Research infrastructures engaging in economic activities may be eligible for financial aid for construction or modernisation in the form of subsidies, repayable advances, interest relief, guarantees or loans.
Who is concerned
The aid is intended for research infrastructures, i.e. Luxembourg-based facilities, resources and related services used by the scientific community to conduct research and which engage in economic activities.
This definition encompasses scientific equipment and research material, reference resources such as collections, archives and structured scientific information, enabling ICT-based infrastructures such as grid networks, computing infrastructure, software and communication systems, as well as any other resources required for conducting research.
Such infrastructures may be single-sited or distributed in the form of a network of resources across several countries.
Terms and conditions
Beneficiaries of the financial aid must satisfy the terms and conditions that apply to all types of aid for research, development and innovation.
Specific terms and conditions
Access to the infrastructure must be open to multiple users on a transparent and non-discriminatory basis. However, companies, research institutes and knowledge dissemination institutes that have financed at least 10% of the investment costs of an infrastructure may receive privileged access on more favourable terms. Privileged access, the terms of which are made public, is proportional to the contribution made to investment costs.
Costs associated with the following are eligible:
- investments in tangible assets;
- investments in intangible assets (patents, licences, expertise or other types of intellectual property).
If the infrastructure engages in both economic and non-economic activities at the same time, the financing, costs and income of each type of activity are recorded separately.
The price to be charged for operation or use must correspond to the market price.
How to proceed
Filing an application
A standard application template for financial aid for research infrastructures is provided by the Ministry of the Economy.
The completed application and accompanying documents must be dated and signed by a person authorised to sign on behalf of the business and must be submitted before work starts on the project in electronic format or by post to the Research and innovation Directorate at the Ministry of the Economy.
In the event of a submission by post, the following must be indicated on the envelope:
Ministère de l'Economie
Demande d'aides d'Etat
The application for aid must namely include the following information and documents:
- the name and size of the company;
- a description of the project or programme, of the activity or investment, and of the related works and its innovative nature, including its start and end dates;
- a description of the economic valuation methods for the results of the project or programme, for the activity or the investment and the related operations, and its economic potential;
- the location of the project or programme, activity or investment and related operations;
- a list of the costs for the project or programme, activity or investment and related operations (business plan);
- the type and amount of aid necessary for the project or programme, activity or investment and related operations;
- any relevant piece of information that will allow the competent ministers to assess the qualities or specificities of the project or programme, activity or investment and related operations plus its incentive effect.
Maximum amount of financial aid
The amount of aid will be calculated on the basis of the eligible costs of the project and may not exceed the following cap:
Private research institutes
Construction and modernisation of infrastructure
If the infrastructure receives public financing for its economic and non-economic activities, the beneficiary must implement a control mechanism that ensures that the amount of aid applicable will not be exceeded following an increase in the economic activities.
Payment of financial aid
Capital grants and repayable advances are paid out after completion of the project or programme concerned. Financial aid may also be granted in the form of interest relief, loans and guarantees.
However, one or more advance payments may be made as the investments, operations or activities for which the aid was granted are realised.
Interest relief is paid on the interest payment due dates stipulated in the agreement for the loan benefiting from the relief.