On 22 April, the European Commission approved a €5.3 million Maltese direct grants scheme to support R&D projects related to the COVID-19 outbreak.
On 22 April, the European Commission approved a €5.3 million Maltese direct grants scheme to support investment in research and development (R&D) related to the COVID-19 outbreak. The scheme was approved under the State aid Temporary Framework adopted by the Commission on 19 March 2020, as amended on 3 April 2020.
According to the Commission, the scheme will be accessible to Malta-based companies of all sizes, including public entities, carrying out coronavirus and other antiviral relevant R&D projects. The aim of the scheme is to support the development of innovative solutions to the current health crisis, such as relevant medicinal products and treatments, medical devices, hospital and medical equipment, disinfectants, data collection and processing tools, and applications supporting a better dissemination of recommendations by health authorities. Also, the scheme aims to improve foresight tools and methodologies for the future, by drawing on lessons learnt from the current pandemic.
The Commission found that the Maltese scheme is in line with the conditions set out in the Temporary Framework. In particular, the aid intensity varies between 80% and 100% of the costs incurred by the beneficiary, depending on the type of activity performed and on the presence of cross-border collaborations. Furthermore, under the scheme, any results of the research activities will be made available to third parties in the European Economic Area through non-exclusive licences.
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