State aid: Commission approves €449 million Polish scheme to support research and development, testing and production of coronavirus relevant products

The European Commission has approved a PLN 2 billion (approximately €449 million) Polish scheme to support research and development (R&D) and production of coronavirus relevant products. The scheme was approved under the State aid Temporary Framework adopted by the Commission on 19 March 2020, as amended on 3 April 2020 and 8 May 2020. The public support will be co-financed by the European Structural and Investment Funds. It will take the form of direct grants and repayable advances, and will be open to companies of all sizes operating in all sectors, except the primary agriculture, fishery or aquaculture sectors or credit and financial institutions. The aim of the scheme is to enhance and accelerate the development and the production of products directly relevant to the coronavirus outbreak, including vaccines, hospital and medical equipment, medicinal products and protective equipment. The Commission found that the Polish scheme is in line with the conditions set out in the Temporary Framework. In particular, (i) the aid will cover a significant share of the costs of the eligible R&D and investment projects, and (ii) any result of the research activities will be made available, upon request, to third parties within the European Economic Area, through non-exclusive licences and under market conditions. The Commission concluded that the measure is necessary, appropriate and proportionate to fight the health crisis, in line with Article 107(3)(c) TFEU and the conditions set out in the Temporary Framework. On this basis, the Commission approved the measures under EU State aid rules. More information on the Temporary Framework and other actions taken by the Commission to address the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic can be found here. The non-confidential version of the decision will be made available under the case number SA.57519 in the State aid register on the Commission’s competition website once any confidentiality issues have been resolved.