Entrepreneurs in the east of the Netherlands (specifically the provinces of Overijssel and Gelderland) are eligible for subsidies from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) in 2017. Roughly €47 million is available for various programs and projects, especially for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that are active in innovation and sustainability. In addition, there is strong emphasis on SMEs collaborating with other companies, both large and small, as well as institutes of higher learning, government organizations and with intermediaries.
The funding instruments
The available funds for 2017 will be divided among four different programs. These programs are similar to the offering in 2016, with one exception: the program for small scale R&D projects (‘R&D Projects 3.1’) will not be offered in 2017.
Topic-oriented tenders: Smart Industries and the Circular Economy
An additional variation on last year’s offerings is that the the funding for large R&D projects will be split into two separate tenders: one for projects focused on Smart Industries and a separate fund for the Circular Economy. The relative percentage of subsidy to own invested capital is being increased to 50%. Smart Industries: The opening dates for submitting a tender for this subsidy are 1 March - 9 May, 2017. The purpose of this subsidy is to encourage small business owners in the manufacturing industry to work together on developing business models that take into account the digitization of the economy. Circular Economy: The opening dates for submitting a tender for this subsidy are 15 April - 20 June, 2017. The purpose of this subsidy is to encourage small business owners to find innovative ways to reuse or recycle materials, reduce materials use, and reduce waste in general.
Opening dates for tenders
Tenders: The subsidy ‘Large R&D Cooperation Projects 3.3,’ which has a total budget of €29.3 million, will be open from 1 March - 3 October, 2017, in three separate calls for tenders. The subsidy ‘R&D Cooperation Projects 3.2,’ which has a total budget of €4.2 million, will be open from 3 July - 7 September, 2017.
First come, first served: The subsidy for ‘Testing Ground 3.4,’ which has a total budget of €6.8 million, and ‘Clustering and Networking,’ €6.9 million, will both be open from 1 March, 2017 - 28 February, 2018, or until the respective budgets have been exhausted, whichever comes first.
The Operational Program East Netherlands (OP Oost - ‘Oost’ being the Dutch word for East), has two priority areas: ‘General innovation’ and the ‘Low-carbon emission economy.’ It is the intention to cooperate with other regions in the Netherlands by focusing on these areas within the sectors in which East Netherlands already has a strong advantage, such as Agro Food, Health, and High-tech Systems and Materials (HTSM). Projects from the Energy and Environmental Technology sector, including bio-based, have a priority ranking in applying for the ‘Low-carbon emission economy’ subsidies.
East Netherlands Development Agency (Oost NV)
The East Netherlands Development Agency (Oost NV) provides guidance to business owners in finding partners for innovative projects and can provide assistance in submitting a tender for these subsidies. All necessary information regarding these subsidies, their available budgets per province, and the requirements per subsidy can be found at www.op-oost.eu (in Dutch).www.op-oost.eu