National Innovation Fund (NIF)
 

What is the National Innovation Fund?

The National Innovation Fund (NIF) was established by virtue of decision of the Council of Ministers in September 2004. According to the Innovation Strategy for Smart Specialisation of the Republic of Bulgaria 2014 – 2020, NIF is one of the instruments for implemention of the innovation strategy.

The goals underlying the Innovation Strategy for Smart Specialisation of the Republic of Bulgaria 2014 – 2020 (ISSS) are implemented through the actions of the Fund in the period 2016-2020.

 

For more information

For more information

Additional information on the essence of the National Innovation Fund is available on the website of:

 

What are the measures supported by the National Innovation Fund?

The main goal of the Fund is to promote the scientific research and development activities in order to improve the competitiveness of the enterprises. The direct objective of the Fund is to promote the implementation of scientific research and development projects and projects for technical feasibility with the aim of acquiring new or improved products, processes or services designed to raise the economic efficiency, improve the innovative potential and technological level of enterprises, increase private investment and enhance the dynamics of innovative processes.

The Fund promotes the development of innovation in scientific research and development of projects by provision of funding to innovative projects that have not reached the market yet.

 

Important to know

Important to know

No funding for overall development achieving finished market product or service is allowed. In other words only the scientific research activity and the technical feasibility activities for a product/process/service is funded.

The funds are provided by the Small and Medium-Sized Enterprise Promotion Executive Agency.

 

What is the budget available to SMEs?

The Fund’s budget is different for each call session. For example, the ninth session in 2018 had a budget of BGN 5 000 000. The maximum grant (MG) in 2018 amounted to BGN 500 0002 for each individual project.

 

How is the programme budget allocated?

The percentage of the grant in the total expenses is:

  • 50% - for industrial scientific research;
  • 25% - for experimental development,

which may go up to 80% with:

  • 10% for medium-sized enterprises;
  • 20% for small enterprises;
  • Up  to 15%, in case of effective cooperation with a scientific research and knowledge dissemination organisation and / or another enterprises.

 

How can you apply?

The submission of the application documents is electronically on the website of the Small and Medium-Sized Enterprise Promotion Executive Agency, and the documents submitted have to be signed with a qualified electronic signature.

 

What is the procedure, criteria and methodology for the evaluation of the project proposals?

The evaluation of the proposals includes:

  • Evaluation of the administrative compliance and eligibility – this stage addresses the following questions: is the application deadline complied with, are all required documents available in the specified format, is duplicated funding in place, etc.?;
  • Technical and economic evaluation of the project proposal – at this stage the innovation (relevance of the project, realisation of a technological achievement, benefits to the public, etc.), efficiency of the approach, economic feasibility (competitive advantages, market applicability, return on expenses incurred, etc.);
  • Financial evaluation of the budget.

 

Who are the eligible candidates?

The eligible candidates include traders registered in Bulgaria in the meaning of the Commerce Act (CA) or an equivalent person in the meaning of the legislation of another European Union member state.

An eligible partner for the implementation of a project under the scheme may be an enterprise – trader in the meaning of the CA or an equivalent person in the meaning of the legislation of European Union member state and / or scientific research and knowledge dissemination organisations from a European Union member state. The scientific research and knowledge dissemination organisation should have the status of a legal entity. In the case of projects involving partners of the enterprise (one of the enterprises for projects involving more than one partner) is a coordinator, has the status of an applicant and submits the tender documentation (including the documentation required for the partner in the implementation of the project).

 

Which are the thematic areas specific to the Fund?

Thematic areas in accordance with the ISSS, within which scientific research and development projects fall  include:

  • Mechatronic sand clean technologies;
  • Information and communication technologies and computer science;
  • Healthy life industry and biotechnologies;
  • New technologies and recreation industries.

 

What are the expense eligibility requirements?

Eligible expenses include only expenses for actions on “industrial scientific research” and “experimental development":

  • Personnel expenses (main and auxiliary) on scientific research and development project – up to 70% of the total expenses in the budget of each participant;
  • Tools and equipment expenses;
  • Hired services expenses;
  • Materials and consumables expenses;
  • Expenses on business trips aboard.

The scientific research and knowledge dissemination organisation covers at least 10% of the eligible expenses under the project.

Duration of the scientific research and development projects – up to 18 months.

 

What are the deadlines within which I can apply on calls under the Programme?

You can apply for financing from the Fund depending  on the terms of the call for each specific year.

 

For more information

For more information

Additional information regarding the application to the National Innovation Fund is available on the website of:

 

1 The intellectual property rights on the products and the outcomes, as well as the related access rights received during the implementation of a project funded from the NIF, are held by the candidate,

2 In accordance with the Ninth Session in 2018.

 
Write to us
Ministry of Economy
8, Slavyanska Str., Sofia 1052, Bulgaria
BULSTAT: BG176789453
phone: +359 2 940 7001

fax: +359 2 987 2190
 
Operational Programme
Contacts: 8, Slavyanska Str. Sofia 1000, Bulgaria tel: +359 2 940 7001 e-mail: e-docs@mi.government.bg
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