March 22, 2012
Encouraging SMEs Towards Eco-Innovation
The competitiveness of local and European businesses is increasingly prone to growing materials scarcity which causes price volatility. To tackle this challenge, many SMEs across Europe are looking to eco-innovation. However, there are a number of obstacles preventing businesses from investing in eco-innovation. The most significant barriers are linked to economic and financial constraints, notably uncertain demand from the market and the lack of external financing.
In view of the above, one of the schemes which is administered by Malta Enterprise, the ERDF Innovation Actions Grant Scheme (Environment), provides support to SMEs to invest in eco-innovation solutions that contribute to environmentally sustainable business activities by addressing water and air quality, waste streams and resource utilisation. The scheme will co-finance plant, machinery and equipment and certification costs.
Eligible costs under this scheme include:
1. Plant, Machinery and Equipment
This category includes costs in plant machinery and equipment incurred to achieve and monitor specific environmental objectives:
- Engineering services that are required to modify existing plant, machinery and equipment required to achieve the established environmental objectives.
- The acquisition of new machinery and equipment which is required to achieve the established eco-innovation results is also eligible.
This category includes costs of services incurred directly for the attainment of the following environmental certifications:
- EMAS (EU Eco-Management and Audit Scheme)
- ISO 14001
- Any other environmental certifications recognized by the Malta Competition and Consumer Affairs Authority (MCCAA).
The projects benefiting from this incentive should be completed within twenty four (24) months. The minimum-project value based on eligible expenses must be at least Euro 20,000 for a project to be considered for co-funding. SMEs can get up to EUR 150,000 in co-financing under this scheme.