Government decision no. 677/2020

 In Fiscal news

Government decision no. 677/2020 on the approval of the National Program for the digitization of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, financed under the Competitiveness Operational Program 2014-2020

It is aproved the National Program for the digitization of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SME), funded under the Competitiveness Operational Program 2014-2020, through Priority Axis 2 – Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for a competitive digital economy, Investment Priority 2b – Product Development and ICT services, e-commerce and ICT demand; specific objective OS 2.2 – Increasing the contribution of the ICT sector for economic competitiveness; action 2.2.1 – Support the growth of the added value generated by the ICT sector and innovation in the field through cluster development and action 2.2.2 – Support the use of ICT for business development, in particular the e-commerce framework.

The value of the National Program for the digitization of micro, small and medium enterprises, financed within the Competitiveness Operational Program 2014-2020, is 150 million Euros.

The implementation period of the Program is until December 31st, 2023.

The objective of the National Program for the digitization of micro, small and medium enterprises is to increase the competitiveness of Romanian SMEs by:

a) development of innovative products / services / applications in the field of information and communication technology to support SMEs and public authorities, aiming at financing innovative ICT products / services / applications to ensure the transition from production through outsourcing toward innovation-based development, as well as collaboration between members of an ICT industry cluster or between them and members of other clusters, to ensure rapid and easy access to the implementation of innovative information technology products which have been obtained;

b) providing non-reimbursable financial support for the digitization of micro and small and medium enterprises from sectors other than ICT, in the 8 developed regions of Romania, in order to increase the competitiveness of SMEs and boost the ICT sector.

The objective from letter b) shall be implemented by concluding financing contracts between the regional development agencies and the beneficiaries of de minimis aid.

Eligible activities under the National Digitization Program for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises are:

a) activities for the development of innovative products in the field of ICT, such as:

1. activities related to the acquisition of ICT hardware and other related devices, including installation, configuration and commissioning costs, justified in terms of project implementation. Furniture elements that are not related to the operation of computer products / applications implemented through the project are excluded;

2. activities related to the arrangement of the data center in which the ICT equipment purchased through the project will be installed, the installation being performed only once during the implementation period;

3. activities related to the acquisition and / or development of software applications / licenses necessary for project implementation, configuration and implementation of databases, migration and integration of various existing data structures, acquisition and implementation of electronic signature solutions, including storage and processing resources, justified from the point of view of the project implementation. The development and implementation of project-specific software solutions and the integration of the applications used must comply with the clear stages of development: requirements analysis, design, implementation and testing, as well as those of commissioning, if necessary;
4. activities related to industrial research or experimental development;

5. activities necessary for informing and for the publicity of the project;

6. activities related to the procurement of consultancy services for the elaboration of the necessary documentation for the preparation of the proposed project for financing and project management, including the elaboration of the necessary documentation for the project implementation and legal assistance services for the procurement, elaboration of the awarding documentation and application of the procedures for awarding the procurement contracts;

7. activities related to the training of the personnel that will use the implemented / purchased products and of the personnel that will ensure the maintenance;

8. activities for the acquisition of intermediate / final audit services, financial, according to national regulations, and technical, from the perspective of the correspondence of the project result with the financing request and the objectives of the Competitiveness Operational Program;

b) digitization activities of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, other than those whose main object of activity is ICT, such as:

1. activities related to the acquisition of ICT hardware and other related devices and equipment, including installation, configuration, commissioning costs, justified in terms of project implementation. Furniture elements that are not related to the operation of computer products / applications implemented through the project are excluded;

2. activities related to the realization of the LAN network necessary for the implementation of the project;

3. activities related to the acquisition and / or development and / or adaptation of software applications / licenses necessary for project implementation, configuration and implementation of databases, migration and integration of various existing data structures, including RPA software automation solutions, respectively Robotic Process Automation ;

4. activities related to the acquisition of a company presentation website, including domain acquisition and server hosting;

5. activities related to the acquisition of a new domain name;

6. activities related to the purchase of the electronic signature solution;

7. activities to convert archives from analog / folders / paper to digital indexable;

8. activities related to the purchase of specific computer applications for people with disabilities;

9. activities related to the acquisition of information technology solutions for electronic commerce;

10. activities related to the acquisition of cloud and SaaS services, respectively Software as a Service;

11. activities related to the purchase of hosting services, including all types of hosting services, except reseller packages;

12. activities related to the acquisition of services for strengthening cyber security applicable to software / hosting / networks;

13. activities related to the procurement of consulting services for the elaboration of the necessary documentation for the preparation of the proposed project for financing and / or project management, including the elaboration of the necessary documentation for the implementation of the project;

14. activities related to the training of the personnel that will use the implemented / purchased products and of the personnel that will ensure the maintenance;

15. activities of procurement of intermediate / final audit services, financial, according to national regulations, and technical, from the perspective of the correspondence of the project result with the Financing Application and the objectives of the Competitiveness Operational Program;

16. consulting / analysis services to identify the technical solutions needed by SMEs.

The eligible beneficiaries are:

a) for projects aimed at achieving the objective provided in let. a):

1. enterprises, respectively micro-enterprises, small enterprises, medium-sized enterprises operating in Romania, whose object of activity is in the field of ICT;

2. enterprises, respectively micro-enterprises, small enterprises, medium-sized enterprises operating in Romania, within clusters whose object of activity is in the field of ICT;

3. consortia formed by the entities defined in the points 1 and 2 and enterprises, respectively micro-enterprises, small enterprises, medium-sized enterprises operating in Romania;

b) for the projects aiming at achieving the objective provided in let. b), eligible applicants are the regional development agencies; The final beneficiaries of de minimis aid are micro, small and medium-sized enterprises with a main activity other than information and communication technology.

The financing of the activities and expenditure related to the National Digitization Program for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises is covered by State aid and / or the minimis aid and mainly covers:

a) realization / development of innovative ICT products / services / applications, by financing investments in industrial research and / or experimental development, in process and / or organizational innovation, in tangible and / or intangible assets, in other innovation projects, etc.
The support will be provided for the development of innovative ICT products / solutions / applications with applicability in the following fields: internet of things, smart city / smart village; digitization, respectively automation, industrial robotization; artificial intelligence, augmented reality; electronic transactions; cyber security; big data, blockchain; e-government / e-administration – digitization of public administration; e-health;

b) digitization of the activities of micro and small and medium enterprises by financing the investments made for the development and / or acquisition of ICT products.

The rules for granting state aid will be provided within the state aid and de minimis schemes, which will be approved by order of the Minister of European Funds and the President of the Romanian Digitization Authority, issued within 45 days from the date of entry in force of this ordinance, and in the documents specific to the calls for projects.

The rules for granting the state and the minimis aid are set out in the de minimis aid scheme to increase the contribution of the ICT sector for economic competitiveness, the state aid scheme to support the development of innovative ICT products and services created by SMEs, in under Priority Axis 2, Investment Priority 2b – Development of ICT products and services, e-commerce and ICT demand, Action 2.2.1 “Supporting the added value generated by the ICT sector and innovation in the field through cluster development”, the 3rd call, of the Competitiveness Operational Program 2014-2020 and of the de minimis aid scheme “Digitization of SMEs”.

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