The West Regional Development Agency, the stakeholder in charge of the Policy Instrument of Timisoara Municipality, published a summary on the closure of the 2nd Call for proposals for Priority Axis 2 "Increasing SMEs competiveness, Priority Investments 2.2 - SME" of the Regional Operational Programme (ROP) 2014-2020 on March 24, 2020.

Non-reimbursable funds for SMEs, accessible through ROP 2014-2020 in the West region amount to € 36.60 million for the new call. A total of 142 projects worth € 90.56 million  were submitted. The 127 projects' budgets entered the actual evaluation process add up to € 78.43 million, that is over double of the total financial allocation available in the region.

In terms of the types of submitted proposals, most of them (37.80%) are related to manufacturing industry, followed by industries regarding water supply, sanitation, waste management, land decontamination activities (23.62%), hotels and restaurants (13.38%), health and social services (10.24%), entertainment, cultural and recreational activities (5.51%), information and communications (3.94%), professional, scientific and technical activities (3.94%), carpentry and joinery works (1.57%)*.

The specific objective of this priority axis is to improve the economic competitiveness by increasing the labor productivity in SMEs in the competitive sectors identified in the National Strategy for Competitiveness. This investment priority will support the development of SMEs to improve the advanced capacities of product and service development, in order to increase the competitiveness of the regional and national economies. In this regard, the SMEs that are interested in finding an optimal growth model are considered, both in the sense of moving to another size category, and in the sense of developing the activity carried out, in order to increase the size of the addressed market (the local market should become regional, national or international).

Given that the competitive advantage is a combination of factors that condition the competitiveness and performance of a company, ROP 2014-2020 aims to support companies that have the potential to develop or maintain their market position by consolidating superior competences. Thus, it is envisaged to support companies operating in economic fields in which they can develop and / or maintain a competitive advantage and, in general, the development of their economic activity. In this regard, those SMEs that are active in the areas with competitive potential, identified according to the National Strategy for Competitiveness, as well as those who intend to adapt their activity to these areas, will be supported.

The projects follow the natural course of evaluation and contracting during this period, despite de Covid-19 pandemic. ROP 2014-2020 project implementation continues as originally planned in the West Region of Romania, as well as the other projects in which the West Regional Development Agency is involved.

*according to NACE code