The €400 million that the Ministry of Economic Development has earmarked for enterprises which invest in large research and development (R&D) projects will be made available shortly. The ministerial decree that defines the terms and procedures for submitting preliminary and final applications and assessment procedures has been signed. Financial support is divided into two calls with a budgetary provision of €150 million and €250 million respectively.

Preliminary applications may be submitted from June 25 2015 for the information technology and electronic communication (ICT) digital agenda call and from June 30 2015 for the sustainable industry call. It will therefore be possible to access the fund's financial support to finance large R&D projects in the ICT sector, consistent with the Italian digital agenda and the sustainable industry sector.

More specifically, the first call seeks to support projects that are likely to have a significant impact on the development of the country's production and economic system, in light of the digital single market based on fast and ultra-fast Internet and on interoperable applications and developing specific enabling technologies, within the scope of those defined by the EU Framework Programme Horizon 2020.

The second call concerns projects that pursue sustainable growth to promote a greener and more competitive resource-efficient economy, using fundamental enabling technologies, which are also defined in the programme. The beneficiaries are craft and agro-industrial enterprises, innovative start-ups and research centres with a legal component. Funds may be shared among no more than five entities through a specific network contract or other contractual forms of cooperation (eg, consortia or partnership agreements).

Both calls are aimed at financing new projects with a duration of no longer than 36 months, which envisage costs of no less than €5 million and no more than €40 million. The financial support is provided in the form of a subsidised loan to cover a percentage of costs of no more than 60% for small and medium-sized enterprises and 50% for large-sized enterprises.

The subsidised loans have a maximum duration of eight years, in addition to a pre-amortisation period of a maximum of three years. Enterprises intending to apply for this fund must submit a preliminary electronic application on the managing body's website (fondocrescitasostenibile.mcc.it).

For further information on this topic please contact Vittorio Noseda or Carlo Grignani at NCTM Studio Legale Associato by telephone (+39 02 72 5511) or email (v.noseda@nctm.it or carlo.grignani@nctm.it). The NCTM Studio Legale Associato website can be accessed at www.nctm.it.

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