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Aid Scheme for research and tourist parks and SMEs in Denmark

The Commission recently approved three aid schemes which will benefit research parks and SMEs in Denmark. Under the first scheme local authorities may offer grants up to 20% for the setting up and expansion of research parks. The purpose of the parks is to promote closer coop...

The Commission recently approved three aid schemes which will benefit research parks and SMEs in Denmark. Under the first scheme local authorities may offer grants up to 20% for the setting up and expansion of research parks. The purpose of the parks is to promote closer cooperation between firms and universities and forms part of the general business infrastructure in Denmark. The grants will lower the commercial leasing level of the parks' facilities and will partly finance the consultancy services offered by the parks. The latter benefit will be well below the aid intensity of 50% allowed under the SME Guidelines for soft aid. The Research Park is, in principle, open to all firms but, in practice, it is exclusively small (5-50 employees) firms which have been established in the existing Parks (150-200 firms). The maximum grant local authorities are expected to offer to a research park will be approx. DKR 10 million (ECU 1.3 million). Under the second aid scheme, local authorities may offer grants to SMEs as defined in the Commission's SME Aid Guidelines covering up to 50% of the costs for external consultancy with the aim of improving quality management and production in SMEs within the manufacturing and construction sector. The grant will normally not exceed DKR 200,000-300,000 per firm although higher grants may be offered in exceptional cases. The third scheme will permit local authorities to subsidize the establishment of Tourist Parks by the sale or hire of land on favourable terms to the Park. To be eligible for aid under the scheme the Tourist Park must have the underlying purpose of promoting and preserving Danish cultural heritage and, therefore, a substantial part of the facilities in a Tourist Park must have a cultural dimension (museums, theatres, etc.). Only very few Tourist Parks will fulfil the cultural criteria and at present only the planned H.C. Andersen Fairy Tales Park is eligible under this scheme. The beneficiary of the aid will be the Tourist Park itself, not the firms established in the Park.

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Denmark