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Government boosts access to innovation credit subsidies


The government on 23 November approved a draft amendment to the Innovation Support Act that is expected to improve companies’ access to EU-funded bank loans for financing technological innovation projects, such as patent applications. It will do so by relaxing eligibility criteria for credit subsidies awarded by BGK, the state bank, to help repay the loans, and by lifting their maximum level.

Under the amendment, companies which take out such loans (awarded by commercial banks) will be able to obtain the refinancing of up to 70% of total expenses related to the investments, rather than 70% of the value of the loans; and will no longer need to produce invoices to fulfil eligibility criteria. This will ease access and increase the actual value of the subsidies (which is maximally €1m).

The existing criteria were seen as too restrictive, and few companies applied for the subsidies as a result (in the second half of 2009 just 30 did so, claiming funds representing just 15% of the amount earmarked for this period). The budget for the loans is PLN 1.48bn (approx. €370m) until 2013. The government estimates that thanks to the amendment, some 400 loans will be extended during this period, resulting in the creation of 4,000 new jobs.

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