from the date of the official assessment of joining the program.
In particular, the procedure of selecting and approving the beneficiaries was explained, the procedure of evaluating the proposals was analyzed, the eligibility rules for the expenditure categories were clarified, and the way of submitting proposals through the State Aid Information System was presented. Through a simple process, the organizations have the opportunity to innovate and introduce new or improved products and services to the international market. The key evaluation criteria are the scientific and technical excellence of the content of the project, the experience and credibility of the beneficiaries and the impact of the project. Also, expenses are subsidized as long as they are true, paid off, not subject to another project and comply with Greece’s accounting and tax system.