The Basque Government presents 83 aid programmes for SMEs with more than 600 million euros to keep businesses dynamic

2023 February 20
  • The 2023 SME Aid Plan supports companies to boost the creation of quality employment and maintain the competitiveness of the Basque economy, which has proven to be dynamic despite the difficulties
  • The Department of Economic Development, Sustainability and Environment seeks to advance in the digital, energy and environmental transitions with transformative projects (R&D&I 70% of the investment), and pays special attention to decarbonisation
  • On 24, 27 and 28 February, electronic information days will be held where companies will be able to find out the details of each programme More than 1,600 companies have already registered

Arantxa Tapia, Basque Government Minister for Economic Development, Sustainability and the Environment, and the CEO of the SPRI Group, Aitor Urzelai, this morning presented the 2023 aid plan for SMEs. With a budget of around 600 million euros, this plan includes 83 programmes designed in 12 thematic areas, in order to maintain Basque business dynamism, which creates wealth and employment despite the difficulties.

The work and knowledge of all the companies responsible for managing this aid, EVE, IHOBE, URA, HAZI FUNDAZIOA, ELIKA, as well as SPRI itself, Basque Trade & Investment and the Venture Capital Company, coordinated by the Department, is reflected in programmes that have had a magnificent reception and response from the Basque business community.

As the Basque Government has been insisting in recent weeks, the budget, and specifically that allocated to the SME Aid Plan presented today, “is the real instrument to help Basque companies in any sector to face the uncertainties they have been suffering in recent years, but, above all, to accompany them in their clear drive to continue creating jobs and wealth, to boost the necessary digital, energy and environmental transitions, and to reactivate the Basque economy based on the inclusive and sustainable model.”

SMEs, large companies, start-ups and people and companies in the agricultural and fisheries sectors will receive aid this year 2023 to support transformative projects. Seventy percent of the budget, specifically 413,611,315 million euros, is earmarked for R&D+i Technology and Energy Transition programmes.

The drive towards decarbonisation is also gaining weight in the Basque economy, which grew by 20% between 2005 and 2019 and managed, at the same time, to reduce emissions by 27%. Specifically, Basque industry has reduced its emissions by 48% between 2005 and 2020. Aid for decarbonisation is present transversally in many programmes, some of them new.

The aid is complemented by significant contributions to investment in industrial development, the food industry and internationalisation, among other areas.

Once again this year, this aid plan is presented in a digital catalogue and its printed version, which lists the 83 programmes and services distributed in its 12 areas of action. They describe the name of the aid or service, the budget for this year, its description and objective, the type of possible beneficiary for whom the aid is intended, the estimated date of publication, the government department and/or company responsible for it, and a website link where you can apply for it and obtain all the information and regulations under which it is regulated.

The twelve areas are: Technology R&D, Innovation, Entrepreneurship, Digital Transformation, Industrial Development, Energy Transition, Internationalisation, Rural and Coastal Economy, SMEs First Sector, Food Industry, Bioeconomy and Circular Economy and the Environment.

Informative Conferences

During today’s presentation, Arantxa Tapia and Aitor Urzelai showed the complete catalogue of grants and announced the conferences to be held on 24, 27 and 28 February, where companies will be able to find out about the details of each of the lines of aid and find the one that best suits their needs.

24 February, Technology, Innovation and Entrepreneurship: the Deputy Minister of Technology, Innovation and Competitiveness, Estibaliz Hernáez, together with directors and directors of her area, will explain the research, innovation, digital transformation and entrepreneurship programmes. The aim is to consolidate the Basque Country’s position as a European innovation hub, to increase the creation of technology companies by 10% and to position the Basque Country as a driving ecosystem for international start-ups that collaborate with local industry. 

27 February, Industry, Energy and the Environment: the Deputy Regional Minister for Industry, Mikel Amundarain, and the Deputy Regional Minister for the Environment, Amaia Barredo, together with other people responsible for the department, will present the aids for industrial development, internationalisation, energy efficiency, renewable energies and the environment. These programmes aim for industry and advanced services to reach 40% of GDP and for the share of renewable energy to reach 20% of final energy consumption.

In addition, the aim is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30%, reduce waste generation and increase its recovery and reuse, implement the environmental strategy as a cross-cutting policy and improve environmental indicators for water, soil and air, in greater defence and respect for biodiversity.

28 February, Primary Sector and Rural and Coastal Development: the Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Policy, Bittor Oroz, will present the aid to the first sector, the food industry and sustainability. The aim of these programmes is to increase food production in the Basque Country, and to guarantee a better territorial balance by providing quality of life for the people who live and work in rural and coastal areas.

Registration for any of the conferences can be done at the following link: https://agenda.spri.eus/es/ayudas/





Some figures from the 2023 programme

The Plan includes 83 aid programmes and an initial investment of 590,873,308 euros.

The breakdown of the main figures is as follows:

The Technology and R&D section totals aid worth 208,295,000 euros, which together with the 21,875,000 euros for Digital Transformation, 6,490,000 euros for Innovation and 4,500,000 euros for Entrepreneurship result in 241,160,000 euros earmarked for promoting R&D&I projects.

This year, aid for the Energy Transition for SMEs amounts to 191,774,708 euros, which added to the 7 million euros of the Circular Economy programmes and the 2.9 million euros for the Bioeconomy, totals 201,674,708 euros.

There are also important programmes designed for investments in industry: 61.5 million for Industrial Development and 20,103,600 euros for Internationalisation.

For its part, the promotion of the economy and employment in the rural and coastal areas adds items such as:

  • Support to the Food Industry €39,680,000
  • SMEs First Sector €21,655,000


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Politicians attending the event