Mobilizing Agendas/Alliances for Business Innovation and Green Agendas/Alliances for Business Innovation

Call for Ideas (Notice No. 01/C05-i01/2021)

1. Initial framing

This Notice constitutes a Call for Ideas for the formation of Mobilizing Agendas or Green Agendas for Business Innovation, and aims, through an open and competitive consultation process, in which all relevant entities from the world of business, scientific and technological systems, or public agencies can participate to identify real investment opportunities and execution capacities, as well as innovation pacts and mobilizing projects, to be supported.

The two Agendas share the same regulatory aspects, with a single tender procedure, and differ only in terms of their contribution, which in the case of the Green Agendas is centered on climate transition objectives. In this sense, the so-called Green Agendas must foster the circular economy and leverage the development of new products, services, and solutions with high added value and added knowledge and technology, which will allow us to respond to the challenge of the green transition toward environmental sustainability and carbon neutrality. Additionally, proposals submitted within the scope of the Green Agendas must obtain a rating of “Very Good” in Criterion VI - Project contribution to carbon neutrality and energy resilience, in order to be considered eligible.

2. Agenda Objectives

Contribute to changing the specialization profile of the Portuguese economy

  • Encourage higher value-added and knowledge-intensive activities;
  • Contribute to innovative products, processes, or services with greater technological complexity.

Increase exports of goods and services

  • Contribute to European technological sovereignty;
  • Achieve an export volume equivalent to 50% of GDP by 2027 and 53% of GDP by 2030, with a focus on increasing the technological balance of payments.

Increase investment in R&D to reach 3% of GDP by 2030

  • With 1.25% public expenditure and 1.75% private expenditure, compared to an estimated total value of 1.4% of GDP in 2019, where private expenditure represents around 55% of the total.

Reduce CO2 emissions by 55% by 2030

  • In line with a trajectory that allows for carbon neutrality by 2050, in accordance with the 2030 National Energy and Climate Plan (PNEC) and the Roadmap for Carbon Neutrality, and with the definition of environmentally sustainable activities.

3. Project typologies and specific conditions

Innovation Pacts

  • Support programs and collective initiatives carried out in cooperation by various entities with the capacity to structurally transform the productive fabric of Portugal or of a region, through emblematic initiatives for the production of tradable goods and services in areas with greater added value and based on knowledge;
  • Minimum investment: 50 million euros;
  • Consortium with at least 10 entities [companies+Non-Business Entities from the Research and Innovation System (ENESII)], one of which is non-SME;
  • Project completion and achievement of results by 12-31-2025.

Innovation Agenda Mobilizing Projects

  • Investments put forward by companies, in conjunction with R&I institutions, aimed at promoting the development and transfer of R&D and its transformation into new goods and services, directed at more specific initiatives by the consortium entities;
  • Minimum investment: 20 million euros;
  • Consortium composed of companies and ENESII;
  • Completion and achievement of results by 12-31-2025, with a maximum duration of 36 months.

4. Beneficiaries and geographical area of application

Beneficiaries

  • Companies, ENESII, Clusters, public administration entities, associations;
  • Business, scientific, technological, and associative world and public entities.

Geographical area

  • National territory, including the autonomous regions of Madeira and the Azores;
  • Entities must have a legally constituted establishment in any of the NUTS II regions.

5. Eligible investment typologies

Research, development, and innovation 

  • Projects focused primarily on technology readiness levels (TRL) closer to the market, including technology transfer and demonstration processes, with a view to their introduction in the market. 

Productive investment 

  • Projects that materialize the production of new goods and services, with a clear focus on supporting technologically advanced production by business investors.

Organizational qualification and internationalization

  • Organizational qualification and internationalization projects, including support for the development of platforms and databases.

Human resources training 

  • Human resources training projects, including advanced training programs.

Dissemination and Promotion

  • Dissemination and promotion projects for the initiatives and products, processes, or services developed within the scope of the agendas.

6. Conditions to be guaranteed in the creation of each Consortium

  • Submission of the governance and coordination model;
  • Led by a company;
  • Nature of a "complete consortium" (with companies that are technology takers and end-users);
  • Innovation Pacts: mandatory integration of a Non-SME;
  • Majority weight of business entities.

7. Main general rules on the eligibility of expenses

Expenses

  • Eligible from the date of submission of the proposal. The application must be submitted before the start date of the work (either the first firm commitment to order equipment or any other commitment that makes the investment irreversible). The purchase of land and preparatory work (licenses and feasibility studies) are not considered to be the start of work;
  • Submission of expenses by 06-30-2026;
  • Definitive milestones and targets must be met by 12-31-2025.

8. Application selection criteria

  • Contribution to carbon neutrality and energy resilience;
  • Degree of innovation or differentiation;
  • Impact on business competitiveness and national production specialization;
  • Potential impact on the development region;
  • Investment leverage capacity
  • Potential for economic valorization of innovation and scalability;
  • Consortium quality (skills of promoters);
  • Economic and financial viability.

9. Main applicable maximum funding rates

Type of support: Subsidies (whose conditions will be set forth in the program contract to be signed with the promoters of the selected projects), applying the following maximum funding rates in the context of business entities (with regard to the funding of the other categories of entities participating in the consortia—non-business entities—the support rate will be 100% on investments deemed eligible):
Categories (1)
Maximum rates
 
Possible Increases
 
Investment aid for regional purposes (2)
North, Center, and Alentejo
30%
Medium-sized companies: 10%
Small companies: 20%
A.R. Azores
50%
A.R. Madeira
40%
Non-predefined "c" regions (still being defined)
15%/10%
Aid for research and development projects
Fundamental research
100%
Medium-sized companies: 10%
Small companies: 20%
Experimental development
25%
Industrial research and feasibility studies
50%
Aid for innovation in processes and organization
SME
50%
---
Non-SME in cooperation with SME (which bears >30% of the total eligible costs)
15%
Aid for innovation clusters
50%
North, Center, Alentejo, A.R. Madeira, A.R. Azores
15%
Algarve, Setúbal Peninsula, and some municipalities/parishes in Greater Lisbon (still being defined)
5%
Education aid
50%
Disabled or underprivileged workers
10%
Medium-sized Company
10%
Small Company
20%
(1) As stipulated in the General Block Exemption Regulation – GBER
(2) Large projects (eligible expenditure >€50M): the support rate ceiling is subject to an adjustment in line with the Guidelines on National Regional Aid for the period 2021-2027.

10. Notice funding

€930M (Mobilizing Agendas for Business Innovation and Green Agendas for Business Innovation)

  • €558M Mobilizing Agendas for Business Innovation
  • €372M Green Agendas for Business Innovation

11. Procedures for submitting the application

Platform

Annex

  • Descriptive Memory/Technical Annex of the project (max. 25 pages) and letter of intent/declaration of each entity that is part of the consortium.

Submission deadline

  • Until September 30, 2021.

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