From 17 April, SMEs can once again apply to receive a subsidy for projects that examine innovation feasibility. The Hague entrepreneurs can submit their applications to the province of Zuid-Holland. You are advised to act swiftly because each application is assessed on a ‘first come, first served’ basis and last year’s budget was heavily oversubscribed.
In 2018, the national budget for stimulating innovation by SMEs increased from €22 million to €40 million. Companies can apply for a subsidy under the Region and Top Sectors SME Innovation Incentive Scheme (MIT). This scheme supports SMEs in using public research to develop innovations that lead to economic growth.
The subsidy is specifically intended for projects that use new or existing research to explore the feasibility of a practical innovation. The innovation must be related to one of Zuid-Holland’s ‘top sectors’: Water, Horticulture, Chemistry, Energy and Biobased, Life Sciences & Health, HTSM (and IT), Agri & Food and Logistics. Innovations must also be in line with the so-called ‘innovation programmes’ of these sectors. The highest possible subsidy for each project is €25,000, representing a maximum of 40% of the eligible costs. At least 60% of the costs of the project must consist of a feasibility study (mainly desk- based: literature research, patent search, researching the available technology and potential partners, market research and competition analysis) that can be supplemented by industrial research and/or experimental development.
Applications by companies located in The Hague can be submitted to the province of Zuid-Holland. The application period opens on 17 April and a total of €3.8 million is available. Information about the innovation programmes and all subsidy conditions can be found on the province’s website.
Example: Fistuca, Delft
In the past four years, more than 4,000 Dutch companies have made use of MIT. One such company in the Zuid-Holland region is Fistuca from Delft, which has developed a new pile-driver method for building on water. The power of falling water is used to drive piles. This is quieter than the conventional method, meaning that fewer noise-reducing measures are needed. This saves costs during installation.