EUR 2.8 billion will be allocated to 15 beneficiary states within Northern, Central and Eastern Europe over 2014 – 2021 timeframe reflecting five priority sectors and 23 programme areas. Out of these, six programmes in particular address the private sector:
• Business Development, Innovation and SMEs
• Education, Scholarships, Apprenticeships and Youth Entrepreneurship
• Environment and Ecosystem
• Renewable Energy, Energy Efficiency, Energy Security
• Climate change Mitigation and Adaptation
Under the Business Development, Innovation and SMEs programme, which targets private businesses, SMEs are aimed to receive 75% of the funding. The programme supports business development from the early stage innovation up to testing of new technologies, innovative technologies, processes and services, greening of existing businesses and processes, as well as ‘blue growth’ projects. Conditions for funds allocation consist of maximum three focus areas to be chosen among the following: green industry innovation, blue growth, energy, welfare technology, ambient assisted living (health) and ICT. All programmes shall allocate at least 50% of funding to green industry innovation.
This programme is suitable for support through grants and financial instruments, such as venture capital (equity), soft loans and guarantees.
The Research programme focuses on enhanced research-based knowledge development through increased research cooperation between donor and beneficiary countries, application of research results and capacity building. SMEs are eligible participants in all programmes, while dissemination of research results shall be included in all programmes.
The Education, Scholarships, Apprenticeships and Youth Entrepreneurship programme supports synergy projects between research, education and the world of work, but also through public – private partnerships. Exchange of knowledge between best practice stakeholders and professional networks is encouraged.
The Environment and Ecosystems programme encourages investments in green infrastructure.
The Renewable Energy, Energy Efficiency, Energy Security programme supports less carbon intensive energy and increased security of supply through following areas: energy efficiency in production, distribution and end use, renewable energy production and/ or distribution, recovery of energy from waste or hazardous waste, energy security, renewable energy policies and energy markets. Priority is given to bilateral partnerships offering added value.
The Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation particularly supports the private sector through the reduction of greenhouse emissions in industry, the implementation of greenhouse gas capture and storage through restoration and conservation of ecosystems and the implementation of pilot projects for carbon capture and storage.
The specifics of the allocation of funds for the private sector to each country shall be part of the individually signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). Until now, four countries (Romania, Bulgaria, Slovakia and Malta) have signed the MoU with the Donor States, while only three of them were allocated funds for the private sector (Romania – 30.8%, Bulgaria – 26.90% and Slovakia – 17.70%).
For an overview of the 2009 – 2014 results of the EEA & Norway Grants mechanism, with a focus on the funding that was available for private sector enterprises, please check Winnovart’s 2015 study.
For a complete overview of the programme outlook, please have a look at the final version of the Blue Book.