The Investment and Development Agency of Latvia (hereinafter – LIAA), as the Norwegian Financial Mechanism’s 2014-2021 Programme “Business Development, Innovation and SME’s” (hereinafter – the Programme) operator (hereinafter – the Programme Operator) is pleased to announce an open call for proposals “Application of green industry innovation and ICT products and technologies” (hereinafter – the call). The objective of the call is increased competitiveness for Latvian enterprises within the focus areas of green industry innovation and ICT.
What kind of projects are supported?
Within the call, the support provided to projects is in the areas of green industry innovation and ICT. The support is given to project promoters for:
- application of new products and technologies with reduced environmental impact in the area of green industry innovation;
- application of ICT products in the production process ensuring digitalisation or automation of the manufacturing processes in the area of ICT.
The project's result is a new product introduced into the production process of the enterprise by applying a new technology. The project should also create new jobs and increase competitiveness. Plus, the project in the area of green industry innovation should have an environmental impact also.
Who can apply for the call?
A legal person registered in the Commercial Register of the Republic of Latvia who conforms to small or medium-sized enterprise (Definition "SMEs”: SMEs are enterprises which employ fewer than 250 persons and which have an annual turnover not exceeding EUR 50 million, and/or an annual balance sheet total not exceeding EUR 43 million) status may apply for the grant. A project promoter may also submit a project application in cooperation with a project partner, which is any public or private entity, a commercial or non-commercial and non-governmental organisation registered as a legal person in the Kingdom of Norway or the Republic of Latvia. An enterprise may submit only one project application. This limitation also applies to any group of enterprises or persons affiliated with the enterprise.
Partnerships with Norwegian entities are encouraged, and additional points will be awarded as part of the project appraisal. A donor partnership project is defined as cooperation between a project promoter and at least one legal entity in Norway, implementing a project where all entities are not affiliated to each other and perform substantial and relevant tasks in the completion of the project. A contribution comprised only by the supply of equipment will normally not qualify for such points.
The partner can be any entity registered as a legal person in Norway. The partner will not receive state aid through this call. Reimbursement of the costs of the partner will be made through invoicing the project promoter. The cooperation should focus on knowledge transfer and R&D activities necessary for applying the new product and technology.
The total amount of the funding available for the call is EUR 8 495 389, of which EUR 5 847 694,50 is available for green industry innovation projects, while the available funding for the ICT projects is EUR 2 647 694,50. Support for a single project is between EUR 200 000 and EUR 600 000. Within the call, the maximum aid intensity for small-sized enterprises shall be 55% of the project's total eligible costs, and 45% of the project's total eligible costs for medium-sized companies. The project shall be implemented within two years from the date of commencement of the eligibility of the project expenditure specified in the project contract, but not later than 30th April 2024.
The project promoter may request an advance payment of up to 25% from the granted support if the project promoter submits a guarantee of the first request of a credit institution registered in the European Union to the Programme Operator for the amount of the advance payment.
- The purchase of new equipment, software, licences and patents, in the area of green industry innovation which provides application of a new product, including new technology, and would reduce the environmental impact;
- The purchase of new equipment, software, licences and patents in the area of ICT related to the application of ICT products in the production process and which ensures the introduction of a new product;
- The mandatory information and communication activities;
- R&D activities related to the application of a new product and technology;
- Knowledge transfer with project partner that necessary for the project;
- The receipt of an advance guarantee in a credit institution registered in the European Union.
- Purchase of new equipment, software, licences and patents. In purchase costs of equipment, costs for delivery, installation and instruction of the personnel working with equipment can be included.
- The information and communication costs are foreseen in the project:
- the costs of organising seminars, conferences and information events;
- the costs of the information billboard;
- the costs of creating a website or supplementing an existing website;
- other costs of supply and service contracts, which are necessary for the organisation and provision of information and communication activities, including marketing materials, translation, press releases, photos, video, audio and visual materials.
- R&D costs:
- remuneration costs for staff implementing the project, which together does not exceed EUR 4 000 per month;
- accommodation and business travel costs;
- research and testing materials and the costs of supply that are directly related to the application of the new product and technology;
- the costs of outsourcing services (for example, testing and product certification services, licensing services, information system development services) that are directly related to applying a new product and technology.
- For knowledge transfer with project partner:
- remuneration costs for a staff of the project partner, if the relevant costs are directly related to the application of a new product and technology in the project;
- accommodation and business travel costs that are directly related to the application of the new product and technology;
- costs of the independent and certified auditor report on costs incurred by the project partner.
- For the receipt of an advance guarantee - commission of a credit institution registered in the European Union for the examination of an advance guarantee and receipt of advance payments.
To apply for the call co-financing, the project promoter shall submit a project application consisting of a project application form with annexes, a business plan, and other additional documents. The project application form and a business plan shall be submitted in Latvian and English. The list of the documents that need to be submitted is available in Paragraph 15 of the call's Selection Regulation.
The project promoter can submit the project application:
- in electronic form, signed with a secure electronic signature, by sending to the Programme Operators’ e-mail address - firstname.lastname@example.org;
- in paper form, mailed by letter to the Programme Operator's registered office * - Pērses Street 2, Riga, LV-1442.
* When submitting the project application in paper form, the project promoter shall send the electronic version of the project application to – email@example.com within two days from the time of submission.
The deadline for submitting project applications is before 23:59 (Latvian time) on 30 June 2021. If the project application is sent by post, the date and time of submission are counted as the day and time of dispatch, as indicated by the postal stamp.
Selection process and decision-making structure
The Programme Operator shall establish a Selection Committee for the selection of projects (hereinafter – the Selection Committee).
The Selection Committee shall evaluate the conformity of the project application following the Republic of Latvia's regulatory enactments and the Norwegian Financial Mechanism and under the methodology for applying the criteria of the project application (Annex 3 of the call’s Selection Regulation) developed by the Programme Operator. The Selection Committee provides its opinion regarding the project application – approval, approval with condition/conditions, or rejection. Based on the Selection Committee's opinion, a decision regarding the approval, approval with condition/conditions or rejection shall be made by the Programme Operator within a period of four-month from the end date of submission of the project application.
Before decision regarding the approval of the project application or an opinion regarding the fulfilment of the conditions, the Programme Operator has the right to carry out field visits at the place of project implementation in order to ascertain the actual conditions for the implementation of the call project and whether the activities have not been commenced and the costs have not been performed prior to the taking of the decision of the Programme Operator.
The Programme Operator's decision may be appealed by submitting a relevant submission to the Director General of the LIAA (hereinafter – Director General). The decision taken by the Director General regarding the contested decision of the Programme Operator may be appealed by applying to the relevant courthouse of the Administrative District Court.
More information about outcomes, requirements for project promoter and partners, eligible activities and costs, preparation, submission and procedure for the application, the procedure for evaluating the projects, decision-making and entry into a contract, can be found in the calls Selection Regulation.
Documents related to the submission of the open call project application and other annexes can be found on eeagrants.lv website.
Regulation on the implementation of the Norwegian Financial Mechanism 2014-2021 adopted by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs pursuant to Article 10.5. of the Agreement between the Kingdom of Norway and the Europe Union on a Norwegian Financial Mechanism for the period 2014-2021 on 23rd September 2016
Question regarding the preparation and submission of the project application to the e-mail address – firstname.lastname@example.org.
If the project promoter has requested answers to the questions regarding the preparation and submission of the project application in writing, the Programme Operator shall provide the reply within five working days from the date of receipt of the question, but not later than within two working days prior to the deadline for the submission of the project application, sending it in the electronic mail to the address specified by the enterprise.
Complaints may be submitted to the Programme Operator by post and by electronic means. For more information on the institutions where irregularities can be reported, it is available at https://eeagrants.lv/en/report-irregularities/.