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PR(94)22: Surveillance Authority authorises grants and soft loans for industrial R&D in Finland


The EFTA Surveillance Authority today authorised a proposal to alter existing aid schemes on the grants and soft loans for industrial research and development (R&D) in Finland. The Authority states that these changes effectively make the present R&D aid in Finland compatible with the EEA Agreement.

The aim of the scheme is to promote research and development activities in order to develop internationally competitive products, production processes and services. The scheme is administered by the Technology Development Centre (TEKES). Aid is given to finance basic industrial research, applied research and development.

The aid is given in the form of grants and soft loans. The maximum amount of grants allowed for basic industrial research is 50 % of eligible costs. For applied research and development the aid can cover up to 25 % of eligible costs. For small and medium‑sized enterprises (SMEs) the aid can be 10 percentage points higher.

The soft loans can cover up to 60 % of eligible costs. The maximum loan period is 10 years, of which a grace period can be up to 5 years. The interest rate is 3 % below the base rate of the Bank of Finland. If the project does not lead to profitable business, TEKES can, based on application, decide not to require repayment of half of the loan. This can be granted, however, only in so far as the above‑mentioned aid intensities are not exceeded.

The definitions given for basic industrial research, applied research and development correspond to those stated in the Authority's State Aid Guidelines. The eligible costs are also in line with the rules on aid for R&D. Furthermore, the enhancement of the aid intensity of 10 percentage points for SMEs, whose definition is compatible with the State Aid Guidelines, are in conformity with the rules.

For further information please contact Maria Blässar (State Aid and Monopolies Directorate) on tel. 22 66 853.

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