Of the total value of this Programme amounting to 13 million EUR, 4 million EUR are earmarked to be allocated as grants for the projects of companies and development partnerships which will contribute to the economic development at the selected locations and sectors.
Grants are awarded via public calls in 2017 and 2018.
FIRST CALL FOR PROPOSALS
Grants are intended for individual companies within the sectors of metal processing, woodworking, agribusiness and tourism (companies from the tourism sector having their corporate seats in the municipalities of Grude, Konjic, Jablanica, Ljubuški, Posušje, Prozor-Rama) specifically for:
- Strengthening company technological capacities;
- Implementation of the quality management;
- Certification based on the technological standards;
- Enhancing capacities of staff and management;
- More appropriate presentation in the market (e.g. branding, introduction of marketing tools etc.)
To achieve this goal grants are awarded to the development partnerships that will implement projects to remove market obstacles to the development of the selected sectors and contribute to the business networking within the sector.
SECOND CALL FOR PROPOSALS
Projects applying for the grants in relation to this goal must have all or some of the following elements:
- Inter-municipal cooperation aimed at the planning and implementation of economic development activities at the local/regional level and improvement of competitiveness of small and medium-sized enterprises.
- Implementation of measures in line with the principles of the Small Business Act for Europe in order to improve the situation in the business environment.
- Introduction and upgrading of the relevant business and development tools of the local economic development.
Grants are meant for support to the partnership projects of at least one partner from public and one partner from private sector, to the partnerships for improvement of the public-private dialogue. Grants also support projects of development partnerships for improvement of innovation and innovative approaches in the private sector, hence at least one partner must be from the public sector, scientific and research (education) and private sector each.
Selection of the grant beneficiaries is made through multi-stage process led by the Grant Committee comprising selected experts of the Project. Representatives of the public authorities that are members of the Project Steering Committee can also optionally attend the Committee meetings as observers. External independent assessors from the region are tasked with the process of assessment and ranking of the project proposals.
After it is found that the applicants meet the criteria regarding the necessary financial and operational capacities, the proposed projects are assessed and ranked based on the criteria of the project relevance, feasibility, sustainability, and efficiency of the proposed grant investment.
It is planned that those companies that suffered the flood damage receive the grants under more favourable requirements. This is especially important taking into account that the companies paid the flood recovery costs that resulted in lower funds available for the competitiveness development. Accordingly, these companies will, as grant beneficiaries, co-finance the proposed projects with smaller amounts.