We have recently been contacted by a number of member companies that have been confronted with difficulties when submitting an R&D project proposal at VLAIO (Flemish R&D Grant office). Since 1/10/2017 VLAIO conformed its internal evaluation criteria for grant funding with the European guidelines on State aid for rescuing and restructuring firms in difficulty.
According to the Community Guidelines, an undertaking (older than 3 years) is considered to be in difficulty if at least one of the following circumstances occurs:
For the high-tech sector, the most dangerous criterium is definitely the first one.
This is also not a “Flanders only” issue. We expect equal problems in other regions or member states, today or in the near future. Please also realise that if you are younger than three years, you are not affected today, but will be in the near future.
We have been in contact with a number of parties working on this issue and plan to organise an info session early January 2018 (probably 17,18 or 19 January) where we hope to be able to present some possible solutions or avenues to address this problem.
We would appreciate if you would take the time to answer three questions in this form before 29/11/2017.
If you have any specific questions or in case you have any suggestions about this issue, please do not hesitate to get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org