EUR 2.8 billion will be available to companies, universities and research institutes, NGOs and public sector organizations in 15 EU countries across the CEE region, Baltics and Portugal under the new 2014 – 2021 EEA& Norway financial mechanism. The EEA & Norway grants have the goal of strengthening bilateral relations between the Donor States (Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) and the Beneficiary States, as well as reducing economic and social disparities.
With 5 priority sectors and 23 programme areas detailed in its Blue Book, this funding mechanism is expected to become operational in the second half of 2017 and will open up very interesting funding opportunities for the private sector companies, especially under the three priority areas: innovation, education and environment.
After signing the official agreement with the European Commission in May 2016, the Donor States are currently setting up bilateral agreements with each of the 15 Beneficiary States. Up to this moment, 3 Memoranda of Understanding have been signed with Romania, Bulgaria and Slovakia, setting out the priority areas and programmes for funding in these countries.