Direct aid from the autonomous communities, funds distributed by the ministries involved in each area, organizations such as CDTI, IDAE, Red.es… What will each distribute and how to access European funds?
If we are talking about funds related to the tractor projects that are intended to become the main objective of the aid, one way to access them is to create a new number ad hoc: PERTES or Strategic Projects for Economic Recovery and Transformation.
This number facilitates the collaboration between the private sector and the different administrations when it comes to defining projects that promote growth, job creation and competitiveness, with priority access to aid due to their power to drive the whole economy, but also a strong commitment requires private investment: For every euro of public investment, 4 euros of private investment are needed.
An example of how a PERTE is built and works is the one created for the transformation of the electric car industry, which requires the collaboration of large companies to develop this entire value chain, including the manufacture of batteries and charging stations. . Seat, Volkswagen and Iberdrola have formed a consortium to produce batteries and manufacture electric vehicles in Spain. The government has committed to boosting demand for these models with subsidies through the MOVES plan.
PERTE is also considering supporting the Spanish component industry to complete the transition, as well as training workers, promoting 5G connectivity in cars to develop the autonomous car, new ways of traffic control and other advances to improve road safety. All sections where SMEs and start-ups can contribute a lot.
In addition to this, five other PERTES are in preparation: the agri-foodto transform this industry towards sustainability, digitization of processes, traceability and food safety; those of Artificial intelligence, to promote development and talent around this technology or to integrate it into the production processes of companies”; that aviation, for the development of drone industry and low-emission and zero-emission aircraft; that sanitaryto advance precise personalized health and of renewables innovative, storable and green hydrogen, which requires large batteries to store, and the conversion of reservoirs into energy storage through pumping systems.
“These PERTES are managed by the Treasury and can – possibly – be presented between August and September via the PERTEs registry, which is the new funding tool created for the major state-level tractor policies,” he says. Gerard Brinquisresponsible for Next Generation at the consulting firm FI Group.
When it comes to the participation of SMEs, it is interesting to bundle projects. “Bringing several entrepreneurs together around a large company or an innovative project that creates jobs, promotes reindustrialization or digitization…” he emphasizes Juanma revoltCEO of Finnova.
With that in mind, tech startups have far more chances of getting help. “In these consortia, large companies are asking SMEs to participate because they need them to justify the means and because the digitization and modernization axis such as blockchain or AI must be very present and they try to propose really innovative technologies to the regulators projects validate,” he says. Luis CarbajoCEO of vote. “In the end, there is money left for value-added digitization, the modernization of your work processes, etc. What these grants are not for is buying computers.”
“These grants have a strong commitment to SMEs, so one of the requirements is that at least 40% of the companies participating in these projects are SMEs. And if we go to Spain, in the draft recovery plan there may even be lines within the 10 levers that are heavily focused on SMEs,” says Gerard Brinquis.
For example, when we speak of Lever 5, which is the modernization and digitization of the industrial structure and SMEs, he specifically speaks of the promotion of SMEs, the digitization of SMEs.
“There will be large consortia led or driven by large corporations capable of developing Strategic Economic Recovery and Transformation Projects (PERTEs), but there will also be other types of calls that SMEs actually submit individually can, since there are currently organizations such as CDTI, IDAE, Red.es, which are already known, which have already had recurring views and which will receive a greater budget allocation. As such, this opens up a range of larger holdings within companies and can deliver much more of the current business structure,” he adds.
Who distributes the European funds?
The execution of the plan will be carried out with the participation of the government, the Ministry of Industry and other relevant ministries, the Autonomous Communities, local authorities and public-private cooperation bodies.
The Autonomous Communities will work side-by-side with the Ministries to allocate the funds needed for the plans to take effect in each community, in accordance with the provisions of the Recovery Plan. You will manage 50% of the funds. They are the key players in, for example, home renovation programs, health and education programs, urban mobility programs and infrastructure renovations for the new care economy.
But they were also approved by Direct Aid in March Royal Decree-Law to support corporate solvencywhich is in addition to the €11,000 million in aid set up in 2020 to ensure that solvent companies have the means to face the economic recovery in good conditions.
Direct aids of between 3,000 and 200,000 euros to be applied for by the end of June for companies that have suffered a drop in income of more than 30% due to Covid, provided that they have not already made losses before March 2020. They are aids for companies to pay off debts to suppliers, creditors (financial or not) and to pay fixed expenses if these debts were incurred between March 1, 2020 and May 31, 2021.
For this reason, the first recommendation is to check your municipality’s portal to see what assistance is currently in force.
Next, every ministry will launch calls for the presentation of projects in different formats depending on the sector and topic.
In order to facilitate access to all aid, the government will set up a website that will serve as the main portal with the objectives and news related to the recovery plan once Brussels gives the green light.
You can also now see all the information on public aid and subsidies that the CEOE has unified in its new window CEOExEuropewhich summarizes the help from the construction plan as well as from all other areas.
“The goal is for every company or freelancer to perceive the means as something close. There you will find information about the funds, project types, Spanish priorities, daily news, etc. The idea is that it should be the Spanish window for European funds, without forgetting other grants and funds,” he explains. Luis Socias, Head of Office for European Projects at CEOE. Why an information window for all types of tools? “Because we basically see that the help that comes from NextGeneration can be compatible with that which is charged to the regular coffers.”
Socías also recommends not forgetting to consult the traditional help of public bodies at all levels, which are now called with more money thanks to the contribution of European funds. “We have already started to see calls launched with budget boosts from NextGeneration funds, such as one recently launched by CDTI and SEPE on digital skills. Although there is no final approval from Brussels yet, the annual public sector tenders will be launched with more funding.”
At the European level, for example, NextGeneration Eu has increased the funds available for traditional funding lines in Europe, such as European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). So through the Chambers of Commerce SMEs can apply for grants to reduce their carbon footprint, co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). Participating companies can receive direct grants of between 40 and 85% of the investment (according to CCAA) up to a maximum of 7,000 euros.
We must not stop caring about the help on the ground. As we must not forget others from Europe who always were and still are. As Juanma Revuelta points out, “traditional subsidies given by Europe are very interesting for SMEs, like the former SME Instrument, now called EIC (European Innovation Accelerator) or the Erasmus Entrepreneurs“.
The ministries involved in the transformation of our economy are also extending their funds and assistance. Thanks to the recovery plan, the Ministry of Science and Innovation has already announced that its budget will be increased by more than 60% compared to the previous year. Between 2021 and 2023, 3,380 million euros will be distributed to boost Spanish R&D&I and scientific careers, encourage knowledge transfer to the market and society, and strengthen collaboration between the various actors in the sector and the private sector.
The funds are mainly managed by the State Research Agency (which will receive 37% of the funds), the CDTI (31%) and the Carlos III Health Institute (ISCIII) (11%). For their part, the Autonomous Communities can draw up complementary R&D&I plans to respond to territorial needs in this matter. They will have 282 million euros.