Public call for financing projects

for newly established legal entities "Start-up" and "Spin-off" in the southwestern region of RNM as part of the project "Innovative Eco-System in the field of cross-border cooperation"

The project "Innovative Eco-System in the field of cross-border cooperation" is a project for establishing an innovative infrastructure for transfer of “know-how” technologies between start-up companies and SMEs in the field of cross-border cooperation between the Republic of North Macedonia and the Republic of Albania implemented by FITD, National Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Learning (NCIEL), EuroPartners Development and National Agency for Scientific Research and Innovation (ARTI). The project is funded by the European Commission, represented by the Delegation of the European Union in the Republic of North Macedonia, through the cross-border program for the Republic of North Macedonia - Republic of Albania under the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA II), allocations for 2014-2020.

The main goal of the proposed action is to help in establishment, within the existing educational and business context, a cross-border innovative ecosystem for SMEs and start-ups, through:

1. Strengthening the capacities of key stakeholders in promoting competitiveness and knowledge in the areas of cross-border cooperation.
2. Improving cross-sectoral cooperation between SMEs and Start-ups, focusing on complementarity and utilization of current and future business opportunities for joint ventures and offering multi-year service.
3. Actualizing the established innovation ecosystem from national to cross-border.

TThe Republic of Albania and the Republic of North Macedonia are neighboring countries, but the trade level between them is at the lowest level. Cross-border start-ups and SMEs, despite the underdeveloped infrastructure, are characterized by a high level of immigration, and existing businesses are with a low level of technological development and competitiveness, while educational institutions provide formal knowledge including syllabus that support self-employment.

The Fund for Innovation and Technology Development, as part of the planned activities within the project, announces - Public call for financing projects for newly established legal entities "Start-up" and "Spin-off" in the southwestern region of RNM as part of the project "Innovative Eco-System in the field of cross-border cooperation".

The call is closed
25.08.2019

The financial support provided through this type of grant aims to encourage the level of innovation by providing the necessary financial support for research and development activities of "start-up" and "spin-off" enterprises in the Southwest region which includes the following municipalities: Centar Zupa, Debar, Debarca, Kicevo, Makedonski Brod, Ohrid, Plasnica, Struga and Vevcani. The grant is expected to encourage the culture of risk-taking and innovation, and to provide support to enterprises that want to develop a new or improved product, process, service, as well as to encourage the commercialization of research results in higher education and scientific research institutions.

The duration of the project should not exceed 3 (three) months.

The beneficiary is obliged to submit reports to the Fund for Innovation and Technology Development, as follows:

  • Monthly progress report (narrative part and financial part) which the beneficiary is obliged to submit for the duration of the project within 5 (five) days after the end of the month, and
  • Final executive (narrative and financial part) which the beneficiary is obliged to submit within 30 (thirty) days after the end of the last calendar day of the project

The funds for the grants for start-ups and spin-off legal entities are provided from the Budget of the Republic of North Macedonia through the Project "Innovative Eco-System in the field of cross-border cooperation", funded by the European Commission, represented by the Delegation of the European Union in the Republic of North Macedonia.

For projects financing under this call, a total fund of 33.500,00 (thirty three thousand five hundred) euros is provided, i.e. approximately 2.066.000,00 (two million sixty six thousand) denars, where the maximum amount of grant per applicant can be 6,700.00 (six thousand and seven hundred) euros, i.e. approximately 413.122,00 (four hundred thirteen thousand one hundred twenty-two) denars. This amount will be fully covered by the Fund for Innovation and Technology Development, within the Project "Innovative Eco-System in the field of cross-border cooperation".

The funds for the approved project proposals will be paid in advance, on a monthly basis, to a special purpose project bank account. The funds for each subsequent payment will be paid after the following conditions are fulfilled:

  • approved monthly progress report (narrative part and financial part), and
  • at least 70 % (seventy percent) of the funds spent for intended purpose from the previously budgeted funds.

Eligible for funding under this instrument are applicants who fulfill the following criteria:

  • legal entity established in accordance with the Law on Trade Companies and registered in the Central Registry of the Republic of North Macedonia;
  • not more than 3 (three) years have passed from the day of establishment of the applicant to the day of application;
  • Applicant enterprises should have registered place in the Southwest region which includes the following municipalities: Centar Zupa, Debar, Debarca, Kicevo, Makedonski Brod, Ohrid, Plasnica, Struga and Vevcani;
  • micro or small enterprise (up to 50 employees);
  • to be with majority Macedonian ownership structure (of 50,1% or more);
  • to be with majority Macedonian ownership (50.1% or more),
  • the annual income of the enterprise does not exceed 1,000,000.00 (one million) euros according to the financial statements for the previous two fiscal years;
  • not affiliated (according to the Law on Trade Companies) with another enterprise whose total annual income of both companies exceeds 1,000,000.00 (one million) euros in the previous two years, except in the case of affiliation with higher educational, or scientific and research institution;
  • to not have accumulated more than 200,000.00 (two hundred thousand) EUR state aid of small importance in the last three fiscal years, including the amount requested from the Fund in accordance with the Law on State Aid Control and the Regulation on the Conditions and Procedures for Granting Aid of Minor importance (de minimis)
  • to not have accumulated more than 100,000.00 (one hundred thousand) Euros state aid of minor importance for a period of three fiscal years, including the requested amount of funds from the Fund, if the enterpirise is active in the road traffic sector, in accordance with the Law on State Aid Control and the Regulation on the conditions and the procedure for granting aid of minor importance (de minimis);
  • not to be an enterprise in difficulty (an enterprise in difficulty is an enterprise that is unable to meet its obligations from its own resources or funds that it may obtain from its owner / shareholders or creditors to stop losses, which without external intervention by aid providers is likely to lead to short-term and long-term cessation of enterprise operations), and
  • not to be engaged in production of coal.

Eligible activities for financing are::

  • Research and development activities
  • Development of pilot lines
  • Testing activities
  • Activities related to intellectual property protection;
  • Design

The abovementioned list of activities is not limiting.

Cost eligible for funding:

  • Gross salaries (only for the applicant's employees). The amounts of gross salaries for the employees engaged in the project should correspond to the established practices of the beneficiary before the start of the project;
  • Purchase and / or rental of equipment and consumables for research and development;
  • Fees for preparing and filing a patent application, trademark protection and industrial design
  • Engaging consultants directly related to the expected results of the challenge (expertise related to research and development, business development, marketing, legal services, fundraising, etc.)
  • Office and business support (rental of office space, overhead costs, bank fees, accounting services, hosting and other types of administrative costs) in a maximum amount of 15% (fifteen percent) of the total project budget.

Only the costs incurred for activities carried out for the duration of the project, which are in accordance with the approved Project Budget and the Rules for organizing and conducting competitions or challenges to foster innovation in science and technology priority areas (pdf) will be considered as eligible costs.

Costs non-eligible for financing are:

  • repayment of interest or debt to another party;
  • expenses and provisions for past and possible future losses or debts;
  • coverage of losses on currency exchange, taxes and penalties;
  • entertainment and hospitality costs;
  • recruitment costs (costs for publishing job announcements, commissions from employment agencies, costs related to selection of candidates, etc.) and relocation costs;
  • purchase of land or buildings, including renovation;
  • cash payment from the special project account;
  • export activities (costs directly related to the exporting of products, establishing and operating a distribution network, etc., or other current costs of the enterprise related to exporting activities);
  • annual patent maintenance fees (with the exception of well-justified cases estimated as eligible cost when evaluating project proposals);
  • extras to salaries;
  • costs for consulting services provided by the owner / s to the award user companies;
  • renting of business premises from a lessor that participates in the project activities or is a related person to the beneficiary of the award;
  • procurement of freight transport vehicles by companies that perform freight road transport for rent or compensation;
  • procurement of passenger vehicles (with the exception of well-justified cases assessed as an eligible cost when evaluating project proposals);
  • costs for supply of second hand equipment; and
  • Value Added Tax (VAT)

Not eligible for financing are costs for realization of activities that were previously financed from other sources. The Fund reserves the right to negotiate with the winners regarding the definition of project activities and project budget based on recommendations received from the Selection and Evaluation Commission before signing the Contract for Awarding Funds.

In case the project is based on already existing intellectual property rights, the competitor is obliged, before signing the Contract for Awarding Funds, to submit proof of the right to use the intellectual property in a form of a licensing agreement, “in-kind” contribution agreements or other type of agreement that confirms that the competitor has the right to use the intellectual property on which the results of the project are based.

The applicant must not knowingly or intentionally infringe the intellectual property rights of any third party.

All intellectual property rights and “know-how” that will be created during the implementation of the project and / or as a result of the implementation of the project shall belong to the beneficiary and if applicable, the beneficiary should protect the intellectual property rights.

The Fund will not be liable for intellectual property rights disputes between the applicant / beneficiary and third parties.

Project evaluation consists of several steps:

  • Administrative review of the submitted project proposals whether the project proposal is complete and in accordance with the eligibility conditions stated in the public calls)
  • First evaluation of the project proposal (pre-selection)
  • Selection of the best project proposal - with presentation of the submitted project proposals before the Commission for Evaluation and Selection
  • Signing contracts with the winners.

The Fund reserves the right to change the above listed deadlines.

Each project proposal is evaluated by the Selection and Evaluation Commission, which consists of five members, as follows:

  • Representative of the Fund for Innovation and Technology Development
  • Representative of the Center for Development of the Southwest Planed Region
  • Representative from the Cabinet of the Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of North Macedonia, in charge of economic affairs and coordination with economic resources
  • External expert

To apply for the call each applicant should:

  • Register at the following link www.fitr.mk/innov8 and submit the completed, signed and printed stamped forms for Project Application, Project Budget, Statement that agrees with the terms of the Fund and Statement of ownership / founding structure of the Applicant (notarized)
  • Submit a maximum of 3 CVs from the key persons from the project team
  • Submit Current Status To apply for the call each applicant should: from the Central Registry not older than 6 months
  • Copy of Balance sheet/Income Statement to the Central Registry of the Republic of North Macedonia for the previous two years, except for enterprises registered in the same year when the project proposal was submitted

The duly filled out forms together with the accompanying documents are submitted in electronic form through the Fund's system at the following link: www.fitr.mk/innov8 no later than 23.07.2019 until 23.59.

Only those project proposals submitted in the above manner and within the given deadline will be considered for funding.

The rules and procedures for the implementation, monitoring and supervision of the project are defined in the document Rules for organizing and conducting competitions and challenges to encourage innovation in priority areas in science and technology.

For all questions related to the call you can:

  • write to us at e-mail address: innov8@fitr.mk
  • call us on the telephone number 02 / 314-5258
  • visit us at the Innovation Hub - Faculty of Tourism and Hospitality - Ohrid (Kej Makedonija 95, Ohrid).