Following the decision of the Ministry of Economy and Innovation on the funding of applications, the Lithuanian Business Support Agency (LBSA) has started signing contracts with the project promoters under the ‘E-Commerce Model Covid-19’ measure.

The measure is intended to encourage companies to adopt information technologies for the electronic management of business transactions to increase revenue growth.

A total of 1,676 applications were received, of which 1,217 were assessed positively. Out of the total, 46% of applications were submitted by new enterprises and 45% by micro-enterprises.

An amount of EUR 40 million was earmarked for this measure, and the successful applications amounted to EUR 47.17 million. The evaluation of the call budget resulted in an allocation of EUR 39.7 million for 1,021 projects, while 196 projects worth EUR 7.4 million have been placed on the reserve list – additional funding will be sought for them.

‘The call for proposals was a record-breaker in terms of the number of applications received, which means that businesses have seized the opportunity to receive financial support for modernisation and to overcome the difficulties caused by the pandemic’, noted Saulius Merkys, Acting Director of the LBSA. According to Merkys, more than 1,000 companies have been given the opportunity to strengthen their market position and increase their revenues, because business cannot survive today without innovation.

Contracts with project promoters will now be prepared and signed without delay. ‘We have overcome the challenge of assessing a huge number of applications and we are ready to keep up the pace to ensure that EU investment reaches businesses as quickly as possible’, said Merkys.

Sigita Skrebė, Head of Business Productivity Projects Division of the LBSA, predicts that contracts will be signed in February–March: applicants will be asked to provide the information needed to conclude the contract, after which they will be sent the contract to sign.

The project administration process will be simplified
The measure supports the deployment of e-commerce models in micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) by reorienting and digitising processes through customer self-service systems on e-commerce platforms for products and services. It includes those for manufacturing and service order management, as well as through systems for the integration of a resource management system into product and service e-commerce platforms.

Skrebė introduces the details of project implementation: ‘The measure has fixed amounts and fixed fees, which will simplify project administration by eliminating the need for procurement plans and supervision of procurement. Costs will be paid for upon submission of results: links to the e-shops created, and screenshots or other documents supporting the results’.
The promoters of successful applications intend to invest mainly in the acquisition and adaptation of software or the modification of existing software, which accounts for 55% of the total eligible costs, while 41% of the costs will be spent on programming work.

Skrebė points out that the project activities will have to be started no later than one month from the date of signature of the project contract, and will be implemented for no more than one year.

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