The Business Development, Innovation and SMEs Programmes, our main programmes, are primarily open to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) from the following 10 European countries: Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Greece, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal, Romania and Slovakia.
EEA and Norway Grants are based on programmes. Every country has their own programme(s), each funding a certain topic or focus area. The EEA and Norway Grants by Innovation Norway primarily has Business Development, Innovation and SMEs Programmes in the following 10 countries: Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Greece, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal, Romania and Slovakia.
Whenever funding in the programmes becomes available, official calls are published on our website for Call for Proposals. The Calls will have strict application deadlines which will be clearly specified. It’s important to remember that all project applications need to be submitted through these calls –spontaneous applications submitted via email, social media or phone are not accepted.
As the EEA and Norway Grants fund a wide range of topics, the eligibility criteria vary between programmes and countries. Each Call for Proposals includes detailed information on what kind of activities are funded, who can apply, the application deadline and all application instructions. You should therefore read carefully the documents provided with the Call for Proposals you intend to apply for.
Once your application has been submitted, the application will be assessed in line with the selection process described in the Call for Proposals. These processes will vary between the programmes. A typical assessment will start by checking the formal requirements (compliance with eligibility criteria) first. The contents of the project proposals are then assessed by the relevant experts. Based on these assessments, a selection committee will put together a ranking of projects that they recommend for selection. Donor programme partners often participate in selection committees as observers or voting members. The final decision will be made by the programme or fund operator, and the applicants will be informed of the outcome of the application process.
Companies from Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein cannot receive direct support from the EEA and Norway Grants. Funding can only be provided directly to the company from the Beneficiary States will receive the funding (e.g. Romania, Estonia). Instead, companies from Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein can become project partners, and receive funding as a partner. See below under "Partnership".
An important aspect of the EEA and Norway Grants is that the project promoter, as the project owner and the applicant, is in the driver's seat. The project partner, from Iceland, Lichtenstein or Norway, will be the partners that contribute, but do not run the project.
The Business Development, Innovation and SMEs Programmes offer funding in the following 10 countries: Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Greece, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal, Romania and Slovakia.
Have a look at our Programme and Calls for Proposals sites to see more. On the Programme page you can find information about the Programme in each country. On the site for Calls for Proposals all our Calls will be published. When a Call is published, the accompanying documents will specify exactly what focus areas will be eligible for funding.
The aid intensity provided to a project is based on several variables. These are primarily related to the project activities and costs; the type of the state aid category; the type of applicant; and the applicant’s financial strength. The available funding will also vary from Call to Call, so it will always be specified in the Call text. But in general it can be said that projects tend to receive support that makes up between 40-60% of the project costs. No project, however, will ever get 100% covered.
In general, the rules of state aid sets the guiding rules for the type of funding the EEA and Norway Grants can provide. The state aid rules seek to prevent distortion of competition in the European market. There are, however, many exemptions which can be seen in the General Block Exemption Regulation for state aid. These are used to determine the elgibility of the project applications.
Each Call for Proposal will be accompanied with a Call text specific to that Call. In this text, it will be specified who is an eligible Applicant (i.e. the legal type of entity); which areas and activities which are the focus of the Call; what outcomes the project must achieve; and how much can be provided in funding.
The EEA and Norway Grants have two overarching goals, one of them is to strengthen bilateral relations between the three donor states – Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway – and the 15 beneficiary states in Europe. Project partnerships are a concrete method to reach that goal. Partnerships bring several benefits, including the sharing of knowledge and experience, access to innovative solutions, new networks and even new business opportunities. Visit our short partnership guide to find out more.
Project partnerships come in many forms and will differ depending on a range of factors, from the size of the project to the sector you are cooperating in, whether you are building on existing cooperation with the project promoter or whether you have just met. In general, however, a project partnership entails active cooperation between you and the project promoter in the planning and implementation of your project.
2) Or, you can attend one of our matchmaking events where we facilitate opportunities to find and meet with companies from the beneficiary states who are attending for the specific reason of finding potential project partners. Take a look to see if we have any upcoming events.
No. The project partnership should involve cooperation between entities which are legally independent of each other.
No. The simple import/redistribution of products or services do not qualify as a Project Partnership. In general, the project partner is expected to provide competence/knowledge/technology or a similar type of contribution. This contribution must be essential for the successful implementation of the project. 'Off the shelf' contributions that can be provided by several companies/entities will generally be subject to procurement regulations.