A stronger role is assigned to private enterprises in transnational cooperation projects in Interreg Baltic Sea Region. Now, they can participate as regular project partners. Not only non-profit, but also for-profit bodies and associations established under private law are eligible without any limitation in size or turnover.
From a strategic point of view, the Programme considers in particular small and medium enterprises (SMEs) as important contributors to transnational cooperation projects. Enterprises should complement traditional project partnerships of scientists, universities and public institutions where useful and necessary for the project to deliver tabgible results. In this manner, projects should strengthen the transfer of project results into tangible products or services, e.g. by SME partners implementing pilot actions within projects.
From an operational point of view, private enterprises need to pay special attention to complying with all Programme requirements. Enterprises might not always be familiar with handling Programme funds from the outset, as conditions differ considerably from other financing instruments such as loans or grants. This regards inter alia public procurement rules or State aid related requirements.
Moreover, enterprises need to have sufficient financial capacity. All project partners within Interreg Baltic Sea Region need to pre-finance costs for project activities and receive funding as reimbursement after reporting. Also, costs for project activities are not covered fully by the Programme, but each partner is expected to contribute to the costs with own resources, the so-called co-financing principle. Co-financing rates for private partners are the same as for public partners. This means up to 75% or up to 85% of Programme funds, respectively, depending on the partner’s geographic location.