The aid will take the form of refundable advances, with a period of up to 3 years for making the investment and up to 10 years to refund the advance. To be eligible for backing, the projects must involve a minimum investment of 120,000 euros and must generate at least 3 jobs within a 36 month period. The aim of the programme is to provide backing for 50 projects generating induced investment of 100 million euros and around 500 jobs.
At a recent Government Council Meeting, the Basque Government approved 26 million euros of aid to back investment by technology-based and/or innovative SMEs. The strategy aims to encourage the competitiveness of the Basque production fabric by backing investment that will also generate employment.
The GAUZATU-Industria programme is geared exclusively to SMEs and focuses on creating and nurturing conditions that will favour entrepreneurial capacity and risk assumption by highly technologically-based and/or innovative companies. The Department of Industry, Innovation, Trade and Tourism aims for the companies to use technology and innovation to either develop new products or launch traditional products on new markets, or to achieve technological improvements in the manufacturing processes that will increase the productivity of Basque enterprise. Investment in information and communication technologies (ICTs) will also be eligible for aid.
All the projects backed by the Gauzatu-Industria programme must invest at least 120,000 euros and generate at least 3 jobs in a period of 36 months. The Government’s aid to these new companies will have an upper limit of 35% of the investment or 1.5 million euros per project.
Possible beneficiaries of the subsidies are industrial SMEs working in extraction, processing and production processes, and information and communication society enterprises.
Through this programme, the Government aims to back 50 projects generating induced investment of 100 million euros and some 500 jobs. The Basque Government is fostering alternative financing methods in view of the companies’ difficulty to obtain resources for generating business activity in the Basque Country. The Gauzatu-Industria programme will focus on two of the Department of Industry, Innovation, Trade and Tourism’s priority areas for 2012: facilitating financing for Basque SMEs and providing an incentive for market-oriented technology investment. Both these initiatives will increase the Basque Country’s competitiveness.