Deadline: 8 December 2019
The “Innovation Fund” is co-financed by the Ministry of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (MIE) of the Republic of Kosovo and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and implemented by the Innovation Centre Kosovo (ICK).
ICK promotes and supports the development of new businesses that contribute to economic growth and job creation. ICK in collaboration with the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH project “Creating Employment through Export Promotion”, commissioned by BMZ and co-financed by MIE, and with the Ministry of Innovation and Entrepreneurship will provide financial support to SMEs through the “Innovation Fund” grant scheme. The grant award will be made in cooperation with the Innovation Fund Management Structure and the Steering Committee.
The CETEP project aims to enable micro, small and medium enterprises in employment relevant sectors to make use of the potentials of international markets. The fields of action are: business-related information, market- oriented business services, product and process innovations, and export promotion. In terms of product and process innovation, the CETEP project shall provide financial support to MSMEs through the “Innovation Fund” grant scheme.
The “Innovation Fund” grant scheme shall support MSMEs in developing their innovation concept by introducing new/improved products/services/processes, in order to increase their economic/growth potential in the domestic and international markets. Moreover, the “Innovation Fund” may act as a catalyst for other investors to recognize the potential of MSMEs in the Kosovar market.
The overall objective of the “Innovation Fund” grant scheme is to attract the most innovative ideas with potentials for export and employment creation for micro, small and medium sized enterprises (MSMEs).
The specific objectives are:
- Creation of employment and support of the labor market in Kosovo
- Increase competitiveness of the private sector/MSMEs in Kosovo
- Improve existing/new products, processes and services through innovation
- Increase export of Kosovar products and services
The “Innovation Fund” grant scheme shall identify good practices and innovative success stories, develop knowledge products, and disseminate the information within the existing network. The supported sectors are:
- Information and Communication Technologies
The overall indicative amount made available under the “Innovation Fund” grant scheme is EUR 800.000,00. Any grant requested under the “Innovation Fund” grant scheme must fall under the maximum amount of EUR 50.000,00 (1:1 with matching funds contributed by the beneficiary).
In order to be eligible for a grant, the lead applicant must fulfill:
- Technical criteria:
- Registered business in Kosovo
- To be a micro, small and medium size enterprise (according to the Kosovo law definition)
- Registered businesses shall have a minimum of three years of experience in their field of expertise
- Evidence that all legal obligations have been settled (in case this evidence shows tax debt, the company needs to provide clarification for the settled debt, e.g. agreement with Tax Authority.
- Evidence that the business enterprise is not under bankruptcy or has affairs administered by the courts (this evidence may be submitted in the first phase, submitting together with other necessary documents, or must be submitted in the second phase after the evaluation)
- The legal owner/representative shall not be subject of a judgement which has the force of res judicata for fraud, corruption, involvement in a criminal organization, money laundering or any other illegal activity (this evidence may be submitted in the first phase submitting together with other necessary documents or must be submitted in the second phase after the evaluation)
- Evidence on the company’s solvency (or potential solvency)
- Evidence on exports and /or potential for exports
- Potential for increasing the number of employees
- Procedural criteria:
- Problem statement is clearly defined; there is solid evidence and data that supports the problem statement
- Activities statement is clear and focused that explains how the problem will be addressed
- Proposed idea possesses an increased value added that complements or substitutes traditional solutions to the same problem
- Proposed idea is innovative in the domestic market, therefore, Improving the processes of the company and development of new products / services
- End-users are involved in the design, prototyping, implementing, monitoring and evaluation phases of the proposed ideas
- Realistic financial and partnership plan
- Detailed monitoring and sustainability plan
- Proposed idea possesses scalability potential and a path to sustainability (in operational, technical, human and financial domains).
- Potential for multi-country adaptation and transfer
- Proposed idea in line with strategic priorities articulated by GIZ Creating Employment through Export Promotion-CETEP Project co-financed from MIE and GIZ” project objectives
- Employment creation is a MUST criterion for any proposal. Hence, if a proposal does not indicate the objective of increasing employment and explain how this will be achieved, it will not be further considered.
The awarded projects/ideas under the “Innovation Fund” grant scheme shall have significant impact on MSMEs and consequently impact the overall employment creation in the domestic market. The underlying activities shall:
- increase production capacities,
- improve or optimize product/process/service development life cycles,
- initiate new product/process/service development and diversification,
- add new sales and distribution channels, and
- increase inbound and outbound sales in the domestic and/or international markets.
For more information, visit https://ickosovo.com/innovation-fund