The Innovation Agency has completed the evaluation of applications for the call ‘Incentives for the Cultural and Creative Industries Sector to Develop Competitive Cultural Products’ (Paskatos kultūros ir kūrybinių industrijų sektoriui kurti konkurencingus kultūros produktus) launched by the Ministry of Culture.

This measure is aimed at micro, small and medium-sized enterprises operating in the creative and cultural industries (CCIs) sector. It aims to encourage enterprises to develop new, competitive cultural and creative content and form products by investing in new products, services or business processes that foster a competitive digital and circular economy.

‘The interest in the measure was quite high. The Innovation Agency received 357 applications with a funding request (EUR 44,318,197.42) exceeding the budget allocated for the measure by more than four times (EUR 10,551,449). The evaluation of the applications was carried out smoothly and significantly ahead of the 90-day deadline. To achieve an efficient evaluation of such a large number of applications, as provided for in the Project Administration and Financing Rules, it was decided to start the evaluation of applications from the benefit and quality evaluation stage. This allowed the identification of projects most worthy of funding more quickly’, says Agnė Vaitkūnienė, Director of Investment Management Department and Acting Director of the Agency.

According to Vaitkūnienė, only the applications with the highest benefit and quality scores and sufficient funding for the call were assessed for eligibility. The eligibility of other applications was not assessed. A total of 81 applications were assessed; 69 applications will be funded, 20 of which are film sector activities and 49 are projects in other CCI sectors. According to the Innovation Agency, the possibility of providing additional funding after the end of the 2014–2020 funding period is particularly limited, so extra funding is unlikely to be made available for the remaining applications.

‘The majority of applicants have requested funding under the de minimis regulation. Less than 10% of the projects are to be implemented under the General Block Exemption Regulation. As always, the most active applicants in the call were from Vilnius and Kaunas regions’, says Giedrė Indriulienė, Head of Business Sustainability Projects Division of the Innovation Agency.
‘The description of the funding conditions provided for a fairly wide range of supported CCI activities, so each project is original and different in terms of content, and applicants had a wide range of choices and self-expression. We cannot disclose the ideas of the project developers, but we hope that in the near future the country’s creative industries sector will be enriched with new innovative and competitive cultural products’, she adds.

The results of the evaluation of the applications have been submitted to the Ministry of Culture. The Innovation Agency will inform the applicants of the projects separately about the final decisions taken by the Ministry of Culture and the next steps. ‘We expect to sign the project contracts by the end of June and all projects will have to be implemented by 31 March 2023 in accordance with the funding rules. So we urge the applicants who have received positive decisions to be proactive already, as the implementation periods of the projects will not be extended’, advises Indriulienė.

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