The European Union willingly grants entrepreneurs with funds for innovative projects. Grants for research and development works, research infrastructure and implementation of innovations are plannedmostly under Regional Programmes for individual voivodeships, as well as Smart Growth and Eastern Poland Programme.
EU funds help to finance the most advanced projects related to the dynamic
development of companies, introduction of advanced technologies, processes and innovations. The support applies mainly to research works, creation of research infrastructure, use of research results in the enterprise and creation of innovative product prototypes. An innovative project may be, for example, the creation of a product or service that is new from the perspective of the client, introduction of new production method in the enterprise which may be supplemented with innovations involving changed work organisation in the enterprise or employment of new method of product promotion, says Anna Misiołek, President of the Management Board of Abbeys.
Innovative solution may result from own creativity of the company, research and development activities of the company or
cooperation with other entrepreneurs or research institutions in the form of outsourcing or as a consortium with a university. Innovative but not for everyone EU funds are politicised,
so an entrepreneur must meet a number of requirements to get them. What is interesting is that an innovative project, as understood by the author of the idea, is not always treated in the same way during the co-financing procedure.
An innovative project may be, for example, the creation of a product or service that is new from the perspective of the client, introduction of new production method in the enterprise which may be supplemented with innovation involving changed work organisation in the enterprise or employment of new method of product promotion, says Anna Misiołek, President of the Management Board of Abbeys.
The greater reach the project has (in terms of region or country), the greater the chances for support are. What also matters is the time in which the new solution can be employed. The sooner the better, as this proves the innovative application of a given idea. The product or service market potential is also important. It is worthwhile to refer to market competition. Entrepreneurs operating in Poland most often need to obtain the financing for the construction, for example, of technological line or building, but they rarely introduce an absolutely unique product. They enhance it, says Anna Misiołek. Grants for pioneer ideas offer the companies with many benefits.
First of all, there are financial benefits. The company receives money to complete the project and does not have to involve its own means or take out loans that need to be later repaid. Secondly, thanks to the completion of the project, it becomes competitive and will be able to offer better business terms for its clients, she adds.
Various programmes to choose from
Projects matching regional specialisations, contributing to the creation of new (sustainable) jobs, distinguished by the level of innovativeness, contributing to the development of export (increase of competitiveness on an international scale), completed in selected territorial areas (e.g. characterised with higher unemployment, lower entrepreneurship), supporting key specialisations in the country or meeting the EUROPE 2020 STRATEGY may be supported under regional programmes. If a company needs grants for research works that are consistent with national smart specialisations, it may benefit from the support under the Smart Growth Programme (list of national specialisations is available at www.smart.gov.pl). If an enterprise does not fit this list, it may fit the regional list of smart specialisations (their list is available at the website of the regional programme for a given voivodeship), and the support may be obtained from the regional programme. The company that intends to implement innovations may benefit from the Eastern Poland Programme or voivodeship programmes. The co-financing from the Eastern Poland Programme is available to companies from the following voivodeships: Lubelskie, Podkarpackie, Podlaskie, Świętokrzyskie and Warmińsko-Mazurskie.
The funds are intended for the creation of innovative products and services. The co-financing applications may be submitted at marshal’s offices or institutions that deal with these tasks. You can ask consultancy companies to help you with writing the application and preparing relevant documents.