Organisations that are primarily engaged in commercial or economic activity (known as selective advantage) as part of the project must ensure their request for funding does not exceed the limits defined below. This includes organisations that typically act non-economically but for the purpose of this project will be undertaking commercial or economic activity.
This competition provides state aid funding under articles of the General Block Exemption Regulation (GBER):
- industrial research projects are under article 25, ‘Aid for research, development and innovation’
- capital infrastructure projects are under article 26, ‘Investment aid for research infrastructures’
It is your responsibility to make sure that your organisation is eligible to receive state aid.
Industry-led research projects (Article 25)
The total grant funding limit for any individual project is 20 million Euros (exchange rate to be given in applicant briefing webinar). Total project grant funding must not exceed 50% of your total eligible project costs. This is regardless of the individual partners’ grant claims. Of that 50%, individual partners undertaking commercial or economic activities as part of the project can claim grant funding up to:
- 70% of your total eligible project costs if you are a micro or small organisation
- 60% of your total eligible project costs if you are a medium-sized organisation
- 50% of your total eligible project costs if you are a large organisation
The research organisations in your consortium undertaking non-economic activity as part of the project can share up to 30% of the total eligible project costs. If your consortium contains more than one research organisation undertaking non-economic activity, this maximum is shared between them. They can each claim 100% of their total eligible costs.
Capital investment projects (Article 26)
You must follow the guidance given in the General Block Exemption Regulation (GBER): “4.3 Support given for the construction or upgrade of research infrastructures that perform economic activities, is considered state aid, and is limited to 50% of the investment costs. Where an infrastructure carries out both economic and non-economic activities, support for the non-economic part is not considered state aid and can be given up to 100% of eligible costs (investment costs in tangible and intangible assets) but support for the economic part is considered state aid and cannot exceed 50%. The financing, costs and revenues of each type of activity must be accounted for separately.
“4.4 For example, a research infrastructure that is predominately non-economic but is used for contract research (an economic activity) 30% of the time and costs £10 million can receive £8.5 million public funding towards its construction: 100% for the 70% non-economic portion (£7 million) and 50% for the 30% economic (£1.5 million).
“4.5 Infrastructure supported in this way must be open to several users on a transparent and non-discriminatory basis. Users must pay a market rate for using the facility. Businesses which have contributed at least 10% to the investment costs can have preferential access proportionate to their contribution. The conditions of this access must be made publicly available.
“4.6 Notification threshold for this aid type is set at 20 million euros per infrastructure.”
If you are running a collaborative capital investment project, the research organisations in your consortium can share up to 30% of the total eligible project costs. If your consortium contains more than one research organisation, this maximum will be shared between them. They can each claim 100% of their total eligible costs.
If research organisations are working alone on capital investment projects they can claim 100% of the total eligible project costs if they are undertaking non-economic activities, but this will not constitute state aid.