Within a period of three years, a company (or Group of companies) is entitled to be granted a maximum level of EUR 200,000 in non-notified financial assistance.
The Commission Regulation (EC) Nr. 1998/2006, passed by the European Commission on December 15, 2006, is the basis for the application of Articles 87 and 88 of the Treaty to de minimis aid (Official Journal of the European Communities Nr. L10 dated December 28, 2006, L379/5 – L 397/10) in the current and valid version or any potential legal regulations which take the place of these guidelines. The de-minimis regulation of the European Commission is available on this Website.
Fundamental or basic research refers to experimental or theoretical work which is primarily designed to acquire new basic knowledge without perceptible, direct and practical applications.
Industrial research refers to scheduled research or critical study aimed at gaining new insights and skills as the basis for developing new products, processes or services or to achieve significant improvements in existing products, processes and services.
This includes creating parts of complex systems essential to industrial research, and in particular the validation of the technological principles, with the exception of prototypes, which belong to the category “experimental development“.
Experimental development describes the acquisition, combination, shaping and application of existing scientific, technical, economic and other relevant knowledge and skills as the basis for developing plans, preparations and concepts for new, upgraded or improved products, processes and services. This includes, for example, other activities underlying the definition, planning and documentation of new products, processes and services as well as the creation of designs, drawings, plans and other documentation material, inasmuch as this is not for commercial purposes.
Experimental development also comprises the development of commercially applicable prototypes and pilot projects, if in fact the prototype inevitably involves the commercially exploitable finished product, and its production for demonstration and evaluation purposes alone is to be considered as prohibitively expensive. In the case of the subsequent commercial application of demonstration or pilot projects, the proceeds or revenues achieved must be deducted from the fundable costs.
Experimental production and the testing of products, processes and services are also eligible for government assistance, inasmuch as they are not used in industrial applications or for commercial purposes and cannot be converted or used for these purposes.
Experimental development does not encompass the routine or regular changes in products, production lines, production processes, existing services or other ongoing company processes, even if these changes do comprise improvements.
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)
Small companies are defined as employing fewer than 50 people, and have annual revenues or an annual balance sheet total of less than EUR 10 million.
Medium-sized enterprises employ fewer than 250 people, and either have maximum annual revenues of EUR 50 million, or an annual balance sheet total which does not surpass EUR 43 million.
The EU Commission Recommendation 2003/361/EC of 06/05/2003 in respect to the definition of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises is applicable in its currently accepted and valid version, or any potential legal regulations which take the place of this recommendation. The precise text of the recommendation can be obtained from ZIT on request.
Precompetitive development encompasses the application of research findings derived from industrial research in a plan, scheme or blueprint for new, changed or improved products, processes or services, regardless of whether or not they are designed to be used or sold, including the development of a prototype. In addition, it can also include the conceptual planning and design of alternative products, processes or services as well as the initial demonstration or pilot projects, provided that these projects cannot be converted for industrial applications or used commercially. Precompetitive development does not encompass any routine or regular changes in existing products, production lines, manufacturing processes, services and other company processes, even if these changes do comprise improvements.
The European Commission’s Framework for State Aid for Research, Development and Innovation