Innovation and Employment Grant
Through its Innovation and Employment Grant, waff supports small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Vienna to implement innovation projects.
Attention: On December 13, 2023, the European Commission adopted the new De Minimis Regulation. It has been in effect since January 1, 2024, and applies directly in every member state of the EU.
Key changes include: the new total amount of De Minimis aid granted by a single member state to a single company must not exceed €300,000 within a period of 3 years. The term “a single company” concerning an “economically active entity” is clarified in Regulation Article 2, Paragraph 2.
Funding is provided for the following costs when the project is implemented:
- Personnel costs of innovation assistants
- Innovation-related further training costs
- Consultancy costs if required
Who can receive the grant?
Grants can only be awarded to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Vienna that have been successfully carrying out their business activities for at least 12 months.
The following are excluded from receiving financial support:
- local authorities, municipal associations and public bodies
- political parties
- non-profit organizations
- radical associations
What does the grant cover?
Personnel costs of innovation assistants, further training costs of employees and, if required, consultancy costs are covered when the following innovation projects are implemented:
- innovations in the field of workplace design and working relationships that aim to maintain and restore the ability to work
- innovations that aim to prevent various forms of possible discrimination against employees within the company, in particular related to gender mainstreaming, diversity, etc.
- innovations that aim to involve less educated and educationally disadvantaged employees within the company in in-house training programmes
- product innovations (tangible and intangible products), process innovations and market development for innovative products developed by the company or for transfer of expertise
The grant does not cover projects that:
- are related to the operational implementation of legal regulations (e.g. occupational health and safety)
- are designed to develop the market for the sale of goods or standard products
- are likely to restrict the legally defined participation rights of employees
Requirements for innovation assistants
Innovation assistants are required to be in paid employment that is subject to full compulsory social insurance – with the exception of “quasi-freelancers” (freie Dienstnehmer) in accordance with the General Social Insurance Act (ASVG) – and to work in Vienna. They may be employees of the company or newly recruited members of staff.
Please note that, in the case of product/process innovations and market development for innovative products developed by the company or for transfer of expertise, the innovation assistants must be newly recruited. They may not commence employment until the application has been made and the grant application received by waff.
How much does the grant cover?
Grant for personnel costs
The personnel costs grant covers 50% of the gross pay (excluding allowances, bonuses, etc.) of each innovation assistant, up to a total maximum of €47,000.
If the targeted recruitment of an innovation assistant and other appropriate measures result in equal opportunities for women and men being strengthened within the company, a bonus of up to €5,000 may also be awarded.
Grant for further education costs
The grant for further education costs covers 50% of the costs of further education programmes provided by external training institutes and trainers, up to a maximum of €7,300.
Grant for consultancy costs
50% of the consultancy costs are covered, up to a maximum of €4,700.
Maximum funding period
Grants for innovation projects can be awarded over a maximum period of 12 months.
Requirements for the grant
- You are implementing an innovation project at premises in Vienna.
- In the case of product/process innovations and market development for innovative products developed by the company or for transfer of expertise, the innovation assistants must be newly recruited.
- The innovation project creates a need for further training programmes for innovation assistants or other employees. The further training courses must begin and end within the funding period.
- The EU competition law regulations apply, de minimis regulations in the currently applicable version.
When can applications be submitted?
The current submission deadline is from January 22, 2024, to February 29, 2024.
Please note that:
- applications can only be submitted during the submission period
- the innovation assistant cannot be recruited or start work until the application has been made (i.e. the date on which waff receives the grant application)
How to apply for your grant
What happens after the submission deadline?
The application documents submitted undergo a comprehensive assessment process and are then referred to the waff management board for a decision. You will subsequently receive written notification from us.