Frequently Asked Questions National Testbed Network

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions about the National TestBed Network
Recovery and Resilience Plan | Component 16: Companies 4.0 

PPR support under the National Testbed Network measure is non-reimbursable with a ceiling of approximately 7 million euros per application, subject to the conditions to be set out in the Call for Proposals

This assistance should be granted under the General Block Exemption Regime (GBER Reg UE 651/2014) Innovation Hubs aid category, with a minimum support rate of 50% on eligible expenses, which may be increased under terms to be defined in the Call for Proposals.

The following expenditure typologies are planned to be eligible for PRR support:

  • Digital platform development;
  • Acquisition of equipment and software essential for the Testbed operation;
  • Human resources costs necessary for Test Bed operation and maning;
  • Costs associated with Testbed functioning and operationalization.

The following are not eligible expenses, resulting from the application of the general rules of the PRR:

  • Normal operating costs of the beneficiary, not foreseen in the contracted investment, as well as maintenance and replacement costs, and costs related to periodic or continuous type activities;
  • Investments deriving from obligations arising from concession agreements or contracts with the State or from compliance with legal obligations applicable to the proposed activities;
  • Cash payments, except in situations where this proves to be the most frequent means of payment, depending on the nature of the expenses, and provided that the unit amount is less than 250 euros;
  • Expenses paid within the scope of contracts made through intermediaries or consultants, where the amount to be paid is expressed as a percentage of the amount financed by the RRP or of the project’s eligible expenses;
  • Acquisition of goods in state of use;
  • Value Added Tax (VAT), recoverable or not by the beneficiary;
  • Acquisition of motor vehicles, aircraft and other transport equipment;
  • Interest and financial charges;
  • Working capital.

The program is open to companies of all sizes and legal forms, in the public and private sectors. Applications may be submitted by companies individually or in consortia under the terms to be defined in the Call Notice.

Yes, Testbeds should have a sector and thematic orientation, and this should correspond to its main focus of activity. The fact that the Testbed has a certain sector and thematic focus does not limit its activity in other sectors and/or thematic areas.

The sectors and thematic areas should be aligned with those of the Digital Innovation Hubs, given the complementarity between them.

Below are the respective sectors and thematic areas on which the Test Beds should focus.

Sectoral orientation:
Industry, Agriculture, Construction, Public Administration, Circular Economy, environment and sustainability, Tourism, Culture, Telecommunications, Financial sector, Mobility and logistics, Information Technology, Communication and Electronics, Health and Biotechnology, Energy, Trade and Services, Natural Resources and Extractive Industry, Sea and Fisheries, Forestry, Horizontal or Other, provided that its framework is duly justified within the application.

Thematic orientation:
Artificial Intelligence, Performance Computing, Cybersecurity, Additive Manufacturing, Robotics, Virtual and Augmented Reality, Internet of Things, Data Science and Big Data, Advanced Materials, Nanotechnology, Micro/Nano electronics, Photonics, Simulation, Cyber-physical systems, Blockchain, Mobility, Connectivity, Smart Cities or Other, provided that its framework in the application is duly justified.

A Testbed can develop its activity based on an infrastructure that allows the development of tests and experimentation, whether it is a physical or virtual infrastructure.

The kind of infrastructure is selected by the project promoter, which should depend on the kind of sector and thematic area that it intends to focus on in its Test Bed activity, as well as the testing and experimentation services that it intends to provide to SMEs and startups.

Yes, Testbed can charge a fee for the services it provides to SMEs and startups.

If the service is provided at a price below the market price, the possibility of an additional surcharge on the support fee is being considered, if the promoter can demonstrate that they have transferred that support to the SME benefiting from the Testbed service.

Yes, each Testbed will have to comply with a minimum number of pilot products, and several Testbed categories will be created so that promoters will be able to choose which one their project falls into. These categories may be defined based on criteria of support given by the PRR and minimum number of products.

The minimum number of pilot products stems from the fact that Portugal committed with the European Commission to develop 3,600 pilot products until the 3rd quarter of 2025, as a result of the investment of 150 million Euros in this measure of the National Testbed Network. If this goal is not met a financial penalty will be applied, so it must be ensured that the Testbeds to be funded by the PRR have the capacity to achieve this goal as a whole.

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