We have recently launched a survey to understand the level of awareness and interest across the Norwegian and Icelandic business sector for the opportunities opened by the EEA & Norway grants.
We are pleased to publish preliminary results after 3 weeks from survey opening.
General conclusions at this stage. The vast majority of respondents from Norway and Iceland have no direct experience with the EEA & Norway grants, despite working with local funding schemes on their own markets. Surprisingly or not, respondents indicate more experience with international EU funding schemes for innovation, than they do with the EEA&Norway grants. The EEA & Norway grants seem to be the least popular funding scheme for companies from the Donor States despite having, apparently, a privileged position in this funding mechanism. This is despite an interest to engage with this funding scheme in ways/ with project types which are eligible under most of the schemes addressing the public sector. The main reason so far seems to be the limited information available to present the opportunity of this funding mechanism to businesses based in the Donor States.
General awareness regarding the EEA & Norway grants. Nearly half of the respondents are not familiar with this funding mechanism at all. Only a quarter of them have had direct experience with this scheme, while 75% of our respondents have not participated in this funding scheme before.
General understanding of the international funding landscape. While the number of respondents who have direct experience in EEA & Norway Grants are surprisingly low, it is, nonetheless, insightful to see the funding mechanisms they tend to be involved in. The data shows that a limited number of companies from the Donor States make use of he EEA & Norway Grants, while that proportion more than doubles for the companies that had experience in EU funding schemes managed by the EC. It is interesting to see that most of the respondents have direct experience in funding schemes managed by local governments, whereas less than a third of them have experience in international funding schemes.
Engagement experience with the Beneficiary States. Although most of the respondents in Q2 have limited experience in applying for international grants funding schemes including EEA & Norway Grants, most of them have previously either had direct trading experience or established contacts with organisations from the Beneficiary States.
Interest to join projects as a partner. We further investigated to understand the position of the companies in the Donor States. 95% of respondents in our survey expressed interest in being bilateral partners on a project, but only 10% having checked the opportunities presented by the EEA & Norway Grants.
Type of project partnership/ project role sought. With an overwhelming interest expressed by respondents in grants funding schemes, we next sought to understand the types of projects or businesses they are looking to open future collaboration opportunities for. We found the top three types of projects to be: Demonstrate/ Pilot/ Test the innovative technologies; Sell market-ready products and technology; and Engage in collaborative R&D/ Innovation projects. The results show that businesses in the Donor States tend to lean towards collaboration in projects related to innovation.
Level of satisfaction regarding available support. 70% of our respondents have minimal information about the opportunities that EEA & Norway grants can present for their companies. 10%, however, consider there is enough level of support from their local public sector agencies. This might be a key reason why most businesses were not able to access and unlock the potential of these grants for their projects.
Our survey will be on-going for a few more months as we hope to gain a better understanding of this marketspace. We appreciate the participation of our survey respondents to date as all the information we collect is of great value to us and other stakeholders involved this marketspace.
To share YOUR experience and views on the EEA & Norway grants, please complete the survey by clicking on the button below: