REFIT Scoreboard
← Competition

State aid rules for research, development and innovation

Overall state of play

Evaluation: finalised;
(An evaluation of the Framework for state aid for research, development and innovation was launched on 8 January 20191 in the context of a fitness check of State aid rules, concluded on 30 October 2020 (SWD (2020) 257).)
The framework was adopted on 19 October 2022: Communication from the Commission Framework for State aid for research and development and innovation (OJ C 414, 28.10.2022, p. 1–38)

State of play, main conclusions, outlook

In line with the findings of the evaluation performed in the context of the fitness check of the State aid, the framework for state aid for research, development and innovation was updated in a targeted manner. The revised State aid framework will make it easier for Member States to support research, development and innovation, including by small and medium-sized companies, while ensuring that possible competition distortions are kept to the minimum.

Estimated savings and benefits

The initiative is expected to simplify the application of the rules and improve their effectiveness and efficiency, making it easier for Member States in implementing these measures into transformative digital, health and carbon neutral technologies thus facilitating the green and digital transition. In this regard, under the revision, a simplification is introduced to calculate eligible costs for R&D projects by allowing for the application of a simplified methodology for the calculation of indirect costs. At present, the rules of the GBER allow Member States to use simplified cost options only when the project or activity is at least partially financed through a Union fund (e.g. Horizon – ESIF). The results of the fitness check revealed the need for a wider application of simplified cost options for calculating the indirect eligible costs. As actual indirect eligible costs are often difficult to verify and demonstrate, the use of a simplified cost option for indirect costs simplifies significantly the granting of aid for R&D projects by managing authorities. In addition, the fitness check points to the lack of rationale for excluding R&D projects funded through purely national resources (including RRF funds) from this possibility.