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President signs off on relaxed eligibility rules for innovation credit subsidies


President Bronislaw Komorowski on 6 April signed into law an amendment to the Innovation Support Act designed to give companies easier access to EU-funded bank loans for technological innovation projects, such as patent applications. It does so by relaxing eligibility criteria for “innovation bonuses”, i.e. subsidies awarded by BGK, the state bank, to help firms repay the EU-funded loans; and by lifting the maximum level of the bonuses.

Under the amendment, BGK will be allowed to grant bonuses worth up to 70% of the total expenses incurred in connection with an innovation project, rather than 70% of the value of the loan, as before; and applicant companies will no longer need to reach a certain sales level as a result of their project in order to receive the bonus (the procedure will instead be similar to the one governing the payment of EU funds, i.e. the bonus will be paid after the project is completed, based on documented costs). Also, the definition of innovative technology has been expanded to cover “non-patented technical knowledge”.

The changes will ease access and increase the actual value of the bonuses.

The existing criteria were seen as too restrictive, and few companies applied for the bonuses as a result.

The amendment will take effect 30 days after its signing into law.

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