ANNOUNCEMENT 12 Dec 2008In December 2008, the government of Germany announced a change in private-sector financial support.
NUMBER OF INTERVENTIONS
the letter from the European Commission to Germany - Brussels, 01.04.2009 K(2009)2597. Avaliable from < http://ec.europa.eu/competition/elojade/isef/case_details.cfm?proc_code=3_N627_2008 >
On 12 December 2008 the German authorities notified the Commission, according to Article 88 (3) of the EC Treaty, of the above mentioned aid measure.
The purpose of the aid scheme is to improve R&D&I in Brandenburg through the build-up of young innovative enterprises. The measure will grant R&D&I aid in the form of risk capital and loans to eligible beneficiaries. It will hence be assessed under the Community Framework for State Aid for Research and Development and Innovation (the "R&D&I Framework").
Aid is granted by the Frühphasenfonds-Gesellschaft, Steinstraße 104-106, D-14480 Berlin
The Frühphasenfonds-Gesellschaft is a 100% subsidiary of the Investitionsbank des Landes Brandenburg. An independent Risk capital fund management will be asked to choose the beneficiaries of the R&D&I aid.
The total projected support will amount to up to EUR 20 million, funded by the budget of Brandenburg and co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund. The scheme will start from the date of approval by the Commission and last until 31 December 2015. The maximum aid per beneficiary will not exceed EUR 1 million. Beneficiaries are hence small enterprises that have been of existence for less than 6 years at the time when the aid is granted. The aided R&D&I-project must not have started before the application. the enterprise applying for aid is either likely to develop products, services or processes in the foreseeable future, which are technologically new or substantially improved compared to the state of the art in its industry in the EU.
After the assessment the Commission came to the conclusion that the notified measure constitutes State aid within the meaning of Article 87 (1) of the EC Treaty and gave the following assessment:
"The notified measure allows a limited number of YIE to receive financial means, by means of State resources. Consequently, the financial aid from the State strengthens the position of the enterprises in relation to their competitors in the Community and therefore has potentially distorting effects on competition. Products of benefiting enterprises are or might be subject to intra-Community trade and therefore the aid is likely to affect trade between Member States." (par. 24 of the letter from the EU to Germany - Brussels, 01.04.2009 K(2009)2597).
However, the Commission found that the provisions defined by the present scheme meet the conditions laid down in the R&D&I Framework. Therefore, Commission considered that the aid measure is compatible with the EC Treaty in application of its Article 87 (3) (c).
A state measure in the GTA database is assessed solely in terms of the extent to which its implementation affects the extent of discrimination against foreign commercial interests. On this metric, the state aid proposed here is discriminatory.