This evaluation focuses on the Grants’ “Innovation” programmes and considers how they contribute to increased value creation, sustainable growth, and competitiveness of private enterprises. On a general level, the evaluation investigates how the programmes are contributing to the Grants’ objectives of reducing social and economic disparities and strengthening bilateral relations. It explores the programme linkages with relevant EU policies, such as the European Green Deal and the European Industrial Strategy. In addition, the evaluation investigates the effects of the programmes on enterprise and business environments in the Beneficiary States and Donor States.
On a more specific level, the evaluators explore the extent to which the Grants help companies to be more competitive, and identify which elements lead to increased competitiveness and value creation. The evaluation assesses the ‘ease of access’ to the programmes for different types of businesses in the Beneficiary States. The evaluators consider the Grants’ regulatory environment, the use of focus areas, the design of calls, the Beneficiary States’ application of state aid rules, and other assistance given to applicants and project promoters. Finally, the evaluation aims to be forward-looking and considers which focus areas may best match the needs and interests of the Beneficiary and Donor states in the future.