Bulgaria Innovation Ministry aims to grant 600M leva in Covid-19 recovery funds to SMEs by end-2022

Bulgaria’s Innovation and Growth Ministry has said that it plans to make available 600 million leva, or about 306.8 million euro, in funding from the EU Recovery and Resilience Facility to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) by the end of the year.

The Recovery and Resilience Facility is part of EU’s NextGenerationEU stimulus package meant to bolster member states’ recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic. Bulgaria’s recovery plan received the European Commission’s endorsement in April.

One call for funding proposals was already under way, announced on July 22, prior to the resignation of the Kiril Petkov administration.

The deadline for submitting proposals was September 21 and the allocated budget for the programme, which targets the technological modernisation of the applicant businesses, was 260 million leva.

In a statement, the Innovation Ministry said that it was looking to launch a second call for funding proposals by the end of September. That programme, targeting specifically IT solutions and cybersecurity, will have a budget of 30.6 million leva.

Two additional programmes were under development, with the goal of launching formal calls for funding proposals before the end of 2022, caretaker Innovation Minister Alexander Poulev said in the statement.

The first programme, with a budget of 200 million leva, would be focused on investment in photovoltaics and related infrastructure, including energy storage.

The second programme, targeting the disbursement of grants for SMEs engaged in research and intellectual property, was slated to have a budget of 120 million leva.

(Caretaker innovation minister Alexander Poulev. Photo: Innovation and Growth Ministry)

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