SOFIA (Bulgaria), August 11 (SeeNews) - Bulgarian micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) will receive European Union grants amounting to 600 million levs ($317.2 million/306.8 million euro) by the end of the year, the ministry of innovation said on Thursday.
The funds will be channelled through four programmes under Bulgaria's Recovery and Resilience Plan (RRP), the ministry said in a press release.
The first programme, offering a total of 260 million levs in technology upgrade grants, is open for applications until September 21, with some 20 project proposals received so far. Funds will be paid out to companies in sectors such as processing industry, water and wastewater utility services, waste management, telecoms, creative industries and media among others.
Another three programmes are expected to be launched before the end of the year. These will provide grants of over 30 million levs for cybersecurity and IT solutions projects, 200 million levs for solar photovoltaic installations and local energy storage systems, and about 120 million levs for R&D and intellectual property development.
In the next few days, the innovation ministry will submit for approval by the European Commission the new Competitiveness and Innovations operating programme, it said. The first procedure under that programme foresees grants of 145 million levs for internal R&D initiatives. Applications will also be accepted from large enterprises.
(1 euro = 1.95583 levs)