The EFTA Surveillance Authority has published its Decision No 4/94/COL of 19 January 1994 on the adoption and issuing of the Procedural and Substantive Rules in the Field of State Aid (Guidelines on the application and interpretation of Articles 61 and 62 of the EEA Agreement and Article 1 of Protocol 3 to the Surveillance and Court Agreement). In the field of State aid for research and development, the rules on horizontal aid stipulate that the rules in the EEA Agreement must be applied constructively to encourage cooperation which helps new technology to be disseminated. In the control of State aid, the need for resources to be channelled to the industries contributing to improved competitiveness should be observed. To help EFTA States to formulate their notifications, the rules distinguish between the following three types of R&D activities: fundamental research, basic industrial research, and applied research and development. The EFTA Surveillance Authority has a positive attitude towards aid for pre-competitive R&D. It endeavours to ensure that a clear distinction is established between genuine research and development and the introduction of new technologies inherent to production investment (modernization). This is applicable, for example, to R&D aid for the motor vehicle industry.
Austria, Switzerland, Finland, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Sweden