Company Innovation Grant scheme (‘R&D projects’) stimulating international cooperation of Flanders' companies (also for pilot projects)
The new R&D grant scheme of AIO covers the entire innovation trajectory of a company going from research, proof of concept to innovation, and also projects at pilot scale for scaling up purposes up to commercial business cases. Eligible are companies either on individual basis or on a cooperative basis, including cross border. Condition for funding is having an economic activity in Flanders. Staff costs and other related to development are eligible up from 25% up to max 50% funding. For projects at pilot scale, the budget needs to be minimum 100 000€.
The support framework managed by Flanders Enterprise and innovation agency (AIO) also provides an extra financial incentive to Flanders‘ companies: above the basic percentages for R&D funding, extra support of 10% is given when the company cooperates with a non-affiliated company abroad for developing its innovative processes, products and services.
Witin this R&D support framework, Flanders’ based companies can benefit from grants for international cooperation through participation in joint calls of international networks, where Flanders Enterprise and Innovation AIO is member in. Company partners abroad do not receive grants from AIO but from their respective regional agency in network following virtual common pot.

Resources needed

From the budget earmarked to the company R&D&I support scheme of 137,5 million euros, 16,7 million euros (12% of the budget) went to 44 company projects in international cooperation (ERA Cofund, Eureka,…) containing in total 57 partners.
Direct EU support to companies is not included

Evidence of success

With a track record of a current membership in 21 networks (both thematic and horizontal), Flanders' agency AIO contributes to stimulate R&D&I cooperation among European companies. Biotechnology and biobased sectors are also represented in the network participation

Difficulties encountered

- state aid constraints in cross border cooperations
- brokerage and matchmaking to find partners abroad to cooperate for innovation

Potential for learning or transfer

Based on Flanders' ‘smart specialisation’ strategy, the innovation unit of agency AIO adheres to thematic partnerships including knowledge regions of strategic interest to Flanders and provides through joint calls in these partnerships a chance to Flanders’ companies to share knowledge strengths and to benefit from knowledge assets abroad to develop R&D towards viable business cases of Flanders innovative companies.
The companies can get advice from the innovation agency before the application process (knowledge partners to be involved) in a meeting with thematic NCPs and with company advisors specialized in a variety of application sectors.

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Main institution
Flanders Innovation & Entrepreneurship
Région de Bruxelles-Capitale / Brussels Hoofdstedelijk Gewest, Belgium (Belgique-België)
Start Date
May 2018
End Date


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