25 April 2024

Financial support for innovation, research and environmental protection are key drivers of today’s transformations. To encourage companies to invest in these strategic areas, local governments and the European Commission provide funding in various forms, including subsidies. In Wallonia, the Service Public Wallon Recherche (SPW Recherche) is the authority responsible for research and innovation, offering several support programmes, some of which are outlined below: 

Grants for research and development 

  • Win4Company: This programme aims to finance industrial research or experimental development projects. It supports the acquisition of new knowledge to develop new products, processes or services, or improve existing ones. Funding can take the form of a repayable advance covering up to 70% of eligible expenditure. 
  • Win4Expertise: Offers financial support for outsourcing technical services to public bodies. Companies can receive a grant covering up to 75% of outsourcing costs for research and innovation. 
  • AMURE: The programme subsidises an energy audit or pre-feasibility study to assess the relevance of an investment or to draw up an overall plan to improve your company’s energy efficiency. The intervention rate varies from 50 to 100% depending on the type of company or business representative body. As part of Energy checks, the intervention rate is 75%. 

Investment allowance

SPW Recherche also offers investment allowances to promote sustainable economic development: 

  • Classic investment: Covers new economic activities, the creation or extension of establishments. Subsidy rates vary according to various criteria and can be as high as 20%. 
  • Sustainable energy use (SEU): Supports investment plans aimed at reducing energy consumption and developing renewable energies. Subsidy rates vary between 20% and 40%. 
  • Sustainable use of energy and/or environmental protection: Helps companies repair or prevent damage to the natural environment and exceed current environmental standards. Grant rates vary between 10% and 40% and may be increased under certain conditions, particularly if investments are made in development areas. 

Subsidy rates vary according to different criteria and can be as high as 70% for certain programmes. Eligible companies must comply with the conditions specific to each programme and provide the necessary documents when applying for funding. 

The difference between an investment allowance and a grant 

In short, an investment allowance is financial aid granted to encourage companies to make specific investments, whereas a grant is non-repayable aid intended to support specific projects in various fields such as research, innovation or environmental protection. 

  • Unlike a grant, an investment allowance is generally paid in a single instalment or in several instalments depending on the progress of the project. It may be subject to specific conditions, such as job creation, investment in priority sectors, or contribution to the ecological transition. 
  • Investment grants can take different forms, such as tax incentives, investment cost rebates or direct payments. 

A grant is non-repayable financial assistance awarded by a public or private authority to support specific projects, such as research and development, innovation, training or environmental protection. 

  • Unlike an investment allowance, a subsidy is generally intended to cover part of the costs of a specific project. It is awarded on the basis of predefined criteria, such as the quality of the project, its economic or social impact, or its contribution to political or strategic objectives. 
  • Grants can be used to finance a wide variety of expenses, such as staff salaries, running costs, the purchase of equipment, or subcontracting costs. 

FI Group has 20 years of experience and wants to support you in understanding and intercepting the available R&D+I opportunities. Our experts are at your disposal to analyse your project and to take the next steps together with you.   

Yvette Poumpalova 

Chaïmaa Atif

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