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PR(99)15:EFTA Surveillance Authority clears a new aid scheme: project development grant (

19.3.2003

The EFTA Surveillance Authority  decided 10 November 1999 not to raise objections to a new aid scheme: Project Development Grant ("Prosjektutviklingstilskudd").

Project Development Grant is a new scheme financed by the Ministry of Trade and Industry and administered by the Industrial and Regional Development Fund (SND). The main objective of the scheme is to support the preparation of new technology (developed by universities and research and development institutions) for commercialization, i.e. up to a point where commercial investors are ready to provide venture capital. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and start-up businesses will have priority on aid awards. SMEs may also apply for aid for consultancy services, training and dissemination of knowledge.

The criteria and the intensities foreseen for the new scheme reflect the requirements set out in the State Aid Guidelines for aid under Article 61(3)(c) of the EEA Agreement. Aid awards may therefore be justified with reference to aid to facilitate the development of certain economic activities without adversely affecting trading conditions between the Contracting Parties to an extent contrary to the common interest. It is therefore concluded that the new "Project Development Grant" ("Prosjektutviklingstilskudd") scheme qualifies for exemption under Article 61(3)(c) of the EEA Agreement.

For further information please contact Amund Utne on tel. +32-2-286 18 50 or Rolf Egil Tønnessen on tel. +32-2-286 18 56.




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