Kick off Meeting in Wien, 18-19 March 20107 2010

The OSAIS background lies on the fact that in several EU countries, there is an open debate on the efficiency of the subsidy policies towards SMEs growth. Each public authority should know the exact amount of the aid granted and, at the same time, be able to observe the impact on the area of the regional subsidy policy. It is even more important since the present economic crisis calls for evaluation of policies supporting the SMEs sector to be implemented in 2009/2010 by local authorities.

The OSAIS project goes towards an effective improvement of the regional/local policy in the domain of state aid. First, partners have started an analysis of the macroeconomic impact of the regional subsidy policy in terms of effectiveness. In parallel, they are also trying to identify the best practices among the different financial tools available (e.g. grants, guarantees, capital injections, accelerated depreciation allowances, etc.). Both aspects will be taken into consideration to evaluate long and short-term policy to face the current economic crisis.

To facilitate the exchange of experience, a series of joint thematic seminars are being organised, during which partners collect data. The creation of this database should later allow further networking and serve as an input for a joint thematic survey, which will involve institutions, universities and stakeholders. The best practices identified will also be exchanged among the partners through study visits and a joint interregional training session. Furthermore, the project intends to reflect on the development of a new approach to subsidy policies, conclusions will be compiled in an OSAIS guide. Finally, action plans will be developed by some partners with detailed specific aid schemes focusing on the most efficient way to support the SME system. These action plans will be submitted to the relevant regional legislative/executive bodies together with the best practice guide.OSAIS Partners come from 11 European regions (University Enterprise Training Partnership Region of Murcia (ES), Larnaca District Development Agency (CY), ADETIM - Economic and Social Development Agency of Timiş County (RO), Lisbon and Tagus Valley Region (PT), Bautzen Innovation Centre (DE), Municipality of Heraklion (EL), Regional Development Agency of Trenčín Self-Governing Region (SK), Opolskie Region (PL), Lower Austrian Government, Dept. Economic Affairs, Tourism and Technology (AT), Champagne-Ardenne Region (FR))