Government of Navarre awards €23 million in grants to strategic agri-food R&D and investment projects
- The grants will go to 59 companies in the agri-food sector and to ten strategic R&D projects in line with Navarre’s Smart Specialization Strategies (S3)
The Government of Navarre’s Ministry of Economic and Business Development recently released the results of two calls for grant applications for the amount of €23 million. Specifically, it approved €13 million in grants to strategic R&D projects in line with the S3 and another €10 million to investments in agri-food industries in Navarre, as announced by Minister Manu Ayerdi at a press conference today.
An investment of €72 million in SMEs and micro-SMEs and an anticipated 256 new jobs
The Ministry of Economic and Business Development organized a specific call for applications in the agri-food industry and awarded grants to expenditures made before 1 December 2020, rather than to specific future projects. For these grants, applications were accepted to acquire machinery, build new facilities and remodel existing premises.
A total of 59 companies benefited from €10 million in financial aid. The lion’s share of the recipients (74%) were SMEs and micro-SMEs. The grants can be broken down as follows: 37 went to SMEs (eight of which were cooperatives) and seven to micro-SMEs, compared to 15 to large companies.
A further breakdown by subsector shows that €4.6 million was awarded to a total of 19 companies working with fruits and vegetables; €2.4 million went to 12 cereal companies; and €1.5 million was earmarked for 16 companies in the meat industry. Five companies in the dairy industry were awarded €448,388, and three olive oil production firms received €532,469.
Taken together, the winning projects were awarded a total of €72.8 million and are expected to create 256 new jobs.
By geographic area, most of the grants went to companies located in the middle and southern areas of Navarre. Many of the recipient firms (21) operate in the Ribera and Ribera del Ebro area. The County of Pamplona is home to another nine firms while seven companies are located in the Ribera Arga-Aragón area. The Navarra Atlántica, Tierra Estella and Zona Media areas boast six grant recipients each. Two companies are located in Baztan and another two have their head offices in the Pyrenees area. Furthermore, of the 59 successful applicants, 11 are located in towns with a population of less than 1,000 inhabitants. The eligible investment amounted to €12,812,857 (17.59%) and grants were awarded for €1,784,366.01, thus covering 17.68% of the total eligible investment.
€13 million for strategic R&D projects
Strategic R&D projects were awarded grants for a total of about €13 million, based on the Ministry’s goal of promoting the implementation of initiatives with a high impact on Navarre’s priority industries, as stipulated in the S3 Smart Specialization Strategies. In this case, the government gave high priority to projects undertaken jointly by companies and research organizations in order to address the different challenges Navarre must face. Forty-one companies and 24 technology and research centers will collaborate on ten scheduled projects.
For example, grants were awarded to three projects on genomics and advanced medicine. The largest of the three is the NagenPedriatrics project, which is promoted by Nasertic, the Miguel Servet Foundation and the company Avalon Tecnologías. The project aims to carry out advanced genome sequencing in pediatrics. This initiative received a grant for €1.99 million. The LINTERNA Project (Leadership and Innovation in Cancer Immunotherapy in Navarre) will receive €1.76 million and will be developed by the ADItech Foundation, Medibiofarma, the Miguel Servet Foundation, the Foundation for Applied Medical Research and the Universidad de Navarra. Finally, AGATA (Alliance in Advanced Genomics for the Development of Personalized Treatments) was awarded a grant for €1.52 million. The AGATA Project is promoted by the Miguel Servet Foundation, the Universidad de Navarra, Nasertic, Recombina and the Foundation for Applied Medical Research.
Food and artificial intelligence
In the area of personalized nutrition, an €841,529 grant was awarded to the Nutri+ Project: making progress on nutrition for people with special needs. The consortium that promotes this initiative is made up of the Miguel Servet Foundation, the National Center for Food Technology and Safety (CNTA), the Universidad de Navarra, Adacen, Tutti Pasta, Industrias Alimentarias de Navarra, Precocinados Frisa, Cocuus System Ibérica, the ADItech Foundation and SAR Residencial y Asistencial.
In artificial intelligence and robotics, the Government of Navarre aims to use these grants to promote three new initiatives. It awarded €813.349 to the ReInforce Project. This AI platform for predicting cancer toxicity and recurrence is backed by the Fundación I+D+i Automoción y Mecatrónica, the Universidad de Navarra and the companies Datbowmovalsys, Cistec, Eversens and Aldakin. A grant of €704,419 was awarded to the project Artificial Intelligence for Chipless RFID, promoted by the Universidad Pública de Navarra (UPNA), the Fundación I+D+i Automoción y Mecatrónica, and the companies Ulzama Digital, Ulzama Packaging, Embeblue, Innavatic and Gráficas Ulzama. The initiative AIFood was awarded a grant for €804.408 to start up a quality control and food safety monitoring and decision-making platform. In this case, the project was presented by a consortium made up of the UPNA, Association of Industry of Navarre (AIN), CNTA, and the companies Florette, Urzante, Helphone, Das Nano and IAR.
Finally, in the area of emerging disruptive ideas, a grant for €1.74 million was awarded to the Innolfact project, which aims to implement precision nasal medicine and develop nasal treatments with immunomodulators, especially in cases of aging and people with neurodegenerative diseases. The ADItech Foundation, the Miguel Servet Foundation and the Foundation for Applied Medical Research are backing this proposal, along with the Universidad de Navarra and Ojer Pharma Laboratories.
The Emotional Films project and study on applications in teaching, psychology and other fields, with the participation of the ADItech Foundation, was awarded a grant for €1,588,970.
The goal of the 3D3B-AVATAR project is to generate a 3D model of the human blood-brain barrier that reproduces characteristics in terms of structure, function and fluid dynamics in a patient with Alzheimer’s disease. The project was awarded a grant of €1,299,279 and will enjoy the participation of the UPNA, the Fundación I+D+i Automoción y Mecatrónica, the Foundation for Applied Medical Research, the Miguel Servet Foundation, and the companies Hirudi Sistemas 3D, Iruña Tecnologías de Automatización and One Voxel.