SME Diversification and Innovation Grant Scheme €8M

Diversification and innovation are key to the survival of enterprises and can avoid dire consequences and enables the enterprise turnaround.

In this context, such interventions become even more important when considering businesses facing difficulty emanating through particular challenges in their operations, primarily arising from market saturation, and the need for innovation to nurture a sustainable and competitive economic activity.

This Grant Scheme seeks to incentivise SMEs to adapt and become more resilient and address market challenges through:

  • diversification,
  • the implementation of a fundamental change, or
  • investment to bring to the market significantly improved and advanced products/services to those already offered by the undertaking

whilst offering timely support to nurture the right environment towards the potential future business growth of the enterprise.

Aid under the Scheme shall be granted in accordance with Commission Regulation (EU) No 1407/2013 of 18 December 2013 on the application of Articles 107 and 108 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union to de minimis aid.

Maximum Grant capped at €200,000 subject to the receipt of de minimis aid by the undertaking during the applicable 3 year reference period, partfinancing eligible expenditure up to 50%.

Eligible Actions

Investment in Tangible and Intangible assets related to the implementation of focused strategies resulting in:

  • the diversification of the output of an existing establishment into products or services not previously produced by the establishment;
  • the implementation of a fundamental change in the overall production process of an existing establishment;
  • a new economic activity related to the diversification of the activity of the establishment, under the condition that the new activity performed is not the same or a similar activity to the activity previously performed in the establishment;
  • the adoption of solutions that lead to the development of a significantly improved product or service;
  • the acquisition and integration into the business operation of solutions that are new or significantly advanced than those currently in use by the undertaking.

Actions related to the diversification of the activity of the establishment should result in the beneficiaries engaging in one of the following activities:

  • The production, manufacture, improvement, assembly, preservation, processing of goods, materials, commodities, equipment, plant machinery;
  • Biotechnology, Pharmaceuticals and Life Sciences;
  • Research and Technological Innovation;
  • The repair, overhaul or maintenance of pleasure crafts, yachts having less than 100gt, aircraft, engines or equipment incorporated or used in such vessels or aircraft;
  • Information and communication technology (ICT) development activities, software development;
  • Eco-innovations, and environmental solutions;
  • The creation of tourism products and/or services as a result of networks created between traditional tourism service providers and the crafts and artisan sector;
  • The development and provision of tourism products and/or services related to emerging niche markets;
  • The development and provision of tourism products and/or services related to the promotion of natural and cultural heritage;
  • The development and provision of tourism products and/or services relating to social tourism with specific focus on senior tourists, accessible tourism and active ageing;
  • The development of innovative concepts, products and/or services offered by Boutique Hotels and Palazzini;
  • The development, and/or provision of E-health solutions;
  • The development and provision of services and products promoting healthy living;
  • The development and provision of services and products promoting active ageing;
  • The development and provision of services and products related to child-day care;
  • The development and creation of crafts and artisan products;
  • Retail activities by self-employed and family businesses engaged in craft;
  • The introduction of products/services that can be marketed and distributed internationally and which are typically more advanced than those prevailing in their respective industry in terms of technology, know-how and skills.

Eligible Costs

  • leasing of private operational premises;
  • construction/up-grades on private operational premises;
  • purchasing of new equipment, machinery and plant;
  • patents and licenses; and
  • wage costs – Change Manager.