State Aid

What is State Aid?

State Aid is a tax-funded resource that provides assistance to one or more organisations in a way that gives an advantage over others. Some state aid is beneficial to the economy and supports growth and other policy objectives. State aid can be given to support a wide variety of activities including research and development, environmental protection and aid for small to medium-sized businesses. The UK supports the need for effective state aid rules to prevent distortion of competition and to create an open and competitive market in the EU on which UK firms can fairly compete and grow.

State aid can apply to the following:

* Grants

* Loans

* Tax breaks

* The use or sale of a state asset for free (or at less than market price).

What does this mean for businesses?

Assistance that is offered to organisations is given under the European Commission’s State Aid Regulations. This allows a company to receive up to €200,000 of De Minimis state aid and/or Innovation Aid under GBER over a rolling three-year period. It is useful for companies to be aware of the full amount of State Aid they are receiving at present/have received over the last 3 years, to make sure they do not exceed the €200,000 threshold. The following list gives a few examples of the possible forms of aid a business may have received:

* Grants from public bodies

* Loans from public bodies at favourable rates

* Loan guarantees from public bodies

* Differential tax benefits

* Grants from an investment trust (including charities) which may themselves have received the funds from a public body

* Grants from a part publicly funded venture capital fund

* Publicly administered funds, even if the funds were originally not public such as the national lottery

* Waiving or deferral of fees or interest normally due to a public body such as the waiving or deferral of rent or waiver of interest normally due on late payment of taxation or other costs to a public body

* Monopoly licences or guarantees of market share

* Advertising via a public channel such as a tourist board or state owned television

* Consultancy advice provided either free or at a reduced rate

* Training provided either free or at a reduced rate

* Aid for investment in environmental projects

* Provision of a free or reduced rate feasibility study for research and development or other assistance with research and development

* Purchase of public land or property at a less than market rate

* Benefiting from the provision of infrastructure where your organisation was pre-identified as a beneficiary

Enabling Innovation state aid calculations

Rates for each of our Enabling Innovation activities have been calculated as follows:

Consultancy:    £750 per day

Breakfast/Dissemination Event:    £50 per hour

Growth Programme:    £4000 for the whole programme

Placements:    £2000 per placement

Technical Support:    £450 per day

Meeting:    £50 per hour

Workshop:    £350 per day

If you have any queries about the value of our activities, please contact Steve Upcraft on

For more information regarding State Aid, please see the government guidance on state aid here: