With the entry into force of the new law on aid schemes for research, development and innovation (RDI), Luxembourg is coming into line with the objectives of Community policy in this area. As part of these efforts, new measures have been put in place and existing arrangements have been supplemented.
An opportunity taken up
The new provisions give practical effect to the reform of the RDI aids initiated in the context of bringing the aid schemes into line with the objectives of Community policy in this area. The Ministry of the Economy has chosen to transpose all the opportunities afforded by the European framework in order to encourage private undertakings to increase R & D spending, broaden their innovation efforts and encourage partnerships between private undertakings and public research centres.
In this context, the SME innovation aid scheme brings together a number of former measures specifically designed to support RDI in small and medium-sized enterprises and is intended to facilitate their access to RDI aids. Other changes relate to the aid scheme for technical feasibility studies for which a single rate will apply and the ceiling for aids granted to young innovative firms which will be set at EUR 800,000. In addition, the ceiling rates applicable to SMEs' innovation projects in respect of processes and organisation are increased to 50%.
Supplementing the existing aids to support RDI, a new aid measure for investment in research infrastructures is now available to promote the acquisition of research equipment that is intended to be shared. In addition, the new legislation provides for the possibility in future of granting aid in the form of repayable advances, equity contributions for young innovative enterprises or subsidised loans and tax credits in addition to the subsidies of the sort applied hitherto.
Under the former law on aids for RDI (amended law of 5 June 2009 on the promotion of RDI), the Ministry of the Economy paid out during the period of application of this law between July 2009 and June 2017 a total of 375 million euros in the form of the various aid schemes, thereby financially supporting 655 projects linked to innovation and research. These aids enabled the undertakings concerned to invest more than one billion euros in Luxembourg.
(Source: press release of the Ministry of the Economy)