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State Aid

PR(07)13: Public support cleared to research and development projects in the Norwegian maritime sector

18.4.2007

The EFTA Surveillance Authority decided today not to raise objections to aid granted to a programme aiming at improving fleet management in sea transport.

On the basis of a complaint, in 2006 the Authority opened a formal investigation into state aid granted by the Research Council of Norway regarding the so-called Turborouter research and development projects. Turborouter is a tool for optimizing vessel fleet scheduling, i.e. to decide to which vessels to assign different cargoes.

State aid may be granted to genuine research and development projects. The Authority was concerned, however, that the activities investigated were closer to regular business activity than to genuine research and development. Furthermore, the Authority had doubts as to whether the overall costs of the project were correctly calculated, in particular, how contributions from the companies benefiting from the aid should be measured.

In today's decision, the Authority has concluded that the granting of aid to the Turborouter projects was done in accordance with a previously approved aid scheme for industrial research and development.

For further information, please contact:

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

Ms. Maria Segura, Senior Officer, Competition and State Aid Directorate,
tel. (+32)(0)2 286 18 23.

18 April 2007




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