A total of 25 project proposals for over BGN 14 million have been submitted from the Razgrad region under the first open procedure of the Recovery Plan (RSP) - "Technological Modernization". This became clear during the mobile reception of Minister Pulev together with the regional governor Dragomir Zlatev. The city was the next on the tour of Pulev and his team to popularize the application under the procedures of the Recovery Plan and the programs of the structural funds of the EU.
The reception was also attended by Krasimir Yakimov, head of the minister's office and Kalin Marinov, deputy director of the General Directorate of European Competitiveness Funds (DG EFK), as well as representatives of local business and employer organizations.
According to DG EFK's data, the first procedure from the RSP has ended with over 2,500 submitted project proposals for over BGN 1 billion, with around 1,200-1,300 expected.
"The recovery plan is open and working. The office is working at full speed and is doing everything possible to secure the necessary European funds for small and medium-sized enterprises, both under the Plan and under the EU structural funds," said Minister Pulev categorically. He added that by the end of the year, only through the Ministry of Innovation and Growth, the Bulgarian business will receive BGN 600 million under four procedures from the RSP. "From the beginning of next year, under the two European programs, we will bequeath to the regular cabinet funds for over BGN 5 billion for the next program period," he also said.
Pulev emphasized that there is a lot of speculation on the subject, but the official cabinet, together with Deputy Prime Minister Pekanov and the other ministers, secured BGN 14 billion in EU funds under 7 programs from the EU, and Bulgaria is one of the first countries to receive payment under the RSP in the amount of BGN 2.7 billion
"The interest in the procedures under RSP is huge. This is also shown by the number of applicants currently under the second open procedure of the Plan - for "ICT solutions and cyber security", worth BGN 30.6 million. To date, nearly 4,500 project proposals for over BGN 85 million have been submitted. Pulev said. Applying for funding to build online stores, create mobile apps, websites, digital marketing, cyber security, etc. will end on December 19th.
According to him, there is even greater interest in the upcoming procedure for "RES and batteries for local energy storage" for BGN 200 million, which will help Bulgarian small and medium-sized companies to gain energy independence. "In conditions of crises, especially energy, it is extremely important to be able to help small and medium enterprises in the country to become energy independent. Through the procedure, they will be able to place the so-called solar panels, and with the batteries to store energy," Pulev also said.
Currently, the procedure for development activities and intellectual property for nearly BGN 120 million has been announced for public discussion.
Minister Pulev recalled that the new Program "Competitiveness and Innovations in Enterprises" 2021-2027 worth BGN 3 billion was approved by the EC in a record short time - submitted on August 16 and approved on October 3. "We expect the Scientific Research, Innovation and Digitization for Intelligent Transformation Program to be approved within days, with a budget of BGN 2.14 billion. It is new for Bulgaria and will finance digital solutions and scientific developments both in business and in public organizations Minister Pulev also said.
The Deputy Director of DG EFK Kalin Marinov presented in detail to the local business the procedures under the Recovery Plan and the upcoming European programs under MIR. "At the General Directorate, we are working hard so that the funds under the measures reach businesses as quickly as possible. With each subsequent procedure, we try to ease the administrative burden and make the application even easier," he added.
In connection with the concluded contracts under the Operational Program "Innovations and Competitiveness" (OPIC) 2014-2020 in the Razgrad region, the head of the minister's office Krasimir Yakimov announced that their total number is 38, and their value is over BGN 11.2 million. "You can see that the interest in the past was not great. I urge everyone to be more active and apply. The secured money is for you," Yakimov also said. According to him, under the "Energy Efficiency" procedure, only 7 contracts for over BGN 600,000 were concluded to help small and medium-sized enterprises in the district. He also presented data on the contracts concluded to overcome the consequences of COVID-19 - 225 for a total value over BGN 5.8 million.
Yakimov also commented on the assistance to businesses in the region through the Bulgarian Development Bank, whose principal is the Minister of Innovation and Growth. "Only 0.8% of registered companies in the Razgrad region are supported by the Bank," he announced. The head of the minister's office added that the number of enterprises in the district is slightly over 4,200, and 99% of them are micro, small and medium.
"I am not surprised by the data reported by the bank. We will do everything possible, even though we are part of an official cabinet, to make the crashed institution - Bulgarian Development Bank, work in favor of Bulgarian business, so that there are no regional imbalances", said Minister Pulev categorically.