18 July 2022

Small- and Medium-Sized Enterprises play a role in the R&D- and Innovative development of society. As such, FI Group prides itself in offering guidance when it comes to finding the right R&D grants on a local, regional, national and European level. Focusing on the Walloon region today, Win4Expertise forms a subsidy branch consisting of three expert grants available to SME’s. Read here what they are about, how they are applied and which way we can help you apply. 

Developing the R&D+I of a company in need 

This Walloon aid, generally communicated as “Win4Expertise” is still too little known by many SME’s. However, the three subsidies it covers remain accessible for an SME in its obtaining and in its implementation, whatever its sector of activity. It is mainly presented in the upstream phase of the development of new products and therefore ideally prior to R&D activities of a company. 

Like all grants in the Win4Expertise branch, they aim to solicit specific cutting-edge expertise that is absent from the company.  

Financially, Win4Expertise provides a subsidy of 75% of the cost of subcontracting for R&D and Innovation of an innovative product, software or process. 

This subsidy covers the eligible expenses corresponding to the costs of the services of the external service provider(s) who carry out the mission insofar as these costs do not exceed market prices. 

An overview of the three specific grant expertise  

1.- Win4Expertise: Apply for patenting assistance 

This specific Win4Expertise grant focuses on patents: patent filing assistance covers part of the costs generated by patent applications (fees and taxes) until the patents are granted (including the costs of national validation of the European patent).  

  • The subsidy can represent 15 to 50% of all patent costs (fees and taxes) invoiced by a patent attorney approved by the European Patent Office (EPO) or by the Belgian patent office (OPRI) until the patent(s) are granted.  

2.- Win4Expertise: Benefit from outsourcing for the R&D&I of an innovative product/software/process  

This grant allows SME’s to use an external public body – approved collective research center, public research body, university or high school research unit – for the performance of technical services (analysis, measurements, tests, etc.) as part of a process of support, advice and support for innovation ideally prior to R&D activities within the company.  

  • The subsidy is a financial aid that covers 75% of the cost of the subcontracting.  

3.- Win4Expertise: Strategic Marketing Advice  

A grant for Walloon SME’s that allows them, when it comes to internal development, to use external advice in order to:  

  • Know the commercial potential of an innovative product or process;  
  • Check the interest aroused by an innovation;  
  • Assess potential demand;  
  • Position the product in relation to the competition;  
  • Assess the level of the selling price;  
  • Study compliance with the regulations in force in the target countries;  
  • Study the possibilities of protecting innovation;  
  • Strategically develop business development and/or communication development.  

This subsidy also makes it possible, when it comes to the acquisition of a new foreign technology, to have recourse to outside advice with a view to preparing a transfer of technology. These can relate to:  

  • Technology assessment;  
  • Market positioning (benchmarking);  
  • Estimation of the potential for recovery by the company;  
  • The definition of the company’s strategic challenges;  
  • Identification of training needs;  
  • Legal assistance for contract negotiation. 

Funding ceiling is limited to 200,000 euros over 3 calendar years per company.  

What can FI Group do for you? 

Finding your way through the Walloon grants landscape and finding the right funding opportunity can be tasking. Before anything else, FI Group consultants will analyse your project to have a better understanding of your reality. Based on this, we identify subsidy opportunities, define and map project ideas and match realistic subsidy programs to your activities. We have a dedicated subsidy team supporting SME’s and big companies with applying, obtaining, and retaining grants, on a local, regional, national, and European level.  
After meeting up with an FI Group consultant, who will analyse your company and project(plan) and map out the possible grant opportunities, we look to see if this is a perfect match.  

To apply for a grant requires you to do your research and assess whether your project matches the criteria and focus areas to be eligible. Our FI Group consultants have a well-rounded approach with the intent of supporting you during these first assessment steps. t steps. We create an overview of grants fit with your business.  

FI Group follows this up by the following steps: 

  1. Preparing the necessary data  
  2. Legal assistance for contract negotiation. 
  3. Awaiting approval  
  4. Successfully implementing the (project) plan  
  5. Reporting  
  6.  Closing

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

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