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The Ministry of Science and Innovation (MICINN) will immediately launch a package of ten measures to reinforce support for innovative companies, through the Center for the Development of Industrial Technology (CDTI). These measures were agreed upon yesterday at the meeting Minister of Science and Innovation Cristina Garmendia held with the heads of the employers’ associations, Juan Rosell (CEOE) and Jesús Terciado (CEPYME).

These measures respond to the current situation of economic recovery and will facilitate growth and help generate jobs in innovative companies, according to the Minister, as requested by the signatories of the Social and Economic Agreement from the beginning of February (Government, employers’ associations and trade unions).

More resources for companies:

  • The CDTI will devote 25% more funds to business innovation projects this year.

New programs:

  • A new program, called INNPRONTA, will be launched with a budget of 120 million euros to fund large research consortia, with a minimum of 15 million euros over 4 years. SMEs will be eligible for a subsidy of more than 47%.
  • A new instrument, FEDER-INTERCONNECTA, will also be created in order to fund research projects in companies located in Andalusia, Extremadura and Galicia, and will be co-funded by the European Union.

Extraordinary Measures:

  • The CDTI will increase coverage of their aid by 10%, for one year, covering up to 85% of the project’s budget versus the current 75%.
  • For one year, the limit for eligible indirect expenses funded by the CDTI will be increased from the current 25% to 30%. This measure is in response to historical demands from the productive fabric.

More agile and less bureaucratic administration:

  • In order to facilitate company planning and access to aid, the CDTI has committed to evaluating and determining projects in a period of three months from the time the company has correctly presented their application.
  • Over the coming weeks, each of the 3,500 innovative companies that are CDTI users will be given a reference agent, who will be their contact at the center. This aims to move towards more personalized service and facilitate relations with users.

Special attention for SMEs:

  • In order to improve liquidity in innovative SMEs, the advance on approved budgets for all CDTI aid to SMEs will be increased 20%. This way, companies will receive 30% of the aid up front and without the need to put up collateral, instead of the current 25%.
  • This group’s exemption from providing bank guarantees and collateral will be maintained in 2011, with the same terms approved under the anti-recession plan put in motion by the MICINN in 2009.

Innovative public purchasing:

  • The MICINN is also committed to fostering innovative public purchasing and venture capital actions through several instruments that will be designed in conjunction with the CEOE and CEPYME over the coming weeks.

These measures supplement the National Innovation Strategy and other measures approved recently by the Spanish Government, including the increase in tax deductions for innovation (from 8% to 12%) laid out in the Sustainable Economy Act, and changes in researcher evaluation criteria to give more weight to the generation of new patents.

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