The Agency for Science, Innovation and Technology (SIT) has announced a call for proposals for the Norwegian Financial Mechanism 2014-2021 Programme ‘Business Development, Innovation and SMEs’ Information and Communication Technology (ICT) focus area to boost competitiveness of Lithuanian enterprises within Information and Communication Technology (ICT).
All projects shall contribute to the outcome of the Programme: Increased competitiveness of Lithuanian companies within the focus areas Green Industry Innovation, including bio economy, and ICT and shall deliver the expected outcome indicators referred to in paragraphs 30 to 34 of the Call.
All projects involving Donor State Partners shall contribute to the bilateral outcome of the Programme: Enhanced collaboration between beneficiary and donor state entities involved in the programme.
The Call will support development, commercialisation and application of ICT products and technologies used to handle information and aid communication in all industry sectors:
- Development of new ICT products/ technologies: Funding under the Call will be provided for projects aiming at development of new ICT products and technologies, which have a potential to enhance performance across different business sectors, economies and societies. For example, information and communication devices, high-speed computing, large-capacity information analysis, imaging and sound technology, solutions related to such areas as cyber-security, Internet of Things, GDPR, artificial intelligence or a Human-centric Digital Age.
- Application of new ICT products/ technologies: Funding will be provided for introduction (application) of new technological solutions, including digital tools, in Lithuanian entities. This activity shall be implemented as a part of a more complex project, i.e. together with the activity indicated in 18.104.22.168. Application shall correspond to a definition of initial investment, presented in Article 2 (49) of State Aid Regulation, i.e. an investment in tangible and intangible assets related to extension of the capacity of an existing establishment, diversification of the output of an establishment into products not previously produced in the establishment or a fundamental change in the overall production process of an existing establishment.
The total available funding amount under the Call:
- € 4 000 000 will be allocated under the Main Scheme, i.e. for projects applying for the grant assistance from € 200 000 to € 1 000 000.
- € 1 500 000 will be allocated under the Small Grant Scheme, i.e. for projects applying for the grant assistance from € 10 000 to € 200 000.
- Duration: A duration of a project shall not be longer that 36 months from the date a project contract is signed. A duration of a project under SGS1 shall not be longer than 18 months.
- Eligible applicants under the Call are SMEs and large enterprises, which are private legal entities established in one of the EU Member states or EEA EFTA states. If an applicant is a large entity, public ownership can constitute no more than 25%.
- Under the Small Grant Scheme and for the activity Application of new products/ technologies eligible applicants are SMEs.
- A private legal entity established in one of the EU Member states or EEA EFTA states whose project has been approved for funding shall be established as a legal person in Lithuania no later than the date of project contract signing.
- Eligible partner – any public or private legal entity, commercial or non-commercial, and non-governmental organisations, established as a legal person in Lithuania or Norway.
- Partnership is not compulsory, which means that projects can be implemented without any partners. Nevertheless, bilateral projects are highly encouraged, and projects implemented together with a partner(s) from Norway will score additional points during assessment of an application.