Out of 706 registered, 540 companies apply for the first time to the public calls of the Fund

Out of the 706 registered in the public call for co-financed grants for technological development for accelerated economic growth, 540 are companies applying for the first time to one of the public calls of FITD, while 207 are start-up companies, shows the initial analysis of the Fund for Innovation and Technological Development.

"I am proud that even during the global pandemic we received a record number of submitted applications compared to any public call conducted by FITD so far. The fact that 540 of them are applying for the first time and the fact that companies are ready to invest around 27 million euros, shows that we are achieving the goal, to see FITD as a trusted partner in the implementation of innovative solutions and opportunities to meet the challenges they face", said Kosta Petrov, acting director of the Fund for Innovation and Technological Development, at today's presentation.

He added that one of the main focuses of FITD is the positioning of Northern Macedonia as a regional start-up hub and therefore encourages that out of the total number of applicants, 207 are start-up companies.

The analysis shows that in terms of start-up applicants, 171 of them are up to 3 years old, while 105 work up to 6 years.

The total volume of investments from the project proposals is 63 million euros, of which almost 27 million would be an investment of the companies, while they demand 36 million euros from FITD.

At the public call which is intended to support domestic companies to create conditions for overcoming the consequences of the economic crisis, to achieve accelerated growth, to increase competitiveness in international markets by introducing new "green" and digital technologies for their transformation, applied 345 micro, 329 small and 32 medium enterprises and 76 private health facilities (PHI).

The companies are from 18 industries, most of them in the field of marketing, health, technology industry, construction and IT. They come from 29 cities, with the most dominant number of applications from Skopje, Strumica, Tetovo, Bitola and Stip.

In order to develop female entrepreneurship, companies with women managers from different regions will have an advantage in the evaluation. This is one of the reasons why there is an increased interest among women entrepreneurs from all regions in the country, so the analysis shows that 45% of companies-applicants with a woman owner or manager.

FITD provides 70% of the project budget for a micro or small enterprise or 60% for a medium-sized enterprise. That is, 2,500,000 denars for micro, up to 5,000,000 denars for small and up to 10,000,000 denars for medium enterprises.

For the companies that applied, there is a process of primary selection of project proposals, in which the evaluation will be performed by domestic experts from 22 areas of expertise. The evaluation is based on the following criteria: technological progress and degree of digitalization (35 points), project quality (10 points), capacity of the project team (10 points) and impact of the project with 45 points each. All projects with an average grade of over 51 points go into the second phase of evaluation.

In the second phase, the projects will be reviewed by the Investment Approval Committee (IAC), an independent body composed of five international experts. At their request, pitching (public presentation) of the project proposals is optionally provided. For the selected list of project proposals, the FITD team will perform an administrative check, whether the application documentation is complete. This is followed by a final decision by the IAC, according to the defined criteria.

Presentation link - Analytics of applicants