For May, Komerční banka's EU Point Index was only slightly under the long-term average. Managing authorities launched new calls, but, on the other hand, approved the lowest volume of subsidies from September 2008. The evaluation of R&D projects, which is currently under way, has caused a temporary drop in the average success rate of obtaining contributions to 56.2%.

EU POINT INDEX May 2010   97 points
number of open calls Growth 99 calls
allocation of open calls Growth 83,2 bln. CZK
number of applications submitted Fall 491 applications
volume of applications Fall 19,5 bln. CZK
number of approved projects Fall 430 projects
volume of approved projects Fall 4,7 bln. CZK
KB EU Point consultations Growth 172 consultations
CZK 330bn, i.e. 40.9% of the allocated money, are left in the Structural Funds

In April, activity in respect of EU contributions was approximately at the level of the long-term average. The number of open calls increased significantly; applicants had an opportunity to submit applications under almost one hundred programmes in April. For example, in mid-April the Regional Council of Cohesion Region Central Bohemia launched eight new calls totalling more than CZK 1.5 billion. Acceptance of applications under the ICT and Strategic Services programme was started; businesses can apply for subsidies of up to CZK 100 million for the development of new ICT systems and solutions, or for the development of specialised centres. KB's clients usually apply for contributions to software development under this programme.

On the other hand, some calls under Operational Programme Environment, and the Real Estate scheme under Operational Programme Enterprise and Innovation [OPPI] were terminated in the period under review. 

"April also saw a significantly lower number of approved contributions than is usual. Support granted in an amount of less than CZK 5 billion is therefore the lowest ever monthly value since September 2008," said Jan Hanuš, Head of KB EU Point.

The extremely large volume of rejected applications caused the success rate to be average only. Under Operational Programme Research and Development for Innovation [OPVaVpI], applications worth CZK 21 billion were rejected in April; they included four applications for contributions to centres of excellence and thirty applications for regional research and development centres. This also had an impact on the average success of applicants under all Operational Programmes, and the ratio of approved and evaluated applications dropped to 56.2% as on 5 May 2010.

Nevertheless, the success rate differs by programmes. Apart from Operational Programme Transport, which is intended for a narrow range of applicants, Operational Programme Human Resources and Employment [OPLZZ] is the most promising programme. Under OPLZZ, over 85% of applications are successful. On the contrary, obtaining subsidies under OPVaVpI has been the most difficult so far (only 11% of all the applications evaluated to date have obtained subsidy); however, the largest 'package' of projects is still waiting for decision under this programme. Thirty-eight projects have reached the final stage of evaluation and appear to be set to receive altogether CZK 28 billion available in this round.

In the nearest future, we expect a gradual discontinuation of the acceptance of registration applications under OPPI (Innovation – Patent, and Clusters and Training Centres in May; EKO-ENERGIE, PROSPERITY, and Marketing in June, and Development in August) and their evaluation. Businesses would thereupon be able to start implementing these projects before the end of 2010.

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.

Conditions for using EU Point Index:

The Index can be freely distributed subject to bearing the designation "EU Point Index" and indicating the source, "Komerční banka" (in the case of online media, with an active link to http://www.eupoint.cz).

The EU Point Index is based on aggregate data on the main subsidy schemes intended for applicants, covering the preceding month.

Komerční banka is one of the best run universal banks in Central Europe. It provides comprehensive services to clients in the areas of retail, corporate, and investment banking. The Komerční banka Group's 8,659 employees serve more than 2.7 million clients, who can use an extensive network of 398 points of sale throughout the country. Komerční banka currently operates 688 ATMs and more than 985,000 of its clients use one of direct banking channels.

Komerční banka is part of the Société Générale Group, one of the largest banking groups in the euro zone (in terms of market capitalisation), whose 157,000 employees serve more than 32 million individual clients worldwide.