Sustainable Growth Fund for Southern Businesses: Complete Guide

From 10 July 2024, it is possible to apply for ‘Smart Specialization’, the measure of the Fund for Sustainable Growth (FCS) intended for companies in the South. This program aims to support business projects with subsidized funding and direct contributions to expenditure, with percentages
of up to 40%.

What is the Fund for Sustainable Growth

The Fund for Sustainable Growth is intended to finance programs and interventions that significantly improve the competitiveness of the national productive apparatus.

The “Smart Specialization” measure is specifically aimed at companies in the less developed regions of Southern Italy: Basilicata, Calabria, Campania, Molise, Puglia, Sardinia
and Sicily.

Objectives of the Fund

The Fund supports industrial research and experimental development projects of strategic importance, consistent with the thematic areas of the National Smart Specialization Strategy (SNSI). These projects must aim to identify and develop new technological and application trajectories

Fund Recipients

The Fund is aimed at:

  • Companies of any size with at least two approved financial statements, active in the industrial, agro-industrial, artisanal and industrial services sectors.
  • Research centers, individually or jointly.

Operation of the Fund

The Fund for Sustainable Growth operates through a counter procedure and provides:

  • Subsidized funding of up to 60% of the project amount.
  • Direct contributions to expenditure between 10% and 30% of eligible expenditure.

Fundamental Enabling Technologies

Projects must develop fundamental enabling technologies, such as:

  • Advanced materials and nanotechnology
  • Photonics and micro/nano electronics
  • Advanced production systems
  • Life Science Technologies
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Connection and digital security

Project Requirements

Projects must:

  • Be built in one or more local units in the regions of the South.
  • Expect expenses between 3 and 20 million euros.
  • Last between 12 and 36 months.
  • Be initiated after the application has been submitted.

Requestable Contributions

The contributions to the expenditure are:

  • 30% for small businesses
  • 25% for medium-sized businesses
  • 15% for large companies
  • Additional 10% for projects in the southern regions or with special conditions for the dissemination of results.

Subsidized Financing

Subsidized loans cover 50% of eligible expenses, with an increase of 10% for SMEs. Businesses must obtain a positive credit rating from an affiliated lending bank

Submission of the Application

Applications can be submitted from 10:00 a.m. on July 10, 2024. The pre-compilation procedure will be available from 25 June 2024. Applications are submitted through the IT procedure specified in the administrative decree of May 7
, 2024.

Demand Support

For information on submitting projects, please contact [email protected]. For information on the implementation and reporting of projects, contact [email protected].
For regulatory inquiries, please use the email address: [email protected].

Available Resources

Available are:

  • 328 million euros for subsidized loans.
  • 145.43 million euros for direct contributions to expenditure.

Regulatory References

  • Directorial Decree of 7 May 2024
  • Decree of 14 September 2023

The Fund for Sustainable Growth represents an important opportunity for companies in Southern Italy. For more details, we recommend that you consult the full text of the announcement and the available FAQs.

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