News Industry, Innovation, Trade and Tourism

An agreement between the Basque Government and the National Government mobilises investment in innovation of approximately 530 million

2011 December 19

• A total of 27 projects, entailing private companies and public bodies, will reap the benefits of the 2010-2012 framework agreement to promote innovation in the Basque Country
• The Basque and central administrations will contribute 150 million over the course of this three-year period at low interest rates.
• The objective of the program, managed by the Basque Ministry for Industry via SPRI, is to jointly promote public activity relating to innovation in a coordinated manner

27 projects will be able to invest 527.5 millions in scientific and technological innovation as a result of the credit of 150 million jointly subscribed by the Basque and Spanish Governments. More specifically, the beneficiaries are 15 strategic companies, seven singular projects and three technology parks in the Basque Country, which will be afforded access to aid from the aforementioned 150 million euros to promote innovation in scientific and technological projects. This credit was agreed upon in May 2010 by the Ministry for Science and Innovation and the Basque Institute for Finances, a public body attached to the Basque Ministry for the Economy and the Treasury.

The plan for scientific and technological investment benefits 27 projects, the majority of which are already underway. Three entail technology parks within the Basque network, which have been afforded 17.1 millions in credit and which have given rise to investment of 34.2; seven are singular projects that have been granted 28.2 million in credit and 56.56 in induced investment; and 17 are strategic projects (entailing 15 companies), which have been afforded 104.6 million euros of credit and, by the end of next year, will have received 436.8 million euros in actual investment.

Benefitting business sectors range from white goods and energy to the exclusively industrial, biotechnologies or new information technologies. For their part, singular projects benefit certain municipal projects, technology training cooperatives and research centres.

In May 2010, an agreement was signed by the two governments with the objective of financing business innovation activities in the period between 2010 and 2012. Financing takes the form of the issue of credit amounting to a total of 150 million euros. The credit conditions are extremely favourable, with an interest rate of 1.232% and an exclusion period for payment of principal and interests of 5 years and a payback period of 10 years.

The two administrations are, jointly and in a coordinated manner, promoting actions in the field of innovation. In this manner, they hope to promote innovation within companies, raise their level in terms of knowledge acquisition and, thereby, increase business competitiveness.

The agreement takes in programs for action relating to innovation, which can benefit from the aforementioned credit. These programs, which are managed by SPRI, focus on three areas of activity.

The first entails strengthening scientific and technological infrastructures within the Basque Technological Park Network. Secondly, the programs contemplate support for singular projects. Finally, credit will also be destined towards actions that support strategic companies.

It should borne in mind that the Commission charged with monitoring the agreement is formed by eight members, four representing the Ministry of Science and Innovation and four appointed by the president of the Basque Institute for Finances.

This framework agreement, responding to the objective of "territorial integration" within the State Strategy for Innovation, was authorised by the Cabinet on the 18th of March 2010.

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