The SMEPASS II Project is committed to providing advisory services to selected SMEs in the preparation of project applications for public funding schemes under EU Structural Funds and preparation of tender documentation for secondary procurement of projects of high maturity. The Ministry of Entrepreneurship and Crafts launched the open Call for Project Proposals on 23rd December 2013. The original deadline for submission of Proposals was 21st February 2014. This was later extended to 24th February 2014.
A cycle of work under this activity was completed by the SMEPASS II Project on 24th February 2014. Its purpose was to assure funding of projects in Croatia under the 2007-2013 EU Structural Fund budget cycle.
SMEs that received SMEPASS II Project assistance in applying for funding in the 2007-2013 budgetary period were selected following a Call for Expressions of Interest, launched by the Ministry of Entrepreneurship and Crafts, in May 2013. This Call invited enterprises to apply for assistance in completing application documentation for the subsequent Call for Proposals which was launched in December 2013. In the Call for Expressions of Interest, the Ministry for Entrepreneurship and Crafts sought from the SME community project proposals that accorded with the EU Strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth and that increased the competitiveness of the applicant SME. Equally project proposals needed to be aligned with relevant Croatian strategic documents such as the Regional Competitiveness Operational Programme and/or the Strategy for Tourism Development in Croatia along with other sector specific and county development strategies.
Services that were specified in the May 2013 Call for Expressions of Interest and that the SMEPASS II Project delivered included:
- Review and/or preparation of a Feasibility Study addressing the proposed project including a Cost/Benefit Analysis
- Preparation/revision/update of technical elements and technical documents that form part of the project proposal
- Preparation of related tender documentation/tender specifications/bills of quantities along with documents for secondary procurement
- Preparation of the application documentation
In excess of 200 enterprises responded to the May 2013 Call and of these, 17 eligible enterprises were selected to receive assistance from the Project in the services outlined above. Contracts governing the delivery of this assistance from the SMEPASS II Project were signed between the Ministry of Entrepreneurship and Crafts and the selected SMEs in early November 2013.
All of the work was concluded within the pre-defined deadline (i.e. the closing date for submission of proposals to MINPO). Outcomes were very successful.