Following the decision of the Ministry of Economy and Innovation on the funding of applications, the Lithuanian Business Support Agency (LBSA) is starting to sign contracts with the project promoters under the measure ‘Creative Vouchers Covid-19’ (Kūrybiniai čekiai COVID-19).

The LBSA received 895 applications under the measure, of which 621 were positively evaluated and forwarded to the Ministry of Economy and Innovation for funding.

As EUR 7 million has been allocated to the measure, which will be sufficient only for the 126 business projects with the highest scores, additional funding will be sought for 492 applications included in the reserve list.  

‘This pandemic damage reduction measure has become very popular and the demand for funding has exceeded its budget several times over. This proves that the measure is very much needed – businesses want to take advantage of all possible opportunities to recover from constraints, grow and expand, and increase the visibility and attractiveness of their products or services’, says Aušrinė Armonaitė, Minister of Economics and Innovation.

According to Saulius Merkys, Acting Director of the LBSA, the popularity of the measure has shown the need for public funding for the creative industries in the post-pandemic period. With this in mind, LBSA specialists evaluated all applications 10 days sooner than required by the EU Investment Project Administration and Financing Rules, and the Description.

‘It is now important to sign contracts with project implementers quickly so their ideas can be implemented as soon as possible’, notes Merkys.

The instrument is designed to create and implement original products – non-technological innovations. It aims to encourage businesses to use innovative services provided by entities operating in the creative and cultural industries, to develop and implement original design and marketing solutions using artistic and cultural expression.

Giedrė Indriulienė, Head of Business Sustainability Projects Division, advises that the costs related to the development and implementation of original product solutions are recognised as eligible for funding under this measure.

‘This includes product and service design, and marketing solutions. It is important to note that the costs of marketing innovations are only eligible if they are intended for the product for which the design has been developed and/or implemented’, says Indriulienė.

She also emphasises that design and marketing innovation services must be procured from a natural or legal person operating in the creative and cultural industries for at least one year. In this way, not only the project promoters who have received funding, but also other players in the sector will benefit from the instrument.

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