The Austrian federal government and the state of Lower Austria have put together two funding packages which will support investments in advanced digital technologies, including 3D printing. The funding seeks to encourage businesses to invest in cutting-edge technologies and to provide a boost in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis.
The driving idea behind wanting businesses to invest in additive manufacturing is that the technology enables agile production and has the unique ability to stimulate regional and independent production. AM is also well positioned to help companies transition to a more digital future. According to AM Austria, a non-profit committed to promoting and supporting the Austrian additive manufacturing industry, by focusing on 3D printing the government’s funding packages have the potential to create jobs, secure business premises and strengthen the country’s international business competitiveness.
Now, to the numbers. While investment bonuses typically promote investments by 7% in the form of a tax-free, non-repayable grant, the first funding package is supporting investments with a 14% bonus. This increase is because investments in 3D printing and digitization, green technologies and health have a higher incentive. The deadline to apply for this investment bonus is February 28, 2021.
AM Austria says: “The investment bonus applies to tangible and intangible assets above EUR 5,000 net. All companies in Austria are eligible to apply. The Federal Ministry for Digital and Economic Affairs initially set the program’s upper limit at EUR 50 million. Still, it announced later to increase the funds to up to EUR 1 billion if necessary. With these investments in future-oriented technologies, the Austrian Federal Government underlines its extraordinary commitment to the Austrian economy’s digitization.”
The second funding package, digi4KMU, has a tighter deadline (October 31, 2020), and offers funding investments of a maximum of €50,000 with a grant of up to 50%. Companies also have the option to apply for a NÖBEG liability of 80% of the bank loan up to a maximum of €100,000. This funding package is open to all small- and medium-sized commercial enterprises based in Lower Austria.