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On October 24th, the Cabinet of Ministers approved a Recovery Fund support program during their meeting. This initiative aims to foster collaboration among companies, research, education, and science institutions both locally and internationally, and to increase company investments in development and innovation.
Several barriers impact the low level of investments in research and development, one of which is company investments in activities with low knowledge capacity and profitability. The limited number of export-capable companies and the high proportion of micro enterprises do not favor the shift of Latvian companies towards a knowledge and innovation-based economy.
To help Latvian manufacturers develop competitive advantages related to technology and innovation, it's crucial to ensure internationalization opportunities and increase private research and development investment volumes. Therefore, a support tool is proposed to enhance the competitiveness, productivity, internationalization activities, export capability, and innovation development of our companies," emphasized Economics Minister Viktor Valainis.
The support program is designed as a support tool for cooperation networks, which are associations or foundations that bring together merchants, research, and knowledge dissemination organizations, associations, foundations, and other institutions operating in mutually related sectors, economic niches, product or service groups, value chains or regions.
Within the program framework, support will be available for small (micro), medium, large merchants (including state capital companies) and research and knowledge dissemination organizations for:
Cooperation with research and knowledge dissemination organizations;
Experience and knowledge transfer activities;
Activities related to scaling a new or existing product;
Receiving consultations to promote involvement in European Union level innovation programs;
Industry popularization activities.
During the support awarding process, the Central Finance and Contracting Agency (CFLA) will first select a cooperation network, which will then provide support to the network participants in the form of grants and non-financial assistance (training, seminars).
The total available Recovery Fund financing within the program is 5,248,431 euros, while the maximum allowable funding for one project is 437,369 euros. Overall, it's planned to support at least 12 project applications, thereby providing support to at least 240 companies by June 30, 2026. It's anticipated that the export volume in supported companies will increase to 100 million euros two years after receiving support, and organizing 1000 visits to potential cooperation partners is also planned, including trade missions and conducting at least 60 market studies.
It's planned that the CFLA will implement cooperation network selection in December this year, so that companies can access support within the program framework in the first quarter of 2024.
The rules for implementing the third round of investments "Support tool for research and internationalization" under the direction of reform and investment 5.1 "Increasing productivity through investment volume increase in R&D" 5.1.1.r. reforms "Innovation management and private R&D investment motivation" 188.8.131.52.i. are available on the unified Legal Act Portal.
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