The call for proposals for the measure ‘Incentives for the development of competitive cultural products for cultural and creative industries sector’ launched by the Lithuanian Business Support Agency (LBSA) and the Ministry of Culture is now closed for applications.

This measure is aimed at micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) operating in the creative and cultural industries (CCI) sector. The aim is to encourage enterprises to develop new, high added-value, competitive cultural and creative content, and form products by investing in new cultural and creative content and form products, services or business processes that promote a competitive digital or circular economy.

‘The aim of this measure was to encourage representatives of the creative and cultural industries to look for solutions that would not only be useful, but also contribute to the circular or digital economy’, said Saulius Merkys, Acting Director of the LBSA.

A fairly wide range of CCI activities are supported under the instrument’s description of project financing conditions. From activities such as the development and deployment of original design and marketing solutions, which have been funded under another LBSA measure ‘Creative Vouchers Covid-19’, to activities such as the development of digital/electronic platforms, creation of virtual and augmented reality products, and the transformation of CCI products into new digital or circular economy forms. The possibility to acquire not only the services needed for the development of new CCI products, but also the equipment, hardware, software, licences, etc. needed for the production of such CCI products is provided.

The budget for the measure is just over EUR 10.5 million. Up to EUR 4 million will be allocated to SMEs whose main economic activity is in the film sector, and more than EUR 6.5 million will be allocated to SMEs whose main economic activity is in other CCI economic activities.

• A total of 357 applications have been received.
• The average amount of funding requested ranges from EUR 30,000 to EUR 800,000.
• The average amount of eligible costs of the projects submitted is EUR 199,000 and the average amount of funding requested is EUR 124,000.
• The total amount of funding requested for the projects submitted (EUR 44,318,197.42) is more than four times the budget allocated to the measure (EUR 10,551,449).

‘We are glad that the interest in the measure was huge, as illustrated by the number of applications received. We hope that the applications submitted will be of high quality in terms of content and ideas, and will strengthen the CCI sector. As always, the most active applicants in the call were from the Vilnius and Kaunas districts. According to the initial data, the majority of the applicants are requesting funding under the de minimis regulation. Less than 10% of the projects are to be implemented under the General Block Exemption Regulation’, says Giedrė Indriulienė, Head of Business Sustainability Projects Division.

According to her, as the number of applications submitted is much higher than the amount of funds earmarked for the measure, and the possibility of additional funding after the end of the 2014–2020 funding period is extremely limited, the LBSA will give priority to finding and identifying the most efficient application evaluation process or model. It is planned to evaluate applications within 90 days at the latest and sooner if possible. ‘During the evaluation of this measure, we will try to communicate more with applicants and provide them with more detailed information on the evaluation process, procedures and deadlines. Please follow the information on the data exchange website (DEW)’, she advises.

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