Minister Loukarsky awarded the first contracts under OP “Innovation and competitiveness“

Minister Loukarsky awarded the first contracts under OP “Innovation and competitiveness“

“The contracts we award today are an expression of the commitment undertaken by the government to support the Bulgarian business. They will provide financial resource to more than 200 small and medium-sized enterprises which will help the companies to renovate their technical capacity and ensure employment“. This is declared by the of economy, Bojidar Loukarsky, who today, together with Prime Minister Boyko Borissov and Deputy Prime Minister Tomislav Donchev award the first contracts signed for grants under the procedure “Improving of production capacity in SMEs“ of Operational programme “Innovation and competitiveness“ 2014-2020 г.

Minister Loukarsky remarket that the interest in the first procedure was very big. Within the first deadline 844 project proposals were submitted with economic activity in the sectors of low-tech and medium-tech industries. 202 projects were approved for funding at amount of BGN 116,4 million within the budget of the procedure. Another 500 projects meet the financial and technical criteria and for them, possibility will be sought for additional funding. With those European funds the companies will be able to buy machines and equipment, to expand their activity, increase their production and provide new jobs” Minister Loukarsky said.

According to him, the team of Ministry of economy and the Managing authority were able to implement maximum objective and transparent procedure with clear criteria for evaluation. He acknowledged that one challenge was the fact that for the first time under the programme the project proposals were submitted electronically but due to the efforts of the Ministry team and that of Deputy Prime Minister Tomislav Donchev, they did this successfully.

” From now on the ball is in the field of entrepreneurs “, Minister Loukarsky said. He appealed the business correctly to implement their projects and expressed his hope that no financial corrections would be imposed.

“We have already 229 approved projects under the second deadline of the procedure for improving the production capacity of high-tech and medium high-tech enterprises. They should also receive their projects until the end of January. Under the third deadline for enterprises in the sectors providing intensive knowledge –based services, 203 projects were submitted. Now these proposals are in process of evaluation. Until the end of month also the procedure for innovation implementation in start-ups would be opened.

At the ceremony today contracts were awarded to those 27 companies that had obtained the maximum number of points and met the evaluation criteria to the highest degree. At the official ceremony on 7 January, Minister would award the remaining contracts under the first deadline for the “Improving of production capacity in SMEs” procedure.

It was noted that also one of the main objectives of the programme was implemented for target support of the North-western region, for which increasing interest was reported – 57 projects for the “Improving of production capacity in SMEs” of OPIC were submitted by this region.