Non-repayable grants for 4.0 investments and circular economy: applications from 18 May

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A new decree was published by which the Ministry of Economic Development established a aid scheme for the support, throughout the national territory, of new ones innovative and sustainable business investments with the known intent of favoring the technological and digital transformation of the company and, at the same time, orient the recovery of investments towards strategic areas for the competitiveness and sustainable growth of the economic system.

To achieve these purposes they were allocated € 677,875,520.

For the management of the interventions provided for by the decree, the Ministry will make use of theAgency for the attraction of investments and business development SpA – Invitalia – which are entrusted with the technical and administrative obligations regarding the investigation of applications, the granting, the disbursement of concessions, the execution of controls and inspections.

Beneficiaries

The subjects that can actually benefit from the measures mentioned by the decree are SMEs, who, at the time of submitting the application, have certain requisites, including, for example:

– be duly constituted, registered and “active” in the Business Register;

– be in the full and free exercise of their rights, not be in voluntary liquidation and not be subjected to bankruptcy proceedings;

– be in an ordinary accounting regime and have at least two financial statements approved and filed with the Business Register or have submitted, in the case of sole proprietorships and partnerships, at least two tax returns;

– be in compliance with the provisions in force regarding building and urban planning, labor, accident prevention and environmental protection regulations and be in compliance with the contribution obligations.

Eligible programs

Pursuant to article 7 of the MISE decree of 10 February 2022, programs that envisage the realization of innovative investments, sustainable and with high technological content and consistent with the national plan Transition 4.0through the use of certain technologies (ie advanced manufacturing solutions, additive manufacturing, internet of things, cybersecurity, big data and analytics, blockchain, etc.) capable of increasing the level of efficiency and flexibility in the performance of the proposing company.

Furthermore, programs characterized by a sustainability content will be envisaged specific evaluation criteria – thus providing for the possibility of obtaining an additional score in the context of the procedure – they will be valued, among other things, on the basis of dedicated sustainability indicators. The aforementioned programs must be aimed at:

– the company’s transition towards the circular economy paradigm (ie solutions capable of increasing the life time of products and making the production cycle more efficient, solutions aimed at allowing efficient use of resources, treatment and transformation of waste , including the reuse of materials, etc.);

– the improvement of the energy sustainability of the company, within the production unit affected by the intervention, not less than 10% compared to the consumption of the year prior to the date of submission of the application.

The investment programs must, in any case, be aimed at carrying out the following economic activities, as specified in attachment no. 4 to the same decree:

a) manufacturing activities;

b) business service activities.

In any case, are not eligible to the concessions de quibusinvestment programs:

– relating to the steel, coal, shipbuilding, synthetic fibers, transport and related infrastructure sectors, as well as the production and distribution of energy and energy infrastructures, in accordance with the provisions of art. 13 of the GBER regulation; And

– that do not guarantee compliance with the DNSH principle, verified on the basis of the guidelines and instructions for the national implementation of investments for recovery and resilience, according to the indications contained in the RGS-MEF circular no. 32 of 30 December 2021 and any related subsequent additions.

But let’s get into the merits.

In order to be eligible for subsidies, investment programs must:

– provide for the use of enabling technologies pertaining to the Transition 4.0 plan, designed to allow the technological and digital transformation of the company;

– be aimed at the expansion of capacity, the diversification of production functional to obtain products never previously manufactured or the fundamental change of the production process of an existing production unit or the construction of a new production unit;

– be carried out in a production unit located in the national territory and in the availability of the company at the date of submission of the subsidy application, with the exception, for example, of programs aimed at the construction of a new production unit;

– comply with the following thresholds for the amount of admissible expenses (it being understood that the investment programs may provide for expenses for an overall amount exceeding the aforementioned thresholds and that, in this case, the excess part will not be subject to subsidies), namely:

in the case of investment programs to be carried out in zones A (i.e. Molise, Basilicata, Calabria, Campania, Puglia, Sicily And Sardinia), eligible expenses not less than 500,000 euros overall and not more than 3,000,000 euros and, in any case, 80% of the turnover of the latest approved and filed financial statements;

in the case of investment programs to be carried out in zones other than zones Aeligible expenses not less than 1,000,000 euros overall and not more than 3,000,000 euros and, in any case, 80% percent of the turnover of the last approved and filed financial statements;

– be initiated after the submission of the application to access the special concessions;

– provide for a deadline for completion no later than twelve months from the date of the provision for granting the facilities. For this purpose, the decree specifies that the “date of completion of the program” means the date of the last account of expenditure reported and considered eligible for the subsidies.

Eligible expenses

Expenses strictly functional to the implementation of investment programs relating to the purchase of new tangible and intangible fixed assets that concern:

a) machinery, plant and equipment;

b) masonry works, within the limits of 40% of the total eligible costs;

c) computer programs and licenses related to the use of tangible assets referred to in letter a);

d) acquisition of environmental certifications, as specified by the provision referred to in article 9, paragraph 2.

On the contrary, the following expenses do not fall within the perimeter of the benefit:

– incurred through the financial leasing system;

– connected to internal contracts;

– relating to used machinery, plants and equipment;

– for the purchase or lease of land and buildings;

– operational, including those for stocks of raw materials, semi-finished products, finished products and consumables of any kind;

– relating to the training of the personnel employed by the proponent, even where strictly related to the fixed assets envisaged by the program;

– attributable to taxes and duties;

– related to the purchase of registered vehicles;

– attributable to expenditure titles whose amount is less than 500 euros net of VAT.

The concessions are granted, pursuant to and within the limits of the provisions of section 3.13 of the Temporary framework, in the form of contribution to the plant accountto cover a maximum nominal percentage of eligible expenses determined according to the territory of the investment and the size of the beneficiary companies.

Access procedure and granting of facilities

The concessions are granted on the basis of a evaluation procedure with procedure a front office, in accordance with the provisions of art. 5, paragraph 3, Legislative Decree no. 123/1998 and subsequent amendments and additions.

Each company can submit a single application for facilitationwithout prejudice to the possibility of submitting a new application for relief, in the event of rejection of the application following the related investigation.

Applications are assessed on the basis of the criteria and indicators set out in attachment no. 5 to the decree itself (characteristics of the proposer, quality of the proposal and environmental sustainability of the investment program).

With directorial decree of 12 April 2022, the operating procedures for forwarding the request for access to the concessions under analysis have been established. Pursuant to art. 3 of the decree, the same, written in Italian, can be presented exclusively through the IT procedureaccessible in the specific section “Sustainable Investments 4.0” of the website of Invitaliagive her 10.00 am to 5.00 pm every working dayfrom Monday to Friday, starting from 18 May 2022according to a particular iter which allows you to activate the first editorial step as early as May 4, 2022.

Disbursement of concessions

The concessions are provided by Invitalia in no more than three progress reportsfollowing the submission of requests by the beneficiary companies, advanced in relation to expenditure titles, including individual ones, relating to the implementation of the investment program, for an amount at least equal to 25% of the total amount of the admitted investment, to except for the last request for disbursement which may refer to a lower amount.

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