Innotec grants aim to support RDI projects done by SMEs and recognized tecnology agents (TECNIO centers). They include a circular economy eligible category.
The 2018 INNOTEC grants from ACCIÓ finance up to 70% of the total cost of R&D projects, developed by SMEs established in Catalonia in collaboration with TECNIO centers. A minimum of 25% of the cost has to be outsourced to a TECNIO center. Project budget must be from 25,000 to 150,000 € & time scale of development up to a maximum of 2 years.
The types of projects that can be funded are:
• Individual industrial research and experimental development projects carried out by a SME, in collaboration with a TECNIO center &/or other approved technology developers
• Collaborative R&D projects with at least one SME company & at least one TECNIO developer of public technology
Concerning the circular economy eligible category, the objective is to fund R&D projects that tackle:
• Industrial systems that are restorative or regenerative by design, which eliminate the use of toxic substances, use renewable energies & seek to prevent the generation of waste. These systems are based on innovative business models & ecodesign of processes, products and applications
• Generation of new value by minimizing the exploitation of natural resources & maximizing its reuse, through remanufacture, repair & recycling of material, components & products within the value chain or through other sectors
• Increase of the efficiency of resource flow (material, energy, water) in its collection & redistribution &, at the same time, maintaining quality & longevity & increasing productivity.

Resources needed

Total budget of 1,390,000 € for Innotec Grants:
- 1M € for R&D projects (150,000 € to circular economy projects, financed by Department of Territory and Sustainability)
- 390,000 € for innovation
Eligible expenses: staff, external collaborations, equipment, patent costs

Evidence of success

INNOTEC call 2018 received 73 eligible projects and 5 of them were candidates to the circular economy category.
RESOLUTION: 19 funded projects (2 from the circular economy category). Masias Maquinària is one of the SMEs that received the Innotec grant for funding a R&D circular economy project with UPC Intexter to obtain a new thread from used fiber clothing ( )

Difficulties encountered

ACCIÓ doesn't have any responsibility regarding CE. Nevertheless, due to the increasing importance of CE in the enterprises, intensive interministerial collaboration was needed to define CE RD topics. This difficulty was softened thanks to a govt working group on CE since 2015 that gathers 4 times/y

Potential for learning or transfer

High transfer and replication potential. Actually, the Government of Catalonia was inspired by the "London Advance Programe“ from LWARB in the context of the CIRCE project. The elements of this good practice that can be transferred are the integration of circular economy criteria in different policy tools and the facilitation of governmental ministries collaboration to boost circular economy.
The bases of Innotec grants were created by ACCIÓ in 2017 to fund R&D projects for SMEs. In the context of interministerial collaboration within the Government of Catalonia, the DTES worked with ACCIÓ to include a new circular economy category that was launched in 2018. This new category is related to the Governmental Strategy of Boosting Green and Circular Economy in Catalonia (2015).
Moreover, this good practice facilitates SMEs to increase their level of innovation at a range of 25.000-150.000€ project budgets.

Please login to see the expert opinion of this good practice.

Main institution
Regional Government of Cataluña
Cataluña, Spain (España)
Start Date
June 2018
End Date


Please login to contact the author.

Good Practices being followed by

Ingrid Vives

Regional Government of Cataluña