The Ministry of the Economy is able to grant financial aid to businesses carrying out research or making investments relevant to combating the Covid-19 pandemic.
Who is concerned
Any business that holds a business permit (autorisation d'établissement) carrying out a project making it possible to combat the Covid-19 pandemic.
Certain businesses are excluded from the aid scheme; these are:
- businesses that were in difficulty before 1 January 2020.
A "business in difficulty" refers to any undertaking that fulfils at least one of the following conditions:
- if it is a limited liability company (SARL, SA or SCA) other than an SME that has been in existence for less than 3 years, when over half of its subscribed share capital has been lost due to accumulated losses.
This is the case when deduction of accumulated losses from reserves (and all other elements generally considered as part of the company's own funds) leads to a negative cumulative amount that exceeds half of the subscribed share capital; or
- in the case of a company where at least some members have unlimited liability for the debt of the company (partnerships or limited partnerships) other than an SME that has been in existence for less than 3 years, where more than half of its own capital as shown in the company accounts has been lost due to accumulated losses; or
- if the business has been subject to collective insolvency proceedings or fulfils the criteria under Luxembourg law for being placed in collective insolvency proceedings at the request of its creditors; or
- when the business has received rescue aid and has not yet reimbursed the loan or terminated the guarantee, or has received restructuring aid and is still subject to a restructuring plan.
- businesses that have been convicted at least twice in the past four years for illegal work or employing a non-EU illegal resident.
The project must have started after 1 February 2020.
For projects that began before 1 February 2020, aid may only be applied for if it would make it possible to accelerate the work in hand or if the scope of the project could be extended. In these cases, only the additional costs involved in accelerating the work or extending the scope of the project are allowable.
The research projects may relate to:
- medication and treatment;
- medical devices, and hospital and medical equipment, including respirators and protective clothing and equipment, and diagnostic tools;
- process innovations resulting in the efficient manufacture of essential products.
The amount of aid is based on the company's allowable costs.
Allowable costs are:
- personnel expenses: researchers, technicians and other support staff if they are employed for the project;
- costs connected with:
- digital and IT equipment;
- diagnostic tools;
- tools for collecting and processing data;
- R&D services;
- pre-clinical and clinical tests (test phases I and II);
- the acquisition, validation and defence of patents and other intangible assets;
- the acquisition of compliance evaluations or authorisations required before new or improved vaccines, medication, medical devices, hospital or medical equipment, disinfectants or individual protective equipment can be put on the market.
Where equipment is not used for its entire lifetime in the course of the project, only the depreciation costs corresponding to the duration of the project, calculated in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, are deemed allowable
- expenses relating to buildings and land, if and for as long as they are being used for the project.
As far as buildings are concerned, only the depreciation costs corresponding to the duration of the project, calculated in accordance with the generally accepted accounting principles, are deemed allowable.
As for land, only the costs of commercial transfer or actually incurred investment costs are eligible;
- expenses for contract research or research services, the purchase of knowledge and patents or licences from external sources under conditions of full competition as well as expenses for consultancy and equivalent services used exclusively for the project;
- additional overheads and other operating expenses (in particular the cost of materials, office supplies and similar products) incurred directly as a result of the project.
Costs that cannot be taken into account
The following costs are not allowable:
- costs and expenses in relation to marketing the results of research and development projects;
- interest in relation to the funding of a research and development project.
Applications for financial aid must be submitted during the period of the state of crisis.
How to proceed
Filing an application
Applicants or their representative must complete the form and print it.
A person authorised to commit the company must sign the document.
The application, along with its supporting documents, can be sent to the Ministry of the Economy either electronically as a scan (email@example.com) or by post.
Sending the application electronically is the preferred option.
If the application is sent by post, the envelope should be addressed as follows:
Ministère de l’Economie
Direction générale - Recherche, propriété intellectuelle et nouvelles technologies (Direction de la Recherche et de l'Innovation)
19-21, boulevard Royal
Mailing address: L-2914 Luxembourg
The application must contain:
- a description of the project, and if applicable, its innovative nature;
- the start and end dates of the project;
- a description of the economic valuation methods for the results of the project in case of a research and development project, and the economic potential;
- the location of the project;
- a list of costs of the project;
- the terms and conditions of an actual collaborative project, indicating contributions to its costs, the distribution of risks and results, the circulation of results, the rules governing attribution of intellectual property rights and access, if applicable;
- the type and amount of aid necessary for the project, activity or investment and related operations;
- if applicable, justification of the need for hedging to cover losses related to the investment;
The aid application may contain any other document deemed useful by the business and allowing the Minister to assess the merits of the application for aid.
The Ministry of the Economy may, moreover, request any other document in order to facilitate processing the application.
Amount of aid
The amount of the aid is calculated on the basis of the allowable costs, and may not exceed:
- 100 % of costs for fundamental research projects;
- 80 % of costs for industrial research or experimental development projects.
In the case of cross-border collaboration with another company or another research body, the aid may be increased by 15 %. The same applies to research and development projects receiving aid from at least 2 European Economic Area Member States.
Payment of financial aid
The aid will be paid in the form of a capital subsidy once the project has been completed.
One or more advance payments may be made while the investments for which the aid has been granted are in hand.
Cumulation of aid
This aid may not be cumulated, in respect of the same admissible costs, with:
The aid may be cumulated with:
- the other types of aid in favour of research and development, as long as the cumulation does not result in exceeding the most favourable limit provided for in the corresponding schemes;
- any other public funding, including from the European Union, as long as the cumulation does not result in exceeding the most favourable limit provided for in the corresponding schemes.
Disclosure of the financial aid
All individual amounts of aid granted are posted on the European Commission's transparency website within 6 months of being granted, in accordance with Annex III of Commission Regulation (EU) No 651/2014 of 17 June 2014. More specifically, granting authorities are required to publish the following information with regard to the individual amounts of aid awarded:
- name of the beneficiary;
- ID (VAT/identification number) of the beneficiary;
- company type (SME/large company) at the time of granting (signature of the decision) the financial aid;
- the beneficiary's region under NUTS II;
- NACELUX Rev. 2 group activity sector;
- the aid element, the amount of aid expressed in local currency;
- financial aid instrument;
- date on which the aid is granted;
- purpose of the aid;
- granting authority.
The business must undertake to grant non-exclusive licences under non-discriminatory market conditions to interested third parties in the European Economic Area.
All decisions on refusing or partially refusing aid and all decisions on the reimbursement of aid are administrative decisions. Anyone concerned by such a decision may contest it via the usual means of appeal (non-contentious appeal, judicial appeal), provided the applicable legal deadlines are complied with.
Beneficiary businesses that were granted aid shall be obliged to repay said aid if, before the project completion date agreed with the state, they:
- abandon or transfer to third parties, for no objective reason, all or part of the project; or
- manage the project improperly or not in accordance with generally accepted management rules; or
- make fundamental changes to the objectives and methods of the project.
The aid may also be lost if, within a period of 5 years from the date of the full payment of the capital subsidy, the funds:
- are allocated to other uses; or
- are not used, or are used for other purposes and under other conditions than those agreed with the state; or
- the beneficiary abandons or passes on to a third party all or part of the results of the research and development project for no good reason or without observing the obligation to grant non-exclusive licences under non-discriminating market conditions to third parties in the European Economic Area,
unless the beneficiary receives prior agreement from the Minister and the transfer, abandon or change in use is caused by force majeure or circumstances beyond the beneficiary's control.
Beneficiaries are also required to repay the aid if:
- aid was obtained based on false or incomplete information provided;
- the aid is found to be incompatible with the Grand Ducal regulation.
Reimbursement covers the amount of aid paid plus interest at the legal rate applicable at the time of granting, before expiry of a period of 3 months from the date of the ministerial decision on reimbursement, unless the decision provides for a different deadline.
A beneficiary of aid obtained on the basis of knowingly false or incomplete information shall be liable to a prison term of between 4 months and 5 years and a fine of between EUR 251 and 30,000 in addition to being required to reimburse the aid received.
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Aid for COVID-19 Research and Development
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