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State Aid

PR(07)03: The EFTA Surveillance Authority adopts new Guidelines on State Aid for Research and Development and Innovation


The EFTA Surveillance Authority has today adopted new Guidelines on state aid for research and development and innovation (R&D&I) corresponding to similar guidelines adopted by the European Commission[1]and replacing the old Chapter 14 – Aid for Research and Development.

The objective of the new Guidelines is to clarify to EEA EFTA States how they can grant state aid not only to research and development – as under the old Chapter 14 - but also to innovation projects (such as aid to young innovative enterprises and aid to innovation clusters) in conformity with the state aid rules in the EEA Agreement.

Under the new Chapter 14, the general level of aid undertakings may benefit from is more favourable than under the old Chapter 14.

The Guidelines furthermore clarify the method to be used to assess whether aid can be granted. The overall test is that the aid must address a defined market failure, must be well designed and that the identified benefits must outweigh the distortions to competition resulting from the aid.

The new Guidelines also clarify the rules that are applicable to collaboration projects between private undertakings and research organisations.

The Authority has by letters of 7 February 2007 formally proposed to the EEA EFTA States that existing schemes be amended, where necessary, in order to bring them into line with the new Guidelines. The general time limit for so doing is of twelve months.

[1]  OJ C 323, 31.12.2006, p.1.

For further information, please contact:
Mr. Amund Utne
Director, Competition and State Aid Directorate
Tel. (+32)(0)2 286 18 50; or

Ms. Marianne Clayton
Officer, Competition and State Aid Directorate
Tel. (+32)(0)2 286 18 23

7 February 2007

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