It consists on a grant launched by the Economic Development Agency of Asturias to encourage cooperation among companies for the execution of R+D+i projects.
The “TRACTORES” Programme was created by the Economic Development Agency of Asturias (IDEPA) in the year 2014 and it is aimed at funding differential projects, led by big companies, to face the challenges that the region will address in the medium and long term in the areas and sectors identified in the Regional Innovation Strategy for Smart Specialisation (RIS3).
The call was designed to encourage cooperation among pivotal or “TRACTOR” companies with regional SMEs and research centres, regional test sites and R&D&i groups of the University of Oviedo. The implemented projects should be framed in the fields of specialization defined as priorities in the RIS3 of Asturias. As described in S3, the “TRACTOR” companies are "those companies which have the capacity to improve and/or boost the economy of their environment, taking into account their size and/or their ability to create upstream business, between their suppliers or subcontractors, or downstream, among their local customers."
This call is launched on a yearly basis and the type of projects that are funded are:
Industrial Research Projects
Experimental development projects.
Innovation Projects (in terms of organization or processes).
The beneficiaries of the grants for this call are regional consortiums of companies set up by, at least, three independent companies. One of them must be a “TRACTOR” and another one a SME. In the projects must be involved a research and/or a technological centre.
The maximum total amount authorized to finance the call is 1.500k€ from the IDEPA budget. The funds come from IDEPA's own budget, and can be financed by the European Union through the European Regional Development Fund.This amount may be increased by 750k€.
Evidence of success
For the calls launched from 2014 to 2017, the next results were achieved:
Projects approved: 21
SMEs involved: 46
Big companies involved: 18
Total budget of the projects:14.000.000€
The characteristics of the projects submitted during this 4 years are:
Call 2014 16 applicants 5 big companies and 11 SMEs
Call 2015 17 applicants 5 big companies and 12 SMEs
Call 2016 21 applicants 6 big companies and 15 SMEs
Call 2017 18 applicants 5 big companies and 10 SMES
Potential for learning or transfer
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have a major role in the EU, since they represent 99% of all European companies and in the last five years, they have created around 85% of new jobs and provided two thirds of the total of private sector employment in the EU.Nevertheless, SMEs show important difficulties to adapt to the requirements of global markets, in terms of manufacturing new products, transformation of processes, internationalization, global logistics and this affects directly to their competitiveness. Regional Authorities in Asturias launch different support programms to try to help companies to overcome these type of difficulties and TRACTORES Programme is an example of that. As main requirement, TRACTORES Programme stablishes the participation of a big company and a technological centre in R+D+i project to be excuted along with an SME. In this way, the SMEs have the chance to participate in innovative and cooperative projects.
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