Ministry of Industry and Trade opened first call for projects for Turkey with ‘Regional Competitiveness Operational Programme – RCOP (2007-2009)’ co-financed by the European Union and by the Turkish Government under the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA). The programme aims to decrease the regional socio-economic disparities and encourage the regional competitiveness in Turkey.
The programme focuses on a limited area in Turkey which has an income per capita below the 75% of Turkish national average and in NUTSII region. In these areas ‘Growth Centers’ which have the priority to be funded are identified. The Growth Centers are 15 cities including Kahramanmaras, Samsun, Kastamonu, Malatya, Elazığ, Trabzon, Kayseri,Sivas, Gaziantep, Diyarbakır, Şanlıurfa, Erzurum, Batman, Van and Kars. The programme also concentrates on specific sectors particularly on SMEs in manufacturing and tourism sector, information society, R&D and innovation.
Eligible 12 NUTSII Regions and 15 Growth Centers
Support for Improvement of Business Environment
Regional Competitiveness Operational Programme will provide funding for projects in 5 measures under 2 priority areas. The first priority is the Improvement of Business Environment. The projects submitted in this topic are expected to focus on ‘creating a better business environment, to increase the number of new enterprises, enhance the productivity and the competitiveness of the existing enterprises and contribute to the overall rate of employment, by improving physical infrastructure and creating a supportive environment for SMEs in the target regions’ as specified in the official Guideline for Call for Project Proposals.
There are 3 measures under this priority in which the proposals should be prepared:
Measure 1.1 Development of Industrial Infrastructure
Measure 1.3 Improvement of R&D, Innovation, Technology and ICT Environment and Infrastructure
Measure 1.4 Improvement of Tourism Infrastructure, Promotion and Marketing Activities
The second priority topic for IPA projects is strengthening of enterprise capacity and fostering entrepreneurship. This Priority aims to ‘improve the efficiency and added value produced by enterprises, enhance their entrepreneurial capacity and increase the employment rate and overall competitiveness of the regions through the provision of basic information support and consultancy activities to SMEs, particularly start ups and strengthening the clustering and networking activities in the target regions’ as stated in the official Guideline for Call for Project Proposals.
Project proposers under this topic will focus on one of the measures from the following:
Measure 2.1 Providing Basic Information and Consultancy Support for Enterprises
Measure 2.2 Strengthening of Cooperation in Industry Corporate Sector
100% Funding for Regional Projects
The programme provides 100% funding for each projects with co-financing, maximum of 75% from EU funding and a minimum of 25% from National public resources. For the projects prepared under the first priority, the budget should be 2-10 million Euro, for the projects prepared under the second priority, the budget should be 1-2 million Euro.
However the financial grants will not be directly provided to the project owners. The Central Finance and Contract Unit (CFCU) will carry out tendering, contracting and payment on behalf of the project owner during the realization of the project.
The deadline for project submission is 16 January 2009. The eligible partners to submit projects are specifically public institutions/agencies, business and enterprise development institutions/centers managing authorities of Organized Industrial Zones (OIZs) and Small Scale Industry Estates (SSIEs), national and regional chambers of industry and commerce, trade unions, unions, foundations and associations, managing authorities of Technology Development Centers (TDCs) and Technology Development Zones (TDZs), universities, scientific institutes and research centers, governorships, special administrations of provinces, municipalities, non-profit making organizations. The eligible partners differs acoording to each measure. However, profit making organizations cannot submit projects. To get more informaion please visit: