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PR(06)10: The EFTA Surveillance Authority opens the formal investigation on R&D aid granted by the Research Council

8.3.2006

The EFTA Surveillance Authority opened today a formal investigation procedure regarding research and development aid granted by the Research Council of Norway to various projects in connection with the development of the software programme Turborouter. On the basis of the information available to it, the Authority has doubts whether these projects can be considered compatible with the state aid provision of the EEA Agreement, in particular with the State Aid Guidelines on Research and Development.

The Authority has received a complaint alleging that certain projects related to the software programme Turborouter had unduly received state aid in violation of the state aid rules of the EEA Agreement. In particular, the complainant has claimed that the subsidised projects were too close to the market to be eligible for R&D aid, and that the alleged costs of the projects did not correspond to actual expenditure.

The Authority has thus adopted a decision to open the formal investigation procedure. A decision to open a formal investigation procedure is without prejudice to the final decision of the Authority. The opening decision will be published in the EEA Section of the Official Journal of the European Union and the EEA Supplement thereto, inviting interested parties to submit comments within one month from the date of publication. Moreover, for information purposes, the decision will also be published on the Authority’s website www.eftasurv.int.

For further information, please contact:

Mr. Amund Utne,
Director, Competition & State Aid Directorate
Tel. (+32)(0)2 286 18 50; or

Ms. Maria Segura,
Officer, Competition & State Aid Directorate
Tel. (+32)(0)2 286 18 53

 8 March 2006




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