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

The programme implementation agreement for the Greek Business Development, Innovation and SMEs programme was signed on 14 February 2019.

Photo credit: Bogdan Croitoru

Key information about the programme

  1. The programme is operated by: Innovation Norway.
  2. Programme partner: The Hellenic Fund for Entrepreneurship and Development (ETEAN).
  3. The programme’s objective is: Increase value creation and sustainable growth.
  4. The programme funding amounts to €21,500,000 and is entirely funded by the EEA Grants.

Why is the programme needed?

The objective of the Innovation, Business Development, and SMEs programme in Greece is to increase value creation and sustainable growth in Greek enterprises, mainly SMEs. The Programme will support initiatives that increase competitiveness and profitability among Greek enterprises and bring more innovation in products, technologies, services and processes. Further, the Programme will seek to stimulate and develop long-term business cooperation between Iceland/Liechtenstein/Norway and Greece based on business development and innovation.

What will the programme achieve and who are the beneficiaries?

The Programme will apply a bottom-up approach and address 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 for funds: Green Industry Innovation, Blue Growth and ICT.

The Programme will have a strong focus on innovation in the defined focus areas. This is important in order to increase the competitiveness of the private sector in Greece as private enterprises depends on their capacity to innovate in products, technologies, services and processes .

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. implementation of innovative technologies and solutions in enterprises).

Thanks to this programme:

  • 15 innovative technologies/processes/solutions will be developed
  • 25 innovative technologies/processes/solutions will be applied
  • 18 enterprises will be supported to green their business operation by improving their energy efficiency
  • 15 SMEs and 5 large enterprises will receive business skills support (training, coaching, mentoring etc.)
  • 10 of business organisations/clusters will supported Greek private enterprises to increase their business knowledge
  • 150 professionals will be trained
  • 100 jobs will be created
  • 30,000 tons of CO2 will be reduced annually
  • 1200 MWh will be reduced from energy consumption annually

How will the programme strengthen bilateral relations?

The Programme contributes to strengthening bilateral relations between Greece and the Donor States. Donor project partnerships will be facilitated through matchmaking events and activities in conjunction with the launch of calls for proposals, as well as by encouraging donor partnership projects in call texts.

Innovation Norway, the Fund Operator, will support bilateral initiatives, such as networking, exchange, sharing and transfer of knowledge, experience and best practices in business.

Donor partnership projects will be highly encouraged and will be based on signed partnership agreements. The Programme seeks to finance partnerships with strong potential to continue after the project implementation will end.

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 with focus areas: Green Industry Innovation, Blue Growth and ICT was launched on 3 April 2019 and is open until Tuesday, 1st October 2019.
  • Small Grants Scheme no.1 with focus areas: Green Industry Innovation, Blue Growth and ICT was launched on 3 April 2019 and is open until Tuesday, 1st October 2019.
  • Small Grants Scheme no. 2 with focus areas: business development/soft measures will be launched in 2020.

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