Almost 900 SMEs request aid for industrial research and experimental development projects

As reported by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, the call for aid 2021 for research and development projects in artificial intelligence (AI) and other digital technologies, has received 1,185 applications for a total amount of aid of 614 million euros. This call was launched by, an entity attached to said ministry.

This call is part of the National Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan measures, as well as in the Spain Digital 2025 agenda and in the National Artificial Intelligence Strategy.

From the requests received, more than 75% have been submitted by small (59.2%) and medium (16.6%) companies, which would represent about 900. Geographically, the largest number of applications comes from companies with tax domicile in the autonomous communities of Madrid (420) and Catalonia (275), followed by the Valencian Community (99), Andalusia (97) and the Basque Country (73).

In relation to the projects presented, 65% are intended for experimental development related to digital technologies, with artificial intelligence (machine learning; deep learning; neural networks) being the most relevant.

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Endowed with a budget of 105 million euros, This call has a dual purpose. On the one hand, promoting scientific research, technological development and innovation in artificial intelligence. On the other, promote technological development for the incorporation of artificial intelligence in the production processes of value chains.

In short, your objective is to finance industrial research projects (50 million euros) and experimental development (55 million euros) related to technologies such as artificial intelligence, Internet of Things, massive data and information processing technologies, high-performance computing and in the cloud, natural language processing, cybersecurity, biometrics and digital identity, blockchain, robotics, virtual and augmented reality, special effects and simulation, and 3D printing and additive manufacturing. A maximum of 3 projects will be financed per applicant entity.

The Minimum budget for eligible industrial research projects will be 500,000 euros and the maximum of 10 million euros, while in the case of experimental development projects the minimum will be 300,000 euros and the maximum of 5 million euros. The aid will range between 25% and 80% of the eligible expenses depending on the type of activity, the size of the company and whether or not the results of the projects are capable of being widely disseminated through conferences, publications, bases. free access or free or open source software.

The evaluation of the applications received will be carried out following the evaluation criteria established in the Regulatory Bases, such as the degree of innovation, the quality and methodology of the proposal or the impact on employment and measures on gender equality.

National Artificial Intelligence Strategy

The National Artificial Intelligence Strategy (ENIA), presented by the Government in December 2020, is one of the components of the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan of the Spanish economy and was born as a dynamic, flexible and open to the contribution of companies, citizens, social agents and other administrations. In fact, the promotion of artificial intelligence (AI) constitutes one of the main elements of the Spain Digital 2025 agenda.

The measures included in the ENIA include those aimed at promoting scientific research, technological development and innovation by promoting aid programs for companies to develop solutions in AI and data, as well as to incorporate AI into processes. production of value chains.

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