- The goal is to help companies established in Catalonia raise more than 20% of the Next Generation funds allocated to companies in Spain.
- The Next Generation Office will be located in Barcelona’s ACCIÓ- Catalonia Trade & Investment headquarters, and a branch will be opened in Madrid to assist companies throughout the process.
- The office will advise companies during grant application, will give personalised notifications on open calls, proactively identify projects to apply to, and search for partners to create consortiums.
The Government of Catalonia has announced the creation of the Next Generation Office to boost access of Catalonia-based companies to European Union (EU) funds. The aim is to help the Catalan productive base receive funds from the aid scheme launched by the European Commission as a response to Covid-19 pandemic challenges and endowed with 750 billion euros for the period 2021-2026.
This new Next Generation Office, located in the ACCIÓ- Catalonia Trade & Investment headquarters in Barcelona, will help companies established in Catalonia raise more than 20% of the Next Generation funds allocated to companies in Spain. As such, it will act as a point of reference in Catalonia with the most up-to-date and verified information for the business sector and as a facilitator to promote access to the funds by the Catalan productive framework.
With this in mind, the new office will notify SMEs and other companies in Catalonia via a system of personalized alerts on those calls most suiting their projects and will proactively identify the initiatives of companies that can apply. Furthermore, ACCIÓ- Catalonia Trade & Investment experts will individually accompany companies in their call submission process to optimize results and partners will be sought to create business consortiums for calls that require group submission of projects.
In this way, the new office will act as the point of entrance towards identifying those business projects with funding potential. This was explained at a press conference by the Minister for Business and Employment, Roger Torrent, who emphasized that “we want to maximize the return of Next Generation funds to Catalan companies. This is our overriding goal, given that we are facing a unique opportunity to perform a total transformation of our productive system”.
The Director General of Industry and CEO of ACCIÓ- Catalonia Trade & Investment, Natàlia Mas, also justified the need to create this office due to the fragmented nature of the calls being handled by different administrations. "There is also no timetable for aid, so monitoring the process and accompanying companies is very important. We will be staying very vigilant in order to alert SMEs at all times" said Mas, who also insisted that "calls may not always give a wide timeframe" and, therefore, it will be necessary to monitor continuously so as to be able to notify companies of the opportunities.
At the same time, in order to give assessment in state-wide areas of responsibility and strengthen the support given to companies, a delegation will be opened in Madrid that will work to constantly accompany companies in Catalonia in the application process of Next Generation calls being announced with the aim of getting the most out of resources. The new office will coordinate with the other offices of the Catalan Government involved in the Next Generation funds and in a very specific way with the Office of Business Management.
Interest shown by the Catalan business community
Over the last year, ever since the European Commission announced the creation of the Next Generation funds, ACCIÓ- Catalonia Trade & Investment has received project proposals from over 700 companies in Catalonia interested in accessing the aid scheme. Furthermore, several virtual sessions have been organized to clarify the situation of the calls and ensure that the maximum amount of information is available, sessions to which more than 4,000 company representatives attended.
An unprecedented opportunity
This special fund set up by the European Union is endowed with 750 billion euros and is thanks to an agreement reached in the European Council in July 2020 to rebuild and transform the different European economies. The funds are intended for business projects with a high transformative potential, which involve structural change and that have a lasting impact on economic and social resilience, sustainability, long-term competitiveness and employment.
More information here.