SOFIA (Bulgaria), August 5 (SeeNews) - Bulgarian micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) can apply to receive European Union grants totalling 735 million levs ($ 384.3 million/376 million euro) until the end of the year, the ministry of innovation said.
The funds are provided either under the country's EU-backed Recovery and Resilience Plan (RRP) or the operational programme Innovations and Competitiveness, the ministry said in a statement on Thursday.
Successful grant recipients must invest in new machines, equipment and software, in the construction of renewable energy sources and energy storage facilities of up to 1 MWh in capacity, and in improving information systems and cybersecurity, among others.
Businesses in industries such as processing, recycling or media can apply until September 21 for 260 million levs out of the technological modernisation segment of the RRP, with the ministry expecting to finance between 700 and 1,000 companies under this grant to improve their production systems and facilities.
A further 200 million levs is earmarked for companies seeking to construct renewable energy installations for own use. Grant applications will be accepted in the final quarter of 2022, the ministry said.
Financing under the EU-backed plan will also be available for ICT improvements and to companies that have won European innovation competitions.
In addition, a pilot grant procedure of 127 million levs under the operational programme Innovations and Competitiveness will be kicked off at the end of the current year to finance internal research and development initiatives by businesses in the processing industry.
(1 euro = 1.95583 levs)