Programme implementation agreement signed for the Business Development, Innovation and SMEs programme in Romania

The programme implementation agreement for the Romanian Business Development, Innovation and SMEs programme was signed on 16 May 2018.

Photo credit: Bogdan Croitoru

Key information about the programme

  1. The programme is operated by: Innovation Norway
  2. The programme’s objective is: Increased value creation and sustainable growth.
  3. The programme funding amounts to €45,000,000 out of which €25,000,000 is funded through the EEA Grants and 20,000,000 is funded through the Norway Grants.

Why is the programme needed?

Stronger and more competitive Romanian enterprises are key for Romania’s economic and social development. The Programme contributes to increased value creation and sustainable growth by supporting initiatives in green industry innovation, blue growth and ICT that will increase profitability and competitiveness of Romanian enterprises and stimulate innovation in products, technologies, services and processes. Knowledge sharing in this area is key: the Programme will stimulate and contribute to long-term business cooperation between Iceland/Lichtenstein/Norway and Romania based on business development and innovation.

What will the programme achieve and who are the beneficiaries?

The Programme Business Development, Innovation and SMEs Romania follows a bottom-up approach and addresses the identified needs and challenges of the business sector, by supporting enterprises whose project ideas are selected through open calls. Projects proposed within the following three focus areas will be eligible: Green Industry Innovation, ICT, Blue Growth. Minimum 50% from the total budget available for the programme will be allocated to the Green Industry Innovation focus areas. The aim is to use 75% of the Programme budget to support SMEs projects.

The programme will contribute to:

  • The development of innovation activities within the enterprises (i.e. Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 5-8), and commercialisation of innovation support application of an already developed innovation (i.e. TRL 9) ),
  • Business development based on the application of innovation that is available on the market (e.g. application in enterprises of innovative technologies and solutions).

Thanks to this programme:

  • 22 innovative technologies/processes/solutions will be developed
  • 55 innovative technologies/processes/solutions will be applied
  • 11 innovative technologies/processes/solutions will be commercialized
  • 22 SMEs and 8 large enterprises will be supported to improve their energy efficiency
  • 40 start-ups will be supported with investments in technology/machinery/equipment
  • 15 SMEs, 5 large enterprises and 40 start-ups will receive business skills support (training, coaching, mentoring etc.)
  • 5 business organizations and clusters will support SMEs in fields such as business models, eco-innovation, circular economy, internationalization, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
  • 150 persons will be trained
  • 220 jobs will be created
  • 75,000 tons of waste from operational processes will be collected for re-use or recycling annually
  • 80,000 tons of CO2 will be reduced annually
  • 3000 MWh will be reduced from energy consumption annually

How will the programme strengthen bilateral relations?

The Programme will contribute to strengthening bilateral relations between Romania and the Donor States.

The Programme will as appropriate facilitate donor partnership projects by carrying out, inter alia, match-making events and activities in conjunction with launching calls for proposals, as well as by encouraging donor partnership projects in call texts.

Availability of funding through open calls

The funding in this programme will be made available through the following open calls:

  • Call for proposals no. 1 (EEA FM) with focus areas Green Industry Innovation, Blue Growth, ICT closed in November 2018.
  • Call for proposals no. 2 (Norwegian FM) with focus areas Green Industry Innovation, Blue Growth, ICT will be launched in the 3rd Quarter 2019.
  • Small grant scheme no. 1, with focus areas: Green Industry Innovation, Blue Growth, ICT closed in November 2018.
  • Small grant scheme no. 2, Initiatives for business growth in start-ups will be launched in the 1st Quarter 2020.
  • Small grant scheme no. 3, Initiatives for development of business skills will be launched in the 1st Quarter 2020.

Bilateral call: Calls for bilateral activities (Bilateral business cooperation development) will be available.

Download the full programme agreement for more detailed information about the programme. More information can also be found on Innovation Norway’s website.