Perspectives

Grants and incentives program updates: September 2016

Global developments benefiting business

​This monthly publication provides a summary and updates on the latest global developments in research and development (R&D) credits, grants, and other inventive arrangements. More than 50 countries offer specific incentives and this newsletter focuses on identifying and outlining what could be the right incentives for your organization.

China

New guidelines on HNTE status recognition

On 22 June 2016, the Chinese government issued revised guidelines on the recognition of High-New Technology Enterprise (HNTE) status to further clarify the new requirements for companies to qualify for HNTE status and to reiterate that the government will be conducting post-HNTE status audits. Enterprises planning to apply for HNTE status or those already enjoying benefits should re-evaluate their eligibility in accordance with the new guidelines, comply with the documentation requirements and further improve their internal risk control procedures.

Government plans to reduce corporate costs

The State Council of China issued a notice on 8 August 2016 that sets out some high-level guidelines aimed at improving the business environment and stimulating real economic growth, and helping to reduce operating costs for enterprises. The guidelines contain the following main objectives:

Ensuring that the burden of taxpayers is not increased following the introduction of VAT to replace the business tax.

  • Enhancing the super deduction for R&D expenses.
  • Reviewing the rules on administrative fees, with a view to reducing the amount of the fees.
  • Reducing financial costs for small and micro companies.
  • Encouraging companies with good credit to issue overseas bonds.
  • Reducing the burden on the employer portion of social security contributions.

Under the State Council guidelines, each government department (the Ministry of Finance, State Administration of Taxation, Ministry of Science and Technology, and the local governments) will be responsible for reviewing its respective areas (including R&D incentives and government grants) and taking steps to achieve the above objectives. The State Council will carry out an assessment of the project at the end of March 2017.

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Contact your China representative

Clare Lu,
Partner
+86 21 6141 1488

Roger Zhou,
Senior Manager
+86 21 6141 1381

Germany

Logistics industry / Shipping industry / Port sector / ICT

Innovative Port Technologies (IHATEC)

The scheme provides funding for R&D and demonstration projects that increase energy efficiency and reduce pollution in ports by using digital solutions as enabling technologies. The following fields of applications are of particular interest:

  • Optimized and improved handling capacity of transshipment volumes and passengers in port terminals; improved flow of traffic, and avoidance of congestion between port terminals and locations;
  • Optimized logistics chains, integrated logistics, and production solutions; improved digital infrastructure in the ports’ logistic chains; and
  • Development of new IT systems and cyber-security technologies to improve environmental and climate protection in ports (e.g. with respect to soil and water pollution).

Manufacturing sector / FMCG industry

Investment in energy efficient systems (“Cross-cutting technologies”)

Funding is available for investment in energy efficient systems that are available on the market and that increase energy efficiency in companies and/or production plants. In addition to the new purchase of energy efficient systems, the replacement of existing systems can be funded provided certain conditions are fulfilled. Eligible energy efficient systems include the following:

  • Electric motors and powertrains;
  • Pumps;
  • Ventilators and installations for heat recovery in air conditioning systems;
  • Air compressor and installations for heat recovery in air compressors;
  • (Waste) heat recovery systems for the reuse of heat in the production processes; and
  • Isolation of industrial installations and pipes.

Medical Technology sector / Electronic industry

Electronic systems for smart health

This funding scheme promotes significant innovations in the field of electronic systems to realize new and improved medical technologies. The funding program targets electronic systems for medical technologies that show critical improvements with regard to functionality, miniaturization, integration capability, biocompatibility, interconnectivity, and reliability. The main areas of interest include:

  • Electronic systems for the use in prosthetics;
  • Closed-loop-systems for the application in medical technology; and
  • Intelligent implants based on new concepts for sensors and wireless energy supplies.

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Contact your Germany representative

Isabel Antholz,
Senior Manager
+49 (0) 40 32080 4910

Teresa Stahl,
Consultant
+49 (0) 89 29036 7109

Greece

New Development Law 4399/2016

On 16 June 2016, the Greek parliament passed the new development law 4399/2016, entitled “Institutional framework for establishing Private Investment Aid schemes for the country’s regional and economic development.” The law aims to generate more than EUR 11 billion in private investment by 2023 by providing incentives to the private sector. Incentives include tax exemptions; cash grants; leasing subsidies; subsidies for costs incurred to create employment; a stable corporate income tax rate regime; and the financing of business risks.

The development law provides a framework based on the foundation of EU GBER 651/2014 and will become effective gradually, with each state aid scheme commencing when relevant ministerial decisions are issued. The first four schemes (as outlined in black in the above diagram) are expected to become available to private sector entities that are established in Greece and that implement an eligible investment plan in Greece in the fourth quarter of 2016.

  • An eligible investment plan may address any of the following:
  • Setting up a new establishment;
  • Extending the capacity of an existing establishment;
  • Diversifying the output of an establishment into products not previously produced by the establishment;
  • Making a fundamental change in the overall production process of an existing establishment; and
  • Acquiring assets belonging to an establishment that has closed.

The minimum budget for an eligible investment plan depends on the size of the beneficiary (EUR 500,000 for large enterprises). Beneficiaries must contribute capital to the investment plan equal to at least 25 percent of the eligible investment costs.

Eligible investment plans can be in most manufacturing and ICT sectors of the economy, apart from the exceptions in GBER 651/2014 and several exceptions in the trade and services sectors. Significant cash incentives will be available, in particular, for the following entities:

  • SMEs (“extroverted” (i.e. those focusing on global markets), innovative, independent SMEs entering mergers and SMEs with a growing workforce) and cooperatives;
  • Enterprises operating in the ICT and agro-food sectors;
  • Investment plans in industrial and business zones, unrelated to the modernization or expansion of existing business units; and migrant-affected areas.

The state aid (i.e. a percentage of the investment cost) will depend on the size of the beneficiary and the region where the investment is made, according to the regional state aid map of Greece:

Aid for mechanical equipment–Development Law 4399/2016

Eligible expenditure of an investment plan can include:

  • Purchase and installation of new machinery;
  • Purchase and installation of used machinery that is not more than seven years old from the date it was first purchased
    (special conditions apply);
  • Leasing rent paid for new machinery (equipment lease payments are eligible, but operating lease payments are not); and
  • Purchase of vehicles for on-site use.

Investment plans will be evaluated under a “direct evaluation” procedure. Administrative audits will be carried out for all projects, and 20 percent of approved investment plans will be subject to on-site audits.

General entrepreneurship–Development Law 4399/2016

Eligible expenditure of an investment plan can include:

  • Capital expenditure in tangible assets;
  • Capital expenditure in intangible assets;
  • Wage costs related to new jobs created as a result of the implementation of the investment project, calculated over a period of two years from the creation of each position;
  • Studies and consultancy services;
  • Start-up costs;
  • Investment costs for energy efficient measures;
  • Investment costs for high-efficiency cogeneration from renewable energy sources;
  • Costs for energy production from renewable sources;
  • Energy-efficient district heating and cooling; and
  • Costs for the remediation of contaminated sites. 

Investment plans will be evaluated under a “direct evaluation” procedure. Administrative audits will be carried out for all projects, and 20 percent of approved investment plans will be subject to on-site audits.

New independent SMEs–Development Law 4399/2016

Eligible expenditure of an investment plan can include:

  • Capital expenditure in tangible assets;
  • Capital expenditure in intangible assets;
  • Wage costs incurred for new jobs created as a result of the implementation of the investment project, calculated over a period of two years from the creation of each position;
  • Studies and consultancy services;
  • Start-up costs;
  • Investment costs for energy efficient measures;
  • Investment costs for high-efficiency cogeneration from renewable energy sources;
  • Costs for energy production from renewable sources;
  • Energy-efficient district heating and cooling; and
  • Costs for the remediation of contaminated sites.

Investment plans will be evaluated under a “comparative evaluation” procedure (benchmarking). On-site audits will be carried out for all investment plans.

Innovation-related aid for SMEs–Development Law 4399/2016

This scheme targets innovative SMEs that aim to develop technology or provide services through technological development, the production of innovative products or the introduction of procedural or organizational innovation.

Eligible expenditure of an investment plan can include:

  • Capital expenditure in tangible assets;
  • Capital expenditure in intangible assets;
  • Wage costs incurred for new jobs created as a result of the implementation of the investment project, calculated over a period of two years from the creation of each position;
  • Studies and consultancy services;
  • Start-up costs;
  • Innovation costs;
  • Costs for process and organizational innovation;
  • Energy efficiency costs;
  • Investment costs for the production of energy from renewable energy sources;
  • High-efficiency cogeneration costs;
  • Energy efficient district heating and cooling; and 
  • Investment costs for the remediation of contaminated sites. 

Investment plans will be evaluated under a comparative assessment procedure. On-site audits will be carried out for all investment plans.

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Contact your Greece representative

Stylianos Sbyrakis,
Principal R&D/GI
+30 (0) 210 678 1196

Italy

R&D projects for sustainable industry

The Italian Ministry of Economic Development will support large projects (from EUR 5 to EUR 40 million in costs) for R&D investments within the “Sustainable Industry” framework.

The program finances projects that will apply key enabling technologies for the development of innovative products/processes and services within the following priorities:

  • Industrial plant and processes;
  • Transport;
  • Aerospace;
  • Telecommunications;
  • Energy;
  • Green building; and
  • Environment protection.

R&D projects for digital agenda

The Italian Ministry of Economic Development will support large projects (from EUR 5 to EUR 40 million in costs) for R&D investments within the “Digital Agenda” framework. The program finances projects that will apply key enabling technologies in information and communication (ICT) for the development of innovative products/processes and services within the following priorities:

  • Health;
  • Education/Inclusive society;
  • Cultural heritage;
  • Smart transport;
  • Smart and clean energy;
  • Environment;
  • Smart government;
  • Electronic communications; and
  • Smart manufacturing.

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Contact your Italy representative

Ranieri Villa,
Partner
+39 010 153 1781

Poland

Automotive

INNOMOTO (Measure 1.2 of the smart growth operational program)

The National Centre for Research and Development (NCR&D) will offer support for program supports industrial research and experimental development or experimental development carried out by enterprises (all large enterprises and SMEs) until 30 December 2016. The support is similar to other R&D support schemes in Poland (see below, Submeasure 4.1.4– application projects). Projects must fall within the scope of one of the R&D&I funding priorities in the “National Smart Specialization.” There are monthly cut-off dates within the scheme, and the minimum amount of eligible costs is approximately EUR 3 million for large enterprises and EUR 0.5 million for SMEs.  

Administered by the National Centre for Research and Development (NCR&D), the program supports industrial research and experimental development or experimental development carried out by enterprises or a consortium of enterprises consisting of at least two entrepreneurs aimed at the automotive industry.

To benefit, a project must fall within the scope of one of the R&D&I funding priorities in the “National Smart  Specialization,” as well as within one of the following areas: innovative production technologies (regeneration, recycling, recovery), innovative vehicles and drives, innovative parts, components, and systems.

Costs that are eligible for a grant include remuneration and outsourcing costs (up to 60 percent if the project is implemented independently or 50 percent if the project is implemented by a consortium). In the latter case, depreciation and leasing costs for percent R&D infrastructure and equipment, costs incurred on intangible assets, land, and buildings, other operational costs, and up to 17 percent of indirect costs also may be included. This description is based on general information about Measure 1.2 OP SG. Specific criteria (INNOMOTO) will be known after the announcement of the call for proposals.

Smart Growth Operational Programme: Submeasure 4.1.4–application projects

Administered by the National Centre for Research and Development (NCR&D), the program supports industrial research and experimental development or experimental development carried out by consortia comprising of at least one research unit and one enterprise. There may not be more than five partners in a consortium. To benefit, a project must fall within the scope of one of the R&D&I funding priorities in the “National Smart Specialization.” 

Costs that are eligible for a grant include remuneration and outsourcing costs (up to 50 percent), depreciation and leasing costs for R&D infrastructure and equipment, costs incurred on intangible assets, land, and buildings, other operational costs, and up to 17 percent of indirect costs.

Smart Growth Operational Programme: Sub-measure 1.1.2–R&D works on developing a pilot / demo plant or installation.

Administered by the National Centre for Research and Development (NCR&D), the program supports experimental development carried out by large enterprises. To benefit, a project must fall within the scope of one of the R&D&I funding priorities in the “National Smart Specialization.”

Costs that are eligible for a grant include remuneration and outsourcing costs (up to 50 percent), depreciation and leasing costs for R&D infrastructure and equipment, costs incurred on intangible assets, land and buildings, other operational costs, and up to 17 percent of indirect costs.

R&D Tax incentive

Changes to the R&D tax incentive that became effective on 1 January 2016 are awaiting approval of parliament, and once approved will enter into force on 1 January 2017. The main changes are as follows: 

  • The deductible expenditure amount will increase from 130 percent to 150 percent of salary costs and social insurance costs of employees engaged in R&D activities, and from 110 percent to 130 percent (for large companies) / 120 percent to 150 percent(for SMEs) of other R&D-related expenditure;
  • For SMEs, eligible costs will now include costs incurred for obtaining patents, utility models and industrial designs; 
  • The carryforward period will be extended from three to six years; and 
  • To benefit start-ups, a cash refund will be granted if there is insufficient income to benefit from a tax deduction in first year of the company’s existence (two years for SMEs). The refund will be recaptured if the company goes into bankruptcy or liquidation.

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Contact your Poland representative

Dominika Orzolek,
Manager
+48 881 950 969 or
+ 48 22 348 35 72

Portugal

Business Innovation and Entrepreneurship

This project supports non-SMEs and SMEs engaged in any economic activities, particularly those that aim at the
production of tradable and exportable goods and services and that fulfil the following objectives:

  • Enhance non-SME and SME investments in innovative activities;
  • Contribute to the internationalization of the Portuguese economy, creation of qualified employment, and create a spillover effect on SMEs; and 
  • Promotes qualified and creative entrepreneurship.

Incentives for technology R&D (Individual demonstration projects)

The program supports individual demonstration projects that promote one of the following:

  • IDP of advanced technologies and pilot lines;
  • IDP within the priority areas of the national and/or regional R&I strategy for a smart specialization; and 
  • IDP with an investment amount of at least EUR 150,000.

Incentives for the qualification and internationalization of SMEs–Projects for internationalization

SMEs undertaking projects to increase their capacity and presence in the global market can claim a cash grant of up to 45 percent of expenses related to the knowledge of markets, international development and promotion, presence in international markets and international marketing, amongst others.

Incentives for the qualification and internationalization of SMEs–Projects for qualification

SMEs undertaking projects to increase their productivity, flexibility and response capacity in the global market can claim a cash grant of up to 45 percent of expenses incurred on information and communication technologies, the digital economy, brands, and designs, the development of new products and services, quality, knowledge transfers, eco-innovation, distribution, and logistics.

Business innovation and entrepreneurship–Quick execution projects

This project supports non-SMEs and SMEs engaged in any economic activities, particularly those that aim at the production of tradable and exportable goods and services and that fulfil the following objectives:

  • Enhance non-SME and SME investments in innovative activities;
  • Contribute to the internationalization of the Portuguese economy, creation of qualified employment, and create a spillover effect on SMEs; and 
  • Promote qualified and creative entrepreneurship. 

These projects must be completed within a period of 12 months.

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Contact your Portugal representative

Sérgio Paulo Oliveira,
Partner
+35 121 042 7527

United Kingdom

R&D grants

Innovate UK: Connected and autonomous vehicles

Businesses are invited to apply for grant funding to support innovation projects in the area of connected and autonomous vehicles. Projects should aim to deliver actual benefits to users, including how the vehicles will operate as part of a wider transport system. 

A number of funding streams are available within this competition:

  • Funding to support a large-scale challenge to develop and demonstrate a vehicle operating at SAE level 4 (High Level) automation; one or two projects will be supported. Projects are expected to have total costs of between GBP 15 million to GBP 30 million and last between 18 and 30 months, and should involve primarily industrial research with some experimental development. The support of authorities is required in the trial area (for example, local authorities, and road operators). 
  • Funding to support feasibility studies and industrial R&D projects focusing on connectivity and/or autonomy. Projects are expected to have total costs of GBP 50,000 to GBP 5 million and last between 12 and 30 months.

All funded projects must be industry-led and collaborative.

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Contact your United Kingdom representative

Nina Barton,
Manager
+44 (0) 117 921 1622

United States

Illinois

Economic Development for a Growing Economy (EDGE) credit sunset

Pursuant to 35 ILCS 10/5-77, the Illinois Department of Commerce will not enter into any new EDGE agreement after 31 December 2016. Qualifying companies are encouraged to submit EDGE applications to the Department by November 2016 for timely processing. 

The EDGE is a discretionary Illinois corporate income tax credit aimed at encouraging companies to locate or expand operations in the state when there is active consideration of a competing location. A company may be eligible for the EDGE to the extent it intends to spend at least USD 5 million in capital improvements and create 25 or more new full-time jobs in Illinois. 

The amount of the tax credit is calculated on a case-by-case basis, based on the amount of income tax withheld from salaries of new employees. The credit can equal up to 100 percent of withholding taxes generated for new jobs. The EDGE may be available to a company for up to 10 years for each project, and may be carried forward for up to five taxable years.

New York City

New York City Relocation and Employment Assistance Program (REAP) Sunset

Unless an extension is made, applications for the New York City (NYC) REAP will no longer be accepted after 30 June 2017. Qualifying businesses should submit their applications to the New York City Department of Finance before the deadline. 

The REAP is a NYC corporate income tax credit for commercial and industrial businesses relocating to designated areas of NYC and making capital improvements to their space. To qualify, a business must have been conducting “substantial business operations” for at least 24 months, among  other requirements, such as improvements of USD 25 per square foot and a qualified event of relocation. The benefit is provided in the form of an annual NYC income tax credit of up to USD 3,000 per employment share (equivalent to a full-time job present for the entire year at a REAP-eligible premises) for a period of up to 12 years (up to USD 36,000 per new or relocated job). The REAP may be refundable for the first five years of the credit period if the businesses locate in qualified areas. Businesses must file for initial certification and make annual compliance filings before claiming each annual credit installment.

New York

New York excelsior jobs program

Proposed legislation S.7583 was introduced in 2016 to amend the New York State Economic Development Law, in relation to eligibility to participate in the Excelsior Jobs Program (EJP). The bill proposed to reduce the job creation and capital investment thresholds for participation in the EJP. This legislation shows that the program is potentially underutilized and the government aims to make the credit program more accessible to businesses. 

The EJP, which is administrated by the Empire State Department, provides job creation and investment incentives to firms in targeted industries such as pharmaceutical, high- tech, and manufacturing. Firms in these industries that create jobs or retains jobs and make significant capital improvements in New York state are eligible to apply for up to four fully refundable tax credits: jobs tax credit, investment tax credit, R&D credit, and real property tax credit. Businesses can claim the credits over a 10-year period. 

New York 

Eligibility update on New York Investment Tax Credit (ITC) on R&D property

The 2015 corporate tax reform repealed article 32 of the New York Tax Law, and for tax years beginning on or after 1 January 2015, banking corporations that previously were taxed under article 32 are subject to tax under article 9A of the New York Tax Law. Thus, as from 1 January 2015, banking corporations are eligible to claim an ITC of 9 percent on any qualifying investment in R&D property. This component of the ITC was not available under the former article 32 Bank Franchise Tax.

The ITC is a business tax credit on qualified purchases of buildings, machinery or equipment available for the year the property was placed in service, in which the credit is calculated based on a percentage of the investment credit base. Any unused credits may be carried forward 15 years.

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Contact your United States representative

Doug Tyler,
Managing Director
+1 212 436 3703

For more information

For more information on any of the programs listed above, please contact the in-country representative or your usual contact.

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Grants and incentives program updates: Global developments affecting research and development

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