site.btaPatent Office: Bulgarian SMEs Eligible for Grant Aid to Cover Up to 90% of Intellectual Property Protection Costs
Bulgarian small and medium-sized enterprises are eligible for EU grant aid to cover between 50 and 90% of the costs of having their intellectual property protected, by a maximum reimbursement of EUR 1,500, the Bulgarian Patent Office (BPO) said.
A total of 12,989 requests at EU level were submitted in 2022 to the Ideas Powered for business SME Fund for grants totalling EUR 3,750,172.60, and the sums paid averaged EUR 500. In 2021 as many as 77% of the SMEs that requested grants were first-time intellectual property applicants, and 52% of the beneficiaries said that would not seek protection of their intellectual property without the SME Fund's support.
Following up on this success, the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), which implements the grant scheme, has reason to continue the operation of the Fund, increase its budget, and update some of the actions so as to respond as much as possible to SMEs' needs, the BPO commented.
In another substantial change, the period for activation of each of the four vouchers claiming a grant has been reduced to two months, extendable to up to four months.
"In Bulgaria, SMEs traditionally account for three-quarters of the total employment and generate nearly 65% of the value added in the national economy," says BPO President Vladia Borisova. SMEs are precisely those that offer innovative solutions to a number of pressing challenges and help disseminate innovations Europewide, she adds. Despite this, just 10% of Europe's SMEs hold registered intellectual property rights. Therefore, they need support for boosting their competitiveness through better protection and use of intellectual property rights.