Research, Innovation and Competitiveness Bonus for Southern Businesses: A Complete Guide

From 25 June 2024, it is possible to fill out applications for the research, innovation and competitiveness bonus aimed at companies in the South, so as to be ready for effective submission from 10 July 2024. This facility, aimed at companies in less developed regions, finances research and development projects through contributions or subsidized

In this detailed guide, we explain what the bonus is, who is entitled to it, how to apply and how it works.

What is the Research, Innovation and Competitiveness Bonus for Southern Companies

The research, innovation and competitiveness bonus is a facility aimed at companies in the South to finance research and development projects in the least developed regions of the country. The projects must be in line with the thematic areas of the National Intelligent Specialization Strategy (SNSI), aimed at identifying technological and application evolutionary trajectories

Who is entitled to

The benefits are intended for:

  • companies of any size with at least two approved financial statements, operating in the industrial, agro-industrial, craft and industrial services sectors (as defined by article 2195 of the Civil Code, numbers 1, 3 and 5)
  • research centers.

Research organizations can co-propose in joint projects. The projects are eligible for funding only for companies located in the southern regions: Basilicata, Calabria, Campania, Molise, Puglia, Sardinia
and Sicily.

What does the Bonus finance

The bonus finances spending contributions and subsidized funding. In particular, it provides for:

  • Contributions to spending:
    • 30% for small businesses
    • 25% for medium-sized businesses
    • 15% for large non-SME companies
    • 10% increase for projects in the southern regions that provide for partnerships with SMEs or other specific conditions.
  • Subsidized loans from the Deposits and Loans Fund, equal to 50% of eligible expenses. If SMEs agree to the 10% increase in the contribution to expenditure, the financing is equal to 40%
  • .

Subsidized financing is associated with bank financing of no less than 20% of the admitted expenses. To access the benefits, businesses must obtain a positive credit rating from a lending

How the Bonus Works

The bonus is provided upon request to finance specific projects within 90 days from the successful outcome of the application. It supports research and development projects consistent with the SNSI thematic areas,
in particular:

  • advanced materials and nanotechnology
  • photonics and micro/nano electronics
  • advanced production systems
  • life science technologies
  • artificial intelligence
  • connection and digital security.

Projects must:

  • be built in local units located in the regions of the South
  • Expect eligible expenses between 3 and 20 million euros
  • last between 12 and 36 months
  • be initiated after the submission of the application.

When to Apply

Applications can be submitted from 10 a.m. on 10 July 2024. From 25 June 2024, the procedure for filling out applications is available

How to Apply

Applications must be submitted online using the template available on the website of the Ministry of Enterprises and Made in Italy. The authentication takes place with credentials or SPID, from Monday to Friday, from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., starting from 25
June 2024.

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