CZK 320 billion (39.6% of available funds) are still left in the package of Europeans money allocated to subsidy applicants from the Czech Republic in the EU's current programming period. The latest EU Point Index suggests that last month, applicants submitted 513 applications with a total value of more than CZK 10.4 billion.

Following the very weak start early this year, the activity on the Czech subsidy market is gradually recovering again. The currently rising value of the Index is largely attributable to the above-average number and volume of open calls.

In March, three calls were opened under Operational Programme Enterprise and Innovation: Marketing, Eco-Energy, and Co-operation. Of these calls, the Eco-Energy scheme is the most attractive for businesses; under this scheme they can obtain contributions to projects for energy savings (achieved, for example, by using waste energy) or energy generation from certain types of renewable energy sources.

In the first half of this year, almost all schemes are open under Operational Programme Enterprise and Innovation. Not only SMEs but also large companies can sign up for some of the schemes. The chances to obtain a subsidy are extremely high: at least CZK 16.6 billion has been prepared. "Under Operational Programme Enterprise and Innovation, applicants' success rate has been 64% on average to date; moreover, we expect that this success rate will even increase this year thanks to the higher allocation," said Jan Hanuš, Head of KB EU Point.

In five Regions (Pardubický, Plzeňský, Zlínský, Středočeský and Královéhradecký Regions), applicants could submit their applications under Operational Programme Education for Competitiveness, in most cases for lower-level education (especially primary and secondary schools). For example, subsidies for classes taught in foreign languages, prevention of racism, teachers' education, and support for talented children have been announced.

In the newly opened 18th call under Operational Programme Environment, CZK 5 million has been earmarked for subsidies, which are intended for the so-called large projects (in excess of CZK 25 million) focused on air quality improvements and use of renewable energy sources.

Before 1 April, subsidies amounting to CZK 331 billion were approved for applicants. Decision-making on another CZK 271 billion under various Operational Programmes is currently under way. If applicants are as successful as so far (over 58%), approximately CZK 157 billion will be distributed on the basis of the applications that are now being assessed. In the package from which Czech firms and municipalities are drawing money, only CZK 320 billion will therefore be left, i.e., less than 39.6% of the amount for the whole seven-year period.

KB EU Point provides KB's clients with assistance in the implementation of subsidised projects. Relationship managers will search, free of charge, for subsidy schemes appropriate for each specific project and the bank's EU Point regional specialists will provide detailed consultations. Specialised companies with proven experience and expertise then prepare applications for subsidies and take care of complete project administration. The selection of a particular company is left up to the client at all times. The bankers also recommend the optimum project financing, compliant with the subsidy conditions. More information can be obtained from a relationship manager or at www.eupoint.cz.

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