BG10 GREEN INDUSTRY INNOVATION
|Programme Operator:||Innovation Norway|
|Total grant amount:||13 699 000 Euro|
|Date of approval:||10.09.2012|
Why is the programme needed?
Despite improvements in recent years, Bulgaria remains the most energy-intensive economy in the European Union. The country also has an innovation performance well below the EU average. In response, and in line with EU targets to catch up in innovation performance, the Bulgarian government has developed an investment policy with a special focus on promoting innovative enterprises. Making the national economy greener and increasing the competitiveness of green enterprises are key aims. However, entrepreneurs are often hampered by a lack of access to finance. Support is needed to step up eco-innovation and create conditions where green entrepreneurs and business can thrive.
What will the programme achieve?
The programme will increase green business opportunities within sectors such as construction, environmentally-friendly transport, and information and communication technologies (ICT). Beneficiaries are entrepreneurs and companies (mainly small and medium-sized enterprises - SMEs) who will get assistance to develop and commercialise new and innovative eco-friendly technologies and processes. They will gain from increased energy and resource efficiency in business, and additional opportunities to exploit growing markets for environmental goods and services. By creating new jobs and propelling a more sustainable economic growth, the programme will contribute to reducing social and economic disparities.
How will it be achieved?
- Development of innovative environmental technologies, products or processes (e.g. smart buildings and purchasing / green products and packaging / waste reduction and process optimisation)
- Increased use of remote environmental monitoring technologies to identify and respond to environmental change (e.g. climate-related disasters like flooding, forest fires etc.)
- Capacity building to increase awareness of the benefits of ‘greening’ business and how to put this into practice
- Training for around 300 employees from SMEs and young entrepreneurs on the green economy
How will bilateral relations be strengthened?
It is expected that small and medium-sized enterprises from both countries will benefit from the cooperation through exchange of expertise and knowledge and innovation development.
What are the partnership opportunities?
Innovation Norway (IN) manages the programme on behalf of the Bulgarian authorities and plays a key role in facilitating networking and cooperation between Bulgaria and Norway. IN will assist Norwegian companies who wish to operate in Bulgaria and participate as partners in projects. As all projects must include a Norwegian partner, the programme is particularly well-suited for bilateral partnerships. Funding is available for interested entities (up to €10 000) to support partner search and develop joint project applications.
Who can apply for funding under this programme?
Entities registered in Bulgaria are eligible to apply as project applicants (with Norwegian partner entities). The main target group are Bulgarian private entities; public institutions and NGOs are also eligible applicants. Project support will be in the range of €200 000 to €2 000 000. One small grant scheme is to be established targeting SMEs. There will be two open calls (if funds are available).