Obtaining authorisation from the European Commission to receive state aid from its funding agency for an R&D and industrial deployment project – IPCEI

Summary

An Important Project of Common European Interest (IPCEI) is defined around a strategic value chain for the European economy. Among other things, participating companies must present a technological leadership project and the desire to work with other European leaders in innovation in a strategic sector. The European Commission can then grant authorisations to carry out state aid to member states that submit projects of this nature (please note, an IPCEI is not a European Commission funding programme).

In detail

Target audience – details
  • Any company with an activity on Walloon territory that is conducting a technological leadership projects on the value chain targeted by the IPCEI.
  • Research centres and universities may participate as ‘spillover’ participants (in partnership with innovative companies without seeking state aid).
Conditions

Target audience – Eligibility criteria

A proposal is eligible if the following elements are all answered in the affirmative:

  • The project leader wants to develop an industrial activity that is linked to the sector targeted by the IPCEI on Walloon territory, or a project with infrastructure that will bring added value to the Walloon territory;
  • The project leader successfully answered the call from the federal government, expressing their interest;
  • The project leader has followed every step in the process to notify the European Commission of their project via the funding body (FPS Research);
  • The research cannot have already received public funding;
  • The company must not be subject to an injunction to recover aid that has been deemed illegal and incompatible as part of the decision made by the European Commission;
  • The company must not be in difficulty, as outlined in Point 2.2 of the European Commission guidelines on aid for rescuing and restructuring companies in difficulty when deciding on potential support;
  • The company’s technical project must be co-funded by the beneficiary company and may also potentially be co-funded by other European funds.

Assessment criteria and project selection

  • The company’s technical and industrial project may concern RDI, the initial industrial-deployment phase and climate-based actions in the sense of the Green Deal jointly (Environment, Energy and Transport), in accordance with the guidelines concerning eligible costs (initial industrial deployment refers to the shift from pilot installations to a larger scale, where the initial equipment and installations that cover the steps after the pilot line, including the experimental stage and the mass production phases and commercial activities are not eligible);
  • The company’s proposed industrial and technical project must involve major innovations that go beyond state-of-the-art technologies and current knowledge in the field;
  • The project may only receive support if there are shortcomings in the market that would prevent it from being carried out without this support;
  • The company must have a significant partnership dynamic within the European Union;
  • The company must commit to disseminating the newly acquired knowledge in the context of the funded works (spillover) beyond just its clients, suppliers and project partners, throughout the European Union. Indeed, the IPCEI must allow the very widespread dissemination of the knowledge acquired, regardless of whether it is protected by a title or intellectual property rights. The mechanisms for disseminating knowledge should be outlined very clearly in the companies’ project portfolios. Protected results shall be disseminated under equitable, reasonable and non-discriminatory market conditions.

Other conditions

  • In accordance with the IPCEI procedure from the European Commission, the project leader may then officially apply to the region through the ONTIME platform;
  • The project may then receive final approval from the college and be approved, if necessary;
  • The amounts of state aid reported to the European Commission for the projects represent the maximum amounts, may not be increased and do not constitute a promise of funding.
Procedure

When a European Commission strategic value chain reaches maturity in several member states, the member states issue a call for declarations of interest in order to select companies’ projects.

The selected companies must then draft a file, which the region will submit to the European Commission in order to obtain authorisation for state aid. This file must include a ‘Project Portfolio’ that describes the technological projects and the justifications for a request for state aid, and a ‘Funding Gap’ that presents the company’s business model for this innovation and justifies state intervention for its viability.

Appeal procedures

The notification procedure:

This is a European Commission procedure. Appeals against the DG COMPETITION decision regarding the eligibility of the project and the eligible costs are not managed by the Walloon administration.

Public service contract:

The contractual relationship between the project leader and the Walloon region begins after the signing of the public service contract for the project. The relationship is then managed like any other relationship between the leader of a project subsidised by the region and the region itself.

How can I contact the department who made the decision?

You may contact the administrative department that made the decision at any time, independently of the appeal procedures outlined below, notably to:

-       obtain additional explanations concerning the decision;

-       complete your initial application with elements that are not known by the administration;

-       communicate the reasons behind your dispute.

 You must contact the following department:

PSW Economy, Employment and Research
Technological Research and Development Department
Place de la Wallonie, 1 (Building III), 5100 NAMUR (JAMBES)
Phone no.: +32 (0)81 33 45 32

This free process is not subject to any specific formalities and does not suspend the periods for filing an appeal. The absence of a response from the administration does not constitute acceptance of your request.

How to file an appeal

Unless the dispute can be viewed as relating to a subjective right – in which case only courts of law and legal tribunals have jurisdiction – an appeal may be submitted to the State Council, in accordance with the procedures outlined below.

Request for cancellation

Cancellation of the decision may be requested by filing a request with the State Council, either:

       -electronically  to https://eproadmin.raadvst-consetat.be  ;

- via a signed and dated registered letter to

Conseil d’État

Greffe

Section du Contentieux administratif

Rue de la Science, 33

1040 Brussels

You must submit your request within 60 calendar days from the date of notification for the disputed decision.

In your request, you must indicate the ‘reasons’ for your appeal, that is, the legal rights that have been infringed by the decision and the way in which they have been infringed.

Request for suspension

Sending a cancellation request does not suspend the effects of the decision.

If an emergency arises which is incompatible with the processing of the case, and if a serious argument is manifestly likely to lead to the cancellation, you may file a request to suspend the decision with the State Council.

The request for suspension may be submitted before, at the same time as, or after sending the request for cancellation.

In exceptional cases, and under specific conditions, you may also request the suspension of the decision in cases of extreme emergency.

Practical information

Requests for cancellation and suspension requests are only valid if they contain certain annexes and information. Reference is made to the coordinated laws and decrees mentioned below, which are available at http://www.raadvst-consetat.be (‘Procedure’ section).

Each requesting party must pay a fee of €200 (amount as of 9 January 2017), using a transfer form that will be sent to the party after the appeal is received. Payment is not currently subject to any deadline and the payment of the sum may be made at any time before the closure of the dispute.

Find out more: laws on the State Council, coordinated on 12 January 1973, Regent Decree of 23 August 1948 determining the procedure before the administrative disputes department of the State Council, Royal Decree of 5 December 1991 determining interlocutory proceedings before the State Council, which are available at http://www.raadvst-consetat.be (“procedure” section).

Contacts

Services

Research Programs Department
Place de la Wallonie, 1 Bât 3
5100 Jambes

Personnes de contact

Monsieur GILLIN Alain 
Directeur 
081/33.45.36
Monsieur FLAGOTHIER Didier 
Monsieur PLAIGIN Charles 
Updated on
Process n° : 146234
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