We are starting to rapidly open measures also in line with the structural funds of the Ministry of Innovation and Growth. This was said by the Minister of Innovation and Growth Alexander Pulev in the studio of "Wake up" on NOVA. For the first six months of this year alone, we will secure BGN 1 billion through 7 procedures, Pulev announced. One of the first procedures, which will open in April, will be for the implementation of innovations for BGN 293 million. This procedure will replicate the "Technological Upgrade". Companies that did not manage to win financing under it and the Recovery Plan will be able to do so from the new competitiveness program, the minister also said.
He recalled that both European programs under MIG were approved in record time. The Program "Competitiveness and Innovations in Enterprises" (PCIE) 2021-2027 with a budget of BGN 3 billion was sent to Brussels on August 16 and approved by the European Commission on October 3. Program "Scientific research, innovation and digitization for intelligent transformation" 2021-2027 (PSRIDIT) with a budget of BGN 2.14 billion - sent on October 26 and approved on December 5.
"When I entered the office of the Ministry of Innovation and Growth, I found 0 approved European programs, although the program period begins in 2021. Currently, both structural programs under MIG have been approved with a total value of over BGN 5 billion, which will flow in the Bulgarian economy", announced Pulev.
According to him, in relation to the Recovery and Sustainability Plan, there was one open procedure, but with only 4 submitted project proposals. "The plan was open and working, but no one knew. That's why my team and I made a mobile reception that went around all the districts in the country, we held 28 meetings - with all district governors and representatives of local businesses. As a result, we have submitted over 10,200 project proposals under two open and already completed procedures from the Plan," said Pulev. According to him, the interest is huge and will get bigger and bigger.
According to the first "Technological Modernization" procedure, the winning projects are already clear - 953 units will receive a total of BGN 260 million, the minister also said.
When asked if it is certain that the business will receive financing in view of the situation in which the deputies requested a renegotiation of the Recovery Plan, Pulev assured that there is money. "The first payment of the funds under the Plan in the amount of BGN 3 billion has been secured, there is also national co-financing. According to all procedures, there will be money", the minister was categorical.
According to him, the Main Directorate "European Funds for Competitiveness" to the MIG has given up a resource of BGN 40 million, which is for the use of consulting services for external evaluators for the companies applying for financing. The nearly BGN 40 million in question were earmarked for external services in the Recovery and Sustainability Plan by the previous regular government. The funds will be directed to Bulgarian business, Pulev pointed out.
Minister Pulev announced that at the beginning of February, the third procedure under PVU under MIG will be announced for application - for "RES and batteries for local energy storage" worth BGN 200 million. "On January 12, the public discussion on the measure and we received over 120 questions about it, which shows that the interest is huge," he said.
Regarding Minister Pulev's second official visit to Saudi Arabia, he announced that he met with the executive directors of the country's largest sovereign wealth fund, which manages over half a trillion dollars, as well as with the ministers of communications, economy and energy. "We are coming back with a framework agreement that will define the entire investment regime between Bulgaria and Saudi Arabia," said Pulev. During the first visit together with Deputy Prime Minister Hristo Alexiev, direct flights Sofia-Riyadh were arranged.