ANNOUNCEMENT 17 Apr 2020
In April 2020, the European Commission approved a EUR 140 million Portuguese state aid measure for supporting R+D projects and investment in testing and upscaling infrastructures, as well as the production projects, of COVID-19 relevant products.
NUMBER OF INTERVENTIONS
SA.57035 COVID-19 Support to R&D projects, testing -infrastructures and production of COVID 19 related products. Available at: https://ec.europa.eu/competition/elojade/isef/case_details.cfm?proc_code=3_SA_57035
European Commission Decision. Subject: State aid SA.57035 (2020/N) - Portugal – COVID-19 - Support to R&D projects, testing infrastructures and production of COVID-19 related products. Available at: https://ec.europa.eu/competition/state_aid/cases1/202017/285556_2150148_79_2.pdf
SA.59070 COVID-19 - Prolongation of SA.57035 (2020/N) –Support to R&D projects, testing infrastructures and production of COVID-19 related products. Available at: https://ec.europa.eu/competition/elojade/isef/case_details.cfm?proc_code=3_SA_59070
On 17 April 2020, the EU approved a EUR 140 million (approx. USD 152.2 million) Portuguese state aid measure oriented to support R+D activities, testing and upscaling infrastructures, as well as the production of COVID-19 relevant products.
The measure will be provided as direct grants and does not include loss cover guarantees for production. The EUR 140 million budget will be divided in two: (i) EUR 50 million (approx. USD 54.4 million) for R+D projects and investment in testing and upscaling infrastructures; and (ii) EUR 90 million (approx. USD 97.9 million) for the production of COVID-19 relevant products. The beneficiaries of the measure are all enterprises, irrespective of their size and/or sector of activity, that are able to engage in COVID-19 relevant research or produce COVID-19 relevant products.
The European Commission’s Decision noted the measures “are liable to distort competition, since they strengthen the competitive position of their beneficiaries”, as well as “affect trade between Member States, since those beneficiaries are active in sectors in which intra-Union trade exists”.
Regardless, the Commission approved the state aid, without raising objections, on the grounds that the measure is compatible with the internal market pursuant to Article 107(3)(c) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.
The state aid is approved under the Temporary Framework under the State Aid and its amendment of 2 April 2020. The European Commission adopted the Temporary Framework under the State Aid rules of the European Union on 19 March (see related state act).
On 9 November 2020, the EC approved SA 59070 that prolongs the aforementioned scheme until 30 June 2021.