How and where to find public funds?

The need for funds due to the slowdown in the economy encourages companies to resort to public aid.

The problem with the Spanish economy coming to a standstill is that it needed to continue breathing. In the case of companies, money is their oxygen, which has become difficult to find during these months, although various public-private mechanisms have been put in place to give air to economic activity.

Maria Victòria Palau, Key Account Manager of Euro Funding, explains to the newspaper DIRIGENTES that the stoppage “has meant that there has been a huge increase in interest from companies in obtaining both public and private financing”. However, She regrets that knowing how and where to go to obtain such assistance “is not easy, as the publication of calls for proposals is mainly done in the different platforms specific to each body”.

This search is carried out in the midst of the urgency of the companies. The information relevant to the company is not easy to locate, even though it is published in the Official Bulletins. From Palau’s point of view, this system “makes it difficult knowledge of existing calls for aid and, consequently, the
access to them”.

“The bodies that promote and channel the granting of aid have their own platforms for publishing and consulting existing calls”, which makes it a challenge to find and take advantage of the aid. For this reason, Euro-Funding facilitates this process for companies by finding and screening calls for aid according to geographical area, sector or purpose.

Likewise, maintaining closeness to the Administration is key. This allows us “to be able to know, with a certain amount of anticipation, the possible orientations or plans of action that are going to be put into practice”, Palau recalls.

The European Commission’s financial support

At this point, it is worth recalling the enormous amount of public aid that has been made available to companies during this crisis. Spain will receive 140,000 million euros from the Next Generation EU Plan approved by the European Union, which will be distributed according to objectives such as ecological transition or the promotion of digitalisation. In addition, Palau expects that “shortly” a Framework Programme, called Horizon Europe, will be published to finance R&D&I projects in the European con

For its part, Spain will mobilise 4.2 billion euros for the tourism sector, in addition to another Programme for the digital transformation, with a budget of 216 million euros. As regards Science and Innovation, the Government has made available a budget of 10 million euros which will go to SMEs.

R&D is the focus of a large part of the administrations’ efforts. According to Palau, in the coming months, aid of 65 million euros will be called for 125 million for the same purpose in the automotive sector. With regard to digitalisation, Spain recently presented a new plan for structural reforms, which is expected to mobilise 70 billion euros of public and private funds until 2022.

In any case, Palau believes that the need and context will create “high competition for funds”. This is why it is necessary to present competitive proposals in order to obtain them. Under normal conditions, “the bodies promoting the granting of aid manage to exhaust if not in all cases, in practically all cases, the funds at their disposal”.

Palau also draws attention to the instruments that complement existing aid. In her opinion, they are “compatible” with other subsidies and “can offer companies greater liquidity”. For example, she mentions tax deductions for R&D of between 12% and 59% in Company Tax. There is also a 40% reduction for the payment of Common Social Security Contingencies for research personnel. In addition, the innovative SME stamp and the patent box mean that these aids can be made compatible.

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