State aid

State aid

The Technology Strategy Board provides a range of support to encourge UK business to invest in research, development and innovation.  Some of the support provided, such as through the Collaborative R&D competitions and Smart, operates under European Commission State aid rules.

 What is State aid?

State aid is a European Commission term referring to forms of assistance from a public body or publicly-funded body which is given to organisations engaged in economic commercial activity on a selective basis, with the potential to distort competition and affect trade between Member States of the European Union.

 The State aid rules are designed to regulate subsidies and to stop public authorities from distorting markets. They also provide a framework and discipline to assist public authorities to ensure that scarce public resources are targeted where they are most required in an efficient and effective manner.

 Further information on State aid

The Department for Business Innovation and Skills State Aid Branch has lead responsibility within the UK government for co-ordination and development of State Aid policy.  Although their role is to advise public authorities on the State Aid rules (except agriculture, transport and regeneration) the BIS State Aid Branch website contains further information on State aid such as frequently asked questions and a beginners guide to State aid.  

The European Commission website on State aid can be found here.

The General Block Exemption Regulation (GBER) consolidates and harmonises the rules previously existing in five separate regulations.  The GBER authorises a range of aid such as that in favour of SMEs, research, innovation, regional development, training, employment, risk capital and environmental protection aid.  As well as encouraging Member States to focus on aid that will be of real benefit to job creation and competitiveness, the Regulation is designed to reduce the administrative burden for the public sector, the beneficiaries and the Commission.

Technology Strategy Board State aid coverage

The ‘Technology Strategy Board Research, Development and Innovation scheme’ provides the State aid coverage for the majority of support provided by the Technology Strategy Board in line with the General Block Exemption Regulation.  The scheme itself does not provide any additional funding or budget.  The notification text is available here.

Last updated on Friday 13 January 2012 at 16:59

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