SME Diversification and Innovation Grant Scheme

The SME Diversification and Innovation Grant Scheme is targeted at SMEs seeking to adapt and become more resilient, whilst addressing market challenges through diversification. It is also aimed at enterprises seeking investment to bring to the market significantly improved and advanced products or services to those they already offer. A sum of €8 million has […]

Written By Stephen Balzan

On November 16, 2016
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The SME Diversification and Innovation Grant Scheme is targeted at SMEs seeking to adapt and become more resilient, whilst addressing market challenges through diversification. It is also aimed at enterprises seeking investment to bring to the market significantly improved and advanced products or services to those they already offer.

A sum of €8 million has been allocated to this scheme which is primarily targeted at sectors such as biotechnology, research and technological innovation, yacht repair and maintenance, eco-innovations and environmental solutions, ICT development, and tourism networks with the artisan and craft sectors.

The assistance consists of non-repayable grants up to a maximum value of €200,000. SMEs may receive assistance with aid intensity on eligible expenditure of 50%.

Eligible Actions

Eligible Undertakings would have to prepare a business plan outlining their focused strategy through a proposed investment.  Such undertakings may seek assistance to part-finance investment in tangible and intangible assets leading to:

  1. the diversification of the output of an existing establishment into products or services not previously produced by the establishment;
  2. the implementation of a fundamental change in the overall production process of an existing establishment;
  3. a new economic activity related to the diversification of the activity of the establishment, under the condition that the new activity performed is not the same or a similar activity to the activity previously performed in the establishment;
  4. the adoption of solutions that lead to the development of a significantly improved product or service;
  5. the acquisition and integration into the business operation of solutions that are new or significantly advanced than those currently in use by the Undertaking.

Eligible Costs

  1. Leasing/rental of privately owned operational premises
  2. Construction/up-grading costs
  3. Purchasing of new equipment, machinery and/or plant
  4. Patents and licenses
  5. Wage costs related to the wage of a Change Manager employed specifically through the project to drive the necessary change within the enterprise through the diversification or a fundamental change initiative.

This Scheme is demand driven and managed through an open rolling call.

Eligible activities

Actions related to the Diversification of the activity of the establishment should result in the beneficiaries engaging in one of the following activities:

  1. The production, manufacture, improvement, assembly, preservation, processing of goods, materials, commodities, equipment, plant machinery;
  2. Biotechnology, Pharmaceuticals and Life Sciences;
  3. Research and Technological Innovation;
  4. The repair, overhaul or maintenance of pleasure crafts, yachts having less than 100gt, aircraft, engines or equipment incorporated or used in such vessels or aircraft;
  5. Information and communication technology (ICT) development activities, software development;
  6. Eco-innovations, and environmental solutions;
  7. The creation of tourism products and/or services as a result of networks created between traditional tourism service providers and the crafts and artisan sector;
  8. The development and provision of tourism products and/or services related to emerging niche markets;
  9. The development and provision of tourism products and/or services related to the promotion of natural and cultural heritage;
  10. The development and provision of tourism products and/or services relating to social tourism with specific focus on senior tourists, accessible tourism and active ageing;
  11. The development of innovative concepts, products and/or services offered by Boutique Hotels and Palazzini;
  12. The development, and/or provision of E-health solutions;
  13. The development and provision of services and products promoting healthy living;
  14. The development and provision of services and products promoting active ageing;
  15. The development and provision of services and products related to child-day care;
  16. The development and creation of crafts and artisan products;
  17. Retail activities by self-employed and family businesses engaged in craft;
  18. The introduction of products/services that can be marketed and distributed internationally and which are typically more advanced than those prevailing in their respective industry in terms of technology, know-how and skills.

How can we help?  

For further information, please contact one of the firm’s tax partners, Stephen Balzan on [email protected] or Elaine Camilleri [email protected]. ACT can help you understand the changes to the tax rules and how these can impact your business.  

Apart from its offices in St. Julian’s Malta, ACT operates from a second office in Gozo, which is situated in the capital city of Victoria.  For an appointment in our Gozo office, please call on 00356 21378672 or send us an email on [email protected]. 

Disclaimer: This article contains general information only and is not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. ACT, by means of this article is not rendering any accounting, business, financial, investment, legal, tax, or other professional advice or service. This article is not a substitute for such professional advice, nor should it be used as a basis for any decision or action that may affect your finances or your business. Although we endeavour to provide accurate and timely information, there can be no guarantee that such information is accurate as of the date it is received or that it will continue to be accurate in the future. Before making any decisions or before taking any action that may affect your finances or your business, you should consult a qualified professional adviser. ACT shall not be responsible for any loss whatsoever sustained by any person who relies on this article.