The first 202 grant contracts under Operational Programme „Innovations and Competitiveness” 2014-2020 will be signed until Christmas
The first 202 grant contracts under Operational Programme „Innovations and Competitiveness” (OPIC) 2014-2020 will be signed until Christmas. This was announced by the Minister of Economy, Bozhidar Lukarski on a press-conference, which presented the results of the evaluation of project proposals, submitted within the first deadline of OPIC procedure “Improving the production capacity in SMEs”. Minister Lukarski underlined, that the procedure has met a great success, was extremely transparent and with clear criteria.
Within the first deadline 844 project proposals were submitted by enterprises working in the sectors of low-tech and medium-low-tech industries. The amount of the requested grant is over BGN 435 million, which exceeds approximately 4 times the resources, allocated for the first deadline. Of the submitted project proposals 202 are proposed to be funded with a total amount of grant BGN 116,5 million.
Due to the extremely high interest in the procedure and in particular - the first deadline, the number of the project proposals, passed successfully technical and financial assessment, but which lack financial resources, is 498, noted Minister Lukarski. These projects are in the Reserve list, and for them the Ministry will seek an opportunity to increase the budget of the procedure with approximately BGN 100 million. In case such decision is taken, more projects from the Reserve list will be funded.
The Minister noted that the proposals, offered for financing in the category "Micro enterprises", cover 38 projects with a total amount of grant approved – BGN 11 571 488,90. Within category „Small enterprise“ fall 77 projects, with a total amount of grant approved – BGN 40 708 080,23, and in the category „Medium-sized enterprise“ - 87 projects, with a total amount of grant approved – BGN 64 158 678,59.
It was mentioned, that one of the main guidelines of the programme for targeted support for the North West Region is executed, where increasing in the investment interest was registered. The number of the submitted project proposals concerning this region is 152. Of them 63 are proposed for funding, as 53 are with single place of performance North West Region and the 10 others intend to implement part of their activities on its territory. For comparison, during the previous programming period, the number of the submitted project proposals, stated for implementation on the territory of the North West Region is 233, and the number of contracts is 61, noted Minister Lukarski. For the other regions the allocation of approved projects proposals is: South Central Region – 60 project proposals; South West Region – 27 project proposals; South East Region - 32 project proposals; North Central Region – 24 project proposals and North East Region – 10 project proposals.
"In process of assessment are the 280 project proposals, submitted within the second deadline, and the 203 project proposals, submitted within the third deadline. The evaluation of the project proposals of the enterprises, belonging to the high-tech and medium high-tech industries, submitted within the second deadline, will be finished in December 2015, and the signing of the grant contracts is planned for January 2016”, explained the Minister. According to his words, the assessment is carried out within three months, and not, as it was previously - five months. "The evaluation of candidates in the sector of knowledge-intensive services will be completed in January 2016", he indicated.
Mrs. Ivelina Peneva, Director General of the Directorate General “European Funds for Competitiveness”, added that the most projects proposals are in sectors related to the production of metallic and non-metallic equipment, garments, rubber and plastic products, enterprises producing furniture and food products.