17. May 2021.

HAMAG-BICRO AWARDS DECISIONS FOR FINANCING B LIGHT PROJECTS IN THE 4th CALL

Photo: Kristijan Toplak

VIROVITICA, 14 May 2021 – Croatian Agency for SMEs, Innovations and Investments (HAMAG-BICRO) awarded Croatian and Hungarian entrepreneurs with Decisions on financing twelve B Light cross-border cooperation projects in a total worth of € 3.8 million. These are selected project proposals for border cooperation between Croatia and Hungary, received on the 4th call of the B Light program. The award ceremony was held in the building of the County Administration in Virovitica.

His Excellency Dr. Csaba Demcsák, Ambassador of Hungary, attended the awarding ceremony.  Ms Nataša Tramišak, Minister of Regional Development and EU Funds, held a welcoming speech: “Apart from financing concrete project ideas for the development of technologies, products and services and expanding distribution networks, we find of extreme importance that the B Light scheme encourages the development of innovations in production, but also strengths cross-border partnerships as well. Due to the extremely successful implementation of cross-border cooperation projects by Croatian partners in the financial perspective 2014-2020, the Republic of Croatia will in the financial perspective 2021-2027 significantly increase its allocation of funds for the Program of cross-border cooperation with Hungary.

The host Mr Igor Andrović, County Prefect of Virovitica-Podravina County welcomed the audience and said: “Virovitica-Podravina County has for many years nurtured successful cooperation with our Hungarian neighbors. We are especially pleased with the cooperation between our small and medium-sized enterprises and craftsmen, because the border has never and will never separate us, but it unites us and offers new opportunities.

Decisions for financing positively evaluated project proposals were handed over by Ms Nataša Tramišak, Minister of Regional Development and European Union Funds and Mr Vjeran Vrbanec, President of the Management Board of HAMAG-BICRO, who addressed the audience: “Today we are awarding Decisions on financing 12 promising cross-border cooperation projects with a total value of € 3.8 million, of which € 267,311 will be invested in Virovitica-Podravina County. Through the previous three calls, we have supported 20 cross-border cooperation projects with a total worth of € 6.5 million, of which € 1.3 million relates to Virovitica-Podravina County. These figures represent a serious financial injection for the border area of ​​both countries.”

The participants were also greeted by Mr Márton Szűcs, Head of the Joint Secretariat of the INTERREG VA Hungary-Croatia Cross-Border Cooperation Program, who pointed out that the strategic project ‘Beneficiary Light Scheme’ was a pilot project designed to enable cooperation, joint development activities and entry into new markets in Hungary and Croatia.  He expressed a hope that the goals of small and medium-sized enterprises would be achieved and that successful enterprises would continue to cooperate in the future.

B LIGHT (Beneficiary Light Grant Scheme) is a grant scheme that finances the cooperation of small and medium enterprises in the border area Hungary – Croatia under the Interreg VA Cooperation Program Hungary – Croatia 2014-2020. HAMAG-BICRO as the lead beneficiary of the B Light program implements the project in cooperation with regional (county) development agencies from the program area. Cross-border cooperation within the B Light program strengthens the entrepreneurial capacities in the program area and increases the competitiveness of companies, and consequently it enables their positioning on the international market. The total value of the program is € 7.5 million.