€ 2.6 million subsidy for innovating SME businesses




The province of Zuid-Holland has allocated € 2.6 million to subsidising innovating SME businesses.

Subsidies have already been granted to 61 entrepreneurs in Zuid-Holland for consultancy on innovation or feasibility projects, divided over the various top sectors.

These are intended to stimulate innovation among SMEs that are expected to generate new business. Many projects may also help resolve challenging issues in society, such as food safety, safety & security, prevention of environmental damage, and so on.

Innovation consultancy projects

Subsidies for consultancy on innovation projects (up to a maximum € 10,000 per project plus a maximum 50% of project costs) are targeted at SME companies that recruit a knowledge institute or an independent consultant to respond to knowledge queries. Such queries must relate to new knowledge concerning updating of products, product processes or services.

Feasibility projects

Subsidies for feasibility projects (up to a maximum € 50,000 per project plus a maximum 40% of project costs) relate to identifying the technological and economic risks attached to an envisaged project.

On Tuesday, 16 August, Regional Minister Adri Bom-Lemstra presented director Jan Barendse of  ’s Gravenzande-based Agrobrains BV with a symbolic subsidy of € 36,400 for its project on the application of innovative algae extracts in horticulture (“Toepassing van innovatieve algenextracten in de tuinbouw”). The presentation took place in the laboratory of Groen Agro Control of Delfgauw, which has recruited Agrobrains to help implement this feasibility project.

Agrobrains

Agrobrains will use the subsidy for technological feasibility research on abandoning chemical fertilizers in farming and horticulture in favour of green crop protection using naturally sourced algae extracts. Algae can make plants more resistant, eradicate pest insects and improve growth and crop yields. If it proves feasible, Agrobrains plans to continue developing the innovation and make it commercially applicable.

During her visit Regional Minister Bom-Lemstra (Economy) lauded businesses like Agrobrains. “High-grade knowledge and skills are being used here to make ground-breaking innovations possible. And we are talking about innovations that promise to help the world advance further. I hope Agrobrains and all our other innovative small and medium-sized businesses take another successful step forward and capitalise on their opportunities."

Subsidy distribution over top sectors was as follows:

Table: projects granted subsidy per top sector

Top sector

Project subsidies granted

HTSM/ICT

20

Water

9

Horticulture & Propagation materials

9

Agri-Food

6

Chemicals

6

Life Sciences

6

Energy

5

Logistics

3

Total

61

Total granted

€ 2,563,200

The subsidies are part of the SME innovation incentive scheme for top sector industries in Zuid-Holland Povince. The Province and the Ministry of Economic Affairs have each allocated € 4.45 million to this subsidy scheme. Zuid-Holland thus has a budget of € 8.5 million for 2016, of which  € 2.6 million has already been granted.

Submission of applications for R&D partnership projects

Under the scheme SME businesses in Zuid-Holland can submit subsidy applications for tenders to R&D partnerships projects up to and including 1 September 2016. There are two categories in Zuid-Holland:

  1. Small R&D partnership projects with a maximum subsidy of € 200,000 and a maximum of 35% of project costs;
  2. Large R&D partnership projects with a subsidy of over € 200,000 up to a maximum € 350,000 per project and a maximum 35% of project costs.

In 2016 a total of € 5.9 million is available for R&D partnership tenders. The regional economic development agency Innovation Quarter supports SME companies in elaborating a project proposal or finding partners.

Background

The Ministry of Economic Affairs works in partnership with all Dutch provinces under the MIT Regio en Topsectoren plan to harmonise national and regional schemes for stimulating innovation and putting them in touch with each other. The Zuid-Holland SME innovation incentive scheme for top sectors (MIT Zuid-Holland) emerged from this partnership with the Ministry of Economic Affairs. In the outline agreement ‘Zuid-Holland: slimmer, schoner, sterker’ the province has allocated an additional € 10.5 million for the next three years towards stimulating innovation projects in the SME sector.