Today, on 11 August 2020, the Cabinet of Ministers has approved the regulation for the bilateral fund of the Norway grants programme “Business Development, Innovation and SMEs”. The implementation of this programme shall be ensured by the Investment and Development Agency of Latvia (LIAA).
The bilateral fund aims to improve cooperation and mutual knowledge and understanding between Latvia and Norway in the areas of green industry innovation, welfare technologies and ICT. Janis Locmelis, Head of the Norwegian Financial Mechanism Department of LIAA, emphasizes that the bilateral fund is a good opportunity to address potential partners in Norway.
“With the support of the fund, we plan to organise visits by Latvian entrepreneurs to Norway in order to promote the development of various joint partnership projects between Latvian and Norwegian entrepreneurs, which is one of the objectives of the Norway grants programme. Entrepreneurs who will be interested in this kind of cooperation will have the opportunity to cover the costs of visits from the fund" – says J.Locmelis.
Under the Memorandum of Understanding on the introduction of Norway grants for the period 2014-2021 concluded between Latvia and Norway, there are allocated EUR 125 000 within the programme for the implementation of bilateral cooperation initiatives, representing 100 % co-financing of Norway grants.
Through this funding, the LIAA will promote project partnerships and networking by organizing bilateral activities for the exchange of experience, knowledge, technology and best practices between Latvian entrepreneurs and Norwegian entrepreneurs, institutions, associations, foundations and international organisations.
The total financing of the programme “Business Development, Innovation and SMEs” is EUR 14.7 million including Norway grants for an amount of EUR 12.5 million and national co-financing – EUR 2.2 million. The programme will provide an opportunity for enterprises to attract co-financing of 35 % to 70 % of the eligible costs of the project for the development of green technologies and innovations. The first project application selections are scheduled to be carried out at the end of this year.
The programme will be implemented till 30 April 2024.