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3. State incentives for specific industries

3.1. Research, development and technological innovation

A) 2021-2027 Spanish Strategy for Science and Technology and for Innovation

Encouraging innovation, technological improvement and research and development projects continues to be one of the priority objectives of the Spanish public authorities, since this is a determining factor of the increase in a country’s competitiveness and economic and social development.

Science, Technology and Innovation Law 14/2011, of June 1, 2011 (the "LCTI") establishes the legal framework for the fostering of scientific and technical research, experimental development and innovation in Spain, founded on a scheme based on the approval of the related Spanish Strategies for Science, Technology and Innovation, which serve as multi-year reference documents for reaching the statutory objectives and as a basis for the preparation of a State Plan through which to instrument in detail the initiatives required to perform such objectives.

In line with the foregoing, at the end of 2020, the Council of Ministers approved, “the Spanish Strategy for Science and Technology and for Innovation” for the 2021-2027 period, whose essential purpose is to promote based on a solid system for generating new knowledge, a productive system that is based on current strengths and is more dynamic and innovative. Overcoming the global crisis caused by COVID-19 and reestablishing a strong national R&D&I system are also urgent actions to which the Strategy attempts to respond. To this end, the following 7 general objectives are established:

  1. Position science, technology and innovation as key areas for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 Agenda.
  2. Contribute to the EU’s political priorities by aligning with its R&D&I programs, providing support to the agents responsible for the Science, Technology and Innovation System (“SECTI”) in order to achieve this objective.
  3. Prioritize and respond to challenges confronting the national strategic industries through R&D&I, in order to foster the social, economic, industrial and environmental development of the country.
  4. Generate knowledge and scientific leadership, optimizing the position of research staff and institutions, as well as the quality of their infrastructure and equipment. The aim is also to foster quality and scientific excellence, favoring a systemic effect that reaches and benefits a large number of groups, as well as the application of scientific knowledge to the development of new technologies that can be used by companies and to boost society’s communication capacity and to influence the public and private sector.
  5. Boost Spain’s ability to attract, recover and retain talent, thereby facilitating professional progress and the mobility of research staff in the public and private sector and their ability to influence decision-making.
  6. Foster the transfer of knowledge and to forge bidirectional links between science and companies, through the mutual understanding of needs and objectives, particularly in the case of SMEs.
  7. Promote research and innovation in the Spanish business world, thereby increasing its commitment to R&D&I and broadening the scope of innovative companies to make the business world more competitive.

With the launch of this Strategy, the aim is to duplicate the sum of public and private investments, until reaching the European average in 2027 (from the 1.24% of GDP in investment in R&D&I recorded in 2018, to 2.12% in 2027).

In order to attain the foregoing objectives, and having regard to the characteristics of the environment in which the agents of the SECTI are to pursue their activities, 14 priority areas of cross-cutting action were identified:

  1. Budgetary: Aimed at increasing the budget devoted to R&D&I during the 2021-2027 period, and at providing incentives for private investment, until reaching, as noted above, the EU average, particularly through direct aid (subsidies), and fostering the establishment of suitable lines to facilitate the use of European funds.
  2. Instrumental: With the goal of developing the instruments and bodies tied to the LCTI in order to increase the provision of advice by experts, simplify and make more flexible the instruments available and adapt them to agents’ needs in order to improve the use of resources and strengthen the agents that finance the SECTI.
  3. Coordination: To supplement in a synchronized manner national and industry policies with other policies at the European, regional and local level.
  4. Governance: In order to address the development of a governance system and of indicators that facilitate the analysis, monitoring and evaluation of the results as compared to the objectives set.
  5. Capacities: Aimed at fostering and supporting the generation of scientific and innovative capacities within the public and private SECTI agents in order to boost the aggregation and development of high-level R&D&I centers and promote excellence in scientific and technological infrastructure.
  6. Itinerary: In order to establish a scientific and technological itinerary for entrance into the R&D&I system that facilitates the promotion and job security of workers and that considers the needs of the country’s research and innovation staff, also at private R&D&I centers and companies.
  7. Talent: In order to craft mechanisms to attract and develop research, technology and innovation talent in companies, industries and R&D&I centers and facilitate the mobility of the research, technology and innovation staff in the public and private sector.
  8. Promotion: In order to enhance business innovation and its dissemination across all industries, particularly in SMEs.
  9. Multidisciplinary approach: In order to foster inter- and multi-disciplinary approaches, boosting and providing support to the cross-cutting use of essential enabling technologies, disruptive digital technologies or deep technologies that enable business and society to advance.
  10. Opportunities: Aimed at reinforcing national strategic industries, transforming social challenges into business development opportunities and fostering entrepreneurship and investment in private sector R&D&I, and attracting venture capital for innovative enterprises.
  11. Transfer: To promote the existence of effective channels for the transfer and exchange of knowledge and cooperation between the public and private sector.
  12. Innovation: In order to enhance value chains around focused innovation systems.
  13. Internationalization: In order to step up of the internationalization of the SECTI agents through (i) the promotion of participation in international programs such as Horizon Europe and its joint programming initiatives; (ii) international collaboration with the support of scientific diplomacy; (iii) international cooperation for sustainable development; and (iv) the promotion of and participation in international scientific and technological installations and infrastructure.
  14. Social: In order to boost Spanish society’s commitment to R&D&I, encouraging scientific awareness and culture, as well as open and inclusive science and innovation.

In order to implement the objectives and key areas indicated, the Strategy will be carried out in 2 multiyear phases (2021-2023 and 2024-2027), each of which will have its corresponding Scientific and Technical Research State Plan, as a tool to implement, materialize and finance the actions and priorities established for the period in question:

  • The first phase (2021-2023) would focus on guaranteeing the strengths of the system, giving priority to supporting R&D&I in the healthcare area, and to investing in the green and digital transition, with strategic actions in priority industries and large growth-driving projects.
  • The second phase (2024-2027) would be aimed at shoring up the value of R&D&I as a tool to develop a knowledge-based economy.

For more information please see the following website of the Ministry of Science and Innovation.

B) Strategic Action on Digital Economy and Society

This strategic action comprises a set of measures aimed at the progressive adoption of digital technologies and the development of the Information Society with a view to the transformation of the economy and society towards a digital environment that cuts across all sectors of business activity.

Included within this strategic action, led by the current Ministry of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation, are the measures set out in the Digital Agenda for Spain approved in 2013 and structured into 6 headings:

  1. Boosting the roll-out of networks and services to guarantee digital connectivity.
  2. Developing the digital economy for the growth, competitiveness and internationalization of Spanish enterprises.
  3. Improving e-Government and adopting digital solutions for the efficient provision of public services.
  4. Strengthening trust in the digital sphere.
  5. Promoting the R&D&I system in information and communication technology (ICT).
  6. Encouraging the inclusion and digital literacy and training of new ICT professionals.

The action is set to be implemented through various instruments such as competitive calls for applications for domestic and international aid, agreements with third parties, loans, venture capital, innovative public procurement, awareness initiatives, direct implementation programs and other European financing instruments.

The rules governing the grant of aid in the area of information and communication technology (ICT) and the Information Society, within the context of the strategic action on the economy and society, are contained in Order IET/786/2013, of May 7, 2013. The main features of this system of aid are as follows:

  • It can take the form of subsidies, loans or a combination of both, with maximum financing, in the case of loans, of up to 100% of the eligible cost of the projects or initiatives, with a variable interest rate to be specified in each call for applications and with a maximum repayment period of 5 years, including a grace period of 2 years.
  • The beneficiaries will be enterprises (distinguishing between SMEs, individual micro-enterprises, public corporate enterprises and state-owned business entities), research bodies and business groupings or associations (EIGs, joint ventures, industry business associations and innovation clusters).
  • The following will be eligible for aid: Industrial research projects (planned research or critical studies aimed at acquiring new knowledge and techniques useful for creating new products, processes or services) and experimental development projects (acquisition, combination and use of pre-existing knowledge and techniques, of a scientific, technological or business nature, for the development of plans, structures or designs of new, modified or improved products, processes or services).
  • The costs eligible for subsidies are, among others, personnel costs, instrument and material costs, contractual research costs, technical knowledge and patents acquired or obtained under a license and additional overhead costs directly deriving from the project.

C) Center for Industrial Technological Development (CDTI)

The CDTI (state-owned business entity under the auspices of the Ministry of Science and Innovation) promotes the technological innovation and development of enterprises, its main objective being to contribute to the improvement of the technological level of enterprises through the pursuit of the following activities:

  • Technical/economic evaluation and financing of R&D&I projects developed by enterprises.
  • Management and promotion of Spanish participation in international technological cooperation programs.
  • Promotion of the international transfer of business technology and support services for technological innovation.
  • Support for the creation and consolidation of technologically based enterprises.

Notwithstanding the more detailed presentation found on the CDTI website, the lines available to the CDTI for the financing of R&D&I projects include most notably the following:

1) R&D Projects:

This line has the purpose of financing applied business projects linked to the creation and significant improvement of a productive process, product or services, including both industrial research activities and experimental development.

6 categories of projects are potentially for financing under this line:

  • Individual R&D projects, presented by a single enterprise.
  • National Cooperation R&D Projects submitted by business groupings (EIGs or consortiums), made up of a minimum of 2 and a maximum of 6 autonomous companies.
  • CIEN (National Business Research Consortiums) projects of significant scope and aimed at conducting planned research in future strategic areas with a potential international impact (the main financing elements of which are detailed below in a separate section).
  • International Technological Cooperation Projects presented by Spanish enterprises participating in international technological cooperation programs managed by the CDTI (multilateral, bilateral programs, international programs with certification and unilateral monitoring by this body).
  • European Technological Cooperation R&D Projects, related to the boosting of the technological capacity of Spanish companies in order to participate in: (i) Important Projects of Common European Interest; (ii) Joint Technology Initiatives projects, and (iii) Projects deriving from ERANETS (European networks of public agencies dedicated to the financing of R&D&I at national/regional level).
  • International Technological Training R&D Projects, related to the boosting of the technological capacity of Spanish companies in order to participate in bidding processes for projects and programs managed by international organizations in which Spain is represented by the CDTI and with which the CDTI has cooperation agreements (major international scientific-technological facilities and international space programs).
  • R&D projects for the development of dual technologies, related to the boosting of the technological capacity of Spanish companies in order to bid in Defense and Security matters.

The minimum eligible budget for these projects of the participating companies is €175,000 and €5,000,000 in the specific case of CIEN Projects, the duration required being between 12 and 36 months for all individual projects and between 12 and 48 months for national cooperation projects, and 36 and 48 months for CIEN Projects.

The instruments for financing the projects included in this line consist of partially repayable loans (only a part of the aid granted must be repaid to the CDTI), for up to a maximum of 85% of the total budget of the approved project (the company must finance at least 15% of the budget for the project with its own funds). The non-repayable tranche is between 20% and 33% of the loan.

In these projects, the costs eligible for subsidies will be, among others, personnel costs, instrument and material costs, contractual research costs, technical knowledge and patents or certain costs deriving from consulting and equivalent services aimed exclusively at research activities, in addition to supplementary general expenses incurred directly on the research project and audit costs.

Regarding the advances of the aid that can be obtained, the CDTI offers a 35% advance of the aid granted, up to a limit of €250,000, without requiring additional guarantees. The loan is repayable within a period of 7 to 10 years, including a grace period of 2 to 3 years.

2) Direct Innovation Line

This financing instrument, directly managed by the CDTI and co-financed with Structural Funds through the Research, Development and Innovation Operating Program, under the “de minimis” rules, is aimed at enterprises which carry out technological innovation projects whose objectives cover one or more of the following cases: (i) active incorporation and adaptation of technologies entailing an innovation at the enterprise, as well as processes aimed at improving technologies and adapting them to new markets; (ii) the application of the industrial design and engineering of the product and process for technological improvement; or (iii) application of a new or significantly improved production or supply method (including relevant changes in the area of techniques, equipment and/or software).

Projects cannot last less than 6 months or more than 18 months and the minimum eligible budget will be €175,000. The amount of the financing will be 75% of the eligible budget (CDTI funds), which can be increased to 85% if co-financed by ERDF funds.

Investments eligible for financing will include the acquisition of new fixed assets which imply a major technological advance for the company carrying out the project, personnel costs, material and consumables, external collaborations, overhead costs and audit costs.

It will be possible to opt for an advance of 35% of the aid granted (up to €400,000) without additional guarantees, or of up to 75% by providing guarantees in respect of the difference which the CDTI regards as being adequate.

3) Science and Innovation Missions

This program is aimed at providing support to major R&D-intense strategic initiatives implemented with public-private partnerships, which must have the significant participation of research bodies, technological centers and universities. The purpose of the program is to contribute to the implementation of the following missions: (i) providing safe, efficient and clean energy for the 21st century; (ii) ensuring sustainable and intelligent mobility; (iii) boosting a large, sustainable and healthy agri-food industry; (iv) boosting the Spanish industry in the 21st century industrial revolution; and (v) giving a sustainable response to disease and the needs of an aging population.

Aid granted under this program takes the form of subsidies targeted at large enterprises formed by between 3 and 8 shareholders, of which at least one must be an SME, and headed by a Large Enterprise (“Large Enterprises Mission”), and at SMEs formed by between 3 and 6 shareholders, all of which are SMEs, and headed by a Medium-Sized Enterprise (“SMEs Mission”).

In the 2020 call for aid applications, the minimum eligible budgets were between €5,000,000 and €10,000,000 (Large Enterprises Mission) and between €1,500,000 and €3,000,000 (SMEs Mission), with a minimum budget per participant of €170,000, without any participant being responsible for more than 50% of the project’s budget. Industrial research must represent at least 85% of the eligible budget of the Large Enterprises Mission and 60% in the case of the SMEs Mission. Also, at least 20% (Large Enterprises Mission) and 15% (SMEs Mission) of the budget must be outsourced to knowledge-generating centers.

The amount of the subsidies in the 2020 call for aid applications could attain the following maximum limits of the eligible budget, depending on the size of the enterprise: 65% Large Enterprise, 75% Medium-sized Enterprise and 80% Small Enterprise.

Eligible expenses included staff costs, costs of instrumentation and materials able to be inventoried, costs of contractual research, technical know-how and patents acquired at market prices general expenses and additional operating expenses incurred directly on the project or audit costs.

4) INNODEMANDA Program

INNODEMANDA Program is a financing instrument to support the technological offer in innovative public procurement processes convened by the authorities. This program finances an enterprise’s innovation costs required in a particular public procurement process, in such a way that the contracting body has more competitive offers, fostering a greater use of innovative products and services by the Administration.

The operation of this program requires a synchronization between the scheduled time of a particular procurement and the time of application, analysis and resolution of the R&D by the CDTI required for participation in the tender.

To this end, it is necessary the formalization of an Adhesion Protocol between the CDTI and the contracting bodies, specifying, among others, the most significant milestones established in the invitation to tender, as well as the implementation deadlines, conditions and legislation applicable to the financing offered by the CDTI for R&D activities.

5) NEOTEC Initiative

The aid under the NEOTEC Initiative finances the start-up of new business projects that require the use of technologies or knowledge developed from a research activity, in which the business strategy is based on the technological development.

Technology and innovation must be competitive factors that help to set the enterprise apart and serve as a basis for its long-term business strategy and plan, with the maintenance of its own R&D lines.

The aid can be used for business projects in any technological and/or industrial area. The 2020 call for aid applications did not admit business projects whose business model was primarily based on services to third parties, without their own technological development.

The aid will take the form of subsidies, and beneficiaries must be innovative small companies.

The maximum budget of the 2020 call for aid applications has been €25,000,000, based on subsidies of up to 70% of the budget of the action and subject to a maximum subsidy of €250,000 per beneficiary, and the minimum budget eligible for financing has been €175,000 per project. In addition, eligible expenses have included, among others, investments in equipment, expenses relating to staff, materials, external collaborations/advisory services, etc.

6) CIEN Strategic Projects

The Strategic Program of Consorcios de Investigación Empresarial Nacional (CIEN) (National Business Research Consortiums) finances, as noted above, major industrial research and experimental development projects, carried out by business groupings on the basis of effective cooperation and targeted at the performance of planned research in tomorrow’s strategic areas with potential international projection. Each consortium must be made up of a minimum of 3 and a maximum of 8 companies, at least 2 of which must be autonomous companies and at least 1 must have SME status.

It also pursues the promotion of public-private cooperation in the area of R&D and, accordingly, requires the appropriate outsourcing of activities (representing at least 15% of the total budget) to research bodies (of which at least one must be public).

Industrial research activities must exceed 50% of the total budget.

Since 2019, applications for CIEN projects have been able to be submitted on an ongoing basis, for an entire year.

The aid takes the form of partially repayable loans (with a fixed interest rate of 1-year Euribor) for up to 85% of the approved budget (the company must finance 15% of the project budget with equity), with a maturity period of between 7 and 10 years and a grace period of between 2 and 3 years. The loan includes a non-repayable tranche equal to 33% of the aid, calculated based on a maximum of 75% of the coverage of the loan.

The minimum budget which may be applied for is €5,000,000, the maximum being €20,000,000. The minimum eligible budget must be €4,500,000 per project and €175,000 per company, and no company can exceed more than 70% of the eligible budget. The expected duration of the project must be between 36 and 48 months. Lastly, beneficiaries may obtain advances equal to 35% of the aid, subject to a limit of €250,000, without having to provide any additional guarantees.

7) INNVIERTE Program

Since its launch in 2012 the INNVIERTE Program has sought to promote business innovation through support to venture capital investments in Spanish technologically based or innovative enterprises.

In 2019, as part of this program, the CDTI started up a co-investment initiative open to investors regulated by the CNMV, such as venture capital companies and investment companies, also including the possibility of supporting professional investors, such as corporate investors.

This initiative, in which INNVIERTE accompanies professional private investors in periods of investment, delegating the management of investees to them, is instrumented in two phases: (i) official approval of professional private investors specializing in technology, through the execution of a co-investment agreement between them and INNVIERTE; and (ii) joint investment in technologically based companies that are in line with INNVIERTE’s investment strategy, presented by the approved co-investors pursuant to the co-investment agreement.

In 2021, the objective of this initiative was also extended to private equity vehicles specialized in the transfer of technology with sufficient critical mass to be able to promote the projects in which they invest in the different business development stages that occur during their growth. This initiative seeks to encourage investment vehicles to target very early stages of business development, taking into account, in turn, that they must have sufficient funds to be able to accompany investees as they reach the milestones established in their business plans until an exit opportunity arises that allows the investment vehicle to obtain a return on the investment undertaken. As a final result of the selection process, INNVIERTE will acquire a commitment to investment in the private vehicles proposed by each of the managers selected.

8) Direct Expansion Line (LIC A)

This program is aimed at boosting innovation in certain Spanish regions, improving the capacities of companies that propose investment plans that help them to grow. Specifically, the program designs aid for initial investments and for initial investments in favor of a new economic activity, with a view to driving the growth of innovative companies.

Beneficiaries must have their tax domicile in Spain and must undertake an investment project in one of the regions assisted by the program.

The minimum and maximum eligible budgets within this line of aid, with a call for applications that is ongoing throughout the year, must be between €175,000 and €30,000,000 and have a duration of 6 to 18 months. The following can be financed through the program: projects belonging to all of the productive activities that qualify for aid, except for those excluded by the current legislation (steel, coal, naval construction, synthetic fibers, fisheries, agriculture, etc. industries). In addition, investments must be maintained in the beneficiary area for at least 5 years in the case of large companies and 3 in the case of SMEs.

The project financing instruments envisaged in this line are partially repayable loans, subject to the maximum amount of 75% of the total budget of the approved project (the company must finance at least 25% of the project budget with equity or external financing free of any type of public aid). The repayable tranche of the loan will be 5% (in the case of funds from the CDTI) or 10% (in the case of funds from ERDF), calculated based on a maximum of 75% of the approved budget. A fixed interest rate equal to 1-year Euribor + 0.5% will apply to these loans and they will be repaid within a 7-year term, with a 1-year grace period from the conclusion of the project.

In these projects, the acquisition of new fixed assets entailing an innovation and improvement in capacities at the company that carries out the project, the costs of investing in tangible assets (property, plant and equipment) and intangible assets (patents, licenses, technical knowledge or other intellectual property rights) will be considered eligible expenses, among others. In the case of large companies, the costs of intangible assets can only be financed up to the limit of 50% of the total of the project’s eligible investment costs for the initial investment.

9) EIB Financing

The European Investment Bank (EIB) granted Spain a loan to serve as support for investment projects carried out by SMEs and mid-and small-cap companies with less than 3,000 workers.

The EIB financing is to be used for loans granted by the CDTI to R&D projects with a minimum term of 2 years. Projects of small size and investments with a projected maximum cost of €25,000,000 can be financed, although the EIB’s contribution cannot exceed €12,500,000.

Potentially eligible are loans requested by companies established in an EU Member State and which are (i) independent SMEs with less than 250 workers prior to the investment; or (ii) independent mid-cap companies with less than 3,000 workers prior to the investment.

Nearly all economic industries are eligible, save for certain exceptions relating, for example, to weaponry, arms and ammunition production; games of chance, tobacco-related industries, activities whose sole purpose is real estate speculation, etc.

10) "Cervera" Technology Transfer R&D Projects

This financing line is aimed at business research and development projects of an applied nature for the creation or significant improvement of a production process, product or service, which can be shown to have a technological aspect which makes them different from the technologies existing in the market.

The essential characteristic of projects of this type is that they must necessarily be developed by a limited group of technological areas (Cervera priority technologies) and state-level Technological Centers must be contracted to perform certain activities in the project.

The Cervera priority technologies pertain to 10 main areas: (i) advanced materials; (ii) eco-innovation; (iii) energy transition; (iv) intelligent manufacturing; (v) health technologies; (vi) safety and health in the food chain; (vii) deep learning and artificial intelligence; (viii) advanced mobile networks; (ix) intelligent transport, and (x) the protection of data.

State-level Technological Centers must be given a relevant role in the projects, which cannot represent less than 10% of the total budget approved for the project.

This line of aid consists of partially repayable loans, with financial coverage of up to 85% of the approved budget and a repayment period of 7 or 10 years, including a grace period of between 2 and 3 years. The non-repayable tranche accounts for 33% of the aid and advances equal to 35% of the aid may be obtained, up to maximum of €250,000, without additional guarantees being required.

The minimum project budget is €175,000 and, for individual projects, the duration is between 1 and 3 years.

The items eligible for funding in the case of these projects include staff costs, costs of instrumentation and materials, contractual research costs, technical know-how and patents, certain consulting costs and equivalent services used exclusively for the purposes of the research activity, plus supplementary general costs generated directly by the research project, and audit costs.

11) Internationalization of R&D&I

At international level, the CDTI offers support to Spanish enterprises and promotes technological cooperation abroad through various programs aimed at financing cooperation projects and initiatives, including most notably:

  • EUROSTARS Program

    The aim of this EU Program is to aid the development of transnational market-based projects by SMEs engaging in intensive R&D activities which represent a break with the technical state of the art and a commercial challenge in such a way as to enable these enterprises to take a qualitative leap in their position on the market.

    The mechanisms envisaged for materializing the aid designed under this program are fundamentally the following: (i) creating a sustainable European mechanism to support these organizations; (ii) promoting the creation of economic activities based on R&D findings and introducing products, processes and services on the market more rapidly; (iii) promoting technological and business development and the internationalization of such enterprises; and (iv) securing the public funding of those participating in the projects.

    The Ministry of Science and Innovation, through the CDTI, is in charge of managing this program.

  • ERA–NET

    The ERA – NET scheme consists of a set of European networks of public bodies that provide financing for R&D&I at national level, with the objective of coordinating the research and innovation programs of the European states and regions, and of preparing and carrying out joint calls for aid applications aimed at boosting cross-border research, technological development and innovation projects.

    ERA-NET calls for aid applications comprise an international phase and a national phase, each of which has its own eligibility requirements and application procedures, it being essential to comply with all of them in order to obtain the financing (only projects approved in the international phase of the calls can become candidates eligible to receive CDTI financing).

  • PRIMA

    This research and innovation initiative in the Mediterranean area (Partnership on Research and Innovation in the Mediterranean Area), approved by the European Parliament, seeks to foster a more sustainable regional management of water, agricultural and agro-food chain systems, in line with the Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 UN agenda.

    The consortium eligible in each case must be formed by 3 entities from three different PRIMA countries, of which at least 1 must be established in one of the following European States: Croatia, Cyprus, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, Portugal, Slovenia and Spain, and at least one other in Algeria, Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, or in Israel, Tunisia or Turkey.

    This initiative is broken down into two sections: Section 1 (funded by the PRIMA Foundation) and Section 2 (funded by the national financing bodies of the participating countries). Section 1 has a total estimated budget of €33,000,000, while that of Section 2 is €35,540,000. The Annual Working Plan for 2020, with information on calls for aid applications, is posted on the initiative’s website http://prima-med.org/.

12) COVID-19 aid

Given the declaration of a state of emergency due to the COVID-19 public health crisis, as well as the measures adopted in Royal Decree-Law 8/2020, of March 17, 2020, on extraordinary emergency measures to confront the economic and social impact of the pandemic, the CDTI has implemented a number of important actions:

  • Exceptional measure, to support the maintenance of high value added activities and the creation of capacities for the reactivation of the economy, such as: (i) the exemption of guarantees under partially refundable aid for SMEs and midcaps; and (ii) increased flexibility for refunds of partially refundable and refundable aid.
  • Subsidies in favor of projects specifically targeted at confronting the public health crisis declared due to COVID-19, which permit short-term implementation and start-up with specific and early results appropriate to the current situation, such as the case of R&D projects referring to industrial research and/or experimental development activities (research on vaccines, medicinal products and treatments, medical devices and hospital and medical equipment, as well as their efficient production) commencing in 2020 and ending in the fourth quarter of 2021 at the latest.

    According to the information provided by the Ministry, the feasibility of extending the aforementioned flexibility measures and subsidies is currently under evaluation.

The CDTI also provides personalized advice to companies and entrepreneurs on the financing instruments that are best suited to their R&D&I-related needs and projects. To access this service, interested companies need to fill out an electronic form and attach to it the documentation on the project being submitted to the CDTI for its assessment (more information at http://www.cdti.es).