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State Aid

PR(06)43: New State Aid Guidelines on Risk Capital

25.10.2006

The EFTA Surveillance Authority has today introduced a new Chapter 10B to its State Aid Guidelines - State aid to promote risk capital investments in small and medium-sized enterprises. The Guidelines are based on the corresponding Community guidelines, issued by the European Commission on 19 July 2006.

The Guidelines determine when state aid to support risk capital investment in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) is compatible with the state aid rules of the EEA Agreement. They replace Chapter 10A of the State Aid Guidelines on state aid and risk capital.

The Guidelines cover risk capital measures for investment in SMEs in their early stages (seed, start-up and expansion), where funding is provided jointly by the state and private investors. The aim of the Guidelines is to foster access to risk capital, in particular for innovative companies.

The EFTA States are asked to agree to bring their existing aid schemes into line with the Guidelines within twelve months as of today and to communicate to the Authority such an acceptance within two months. Acceptances will be published in the EEA Section of and the EEA Supplement to the Official Journal of the European Union.

For further information, please contact:
Ms Siri Bjune
Competition & State Aid Directorate
Tel. (+32)(0)2 286 18 18

25 October 2006




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