The signing of contracts for the financing of R&D and industrial innovation projects, as well as State/Cluster program contracts, took place on Friday, December 22, 2023, in Rabat. During this ceremony, the State, the CGEM, project leaders, and the presidents of the selected clusters signed the contracts in the presence of Ryad Mezzour, Minister of Industry and Commerce, and Chakib Alj, President of the General Confederation of Moroccan Enterprises (CGEM)

These financing contracts cover 44 R&D and industrial innovation projects, as well as 5 State/Cluster program contracts. They are part of the industrial innovation support program funded through the Innovation Support Fund (FSI), aimed at supporting industrial projects and technological areas related to the industry, especially future professions

Ryad Mezzour emphasized the quality and potential of clusters and project leaders in R&D and industrial innovation, stressing that 'innovation and R&D are essential levers to strengthen the industrial sovereignty of our country.' The signing of these contracts will further consolidate our national innovation ecosystem, accelerate the improvement of products manufactured in Morocco, enhance local integration, and ensure the technological development of the national industry, following the enlightened guidance of His Majesty the King, may God assist him.

On his part, Chakib Alj, President of the CGEM, stated: 'Today, we gather to mark a new stage in the life of this program, a significant turning point in the structural transformation of our industry.' In 2023, a pilot year, more than a hundred proposals were evaluated, and over 58 projects were initiated, supporting a total investment of nearly 315 million dirhams, with an allocation of over 138 million dirhams for innovation premiums.

These 44 projects constitute the second batch selected following the call for proposals of this program, launched by the Ministry of Industry and Commerce and the CGEM. The total cost of these projects is 273 million dirhams, with an innovation premium granted by the State through the FSI of approximately 114 million dirhams. It is worth noting that the first batch included 14 projects whose financing contracts were signed in July 2023, with a total cost of approximately 50 million dirhams, of which 28 million were granted by the State.

The new selected projects are carried out by 24 industrial companies, including 6 large enterprises, 12 SMEs, and 6 industrial startups. They span various sectors such as agri-food industry, textile/tanning and washing, electrical/electronic/energy, metallurgy, materials, aerospace, railway, medical device industry combined with artificial intelligence, chemistry and petrochemicals, and water treatment/recycling.

As for the 5 State/Cluster program contracts signed today, they cover various sectors such as the railway industry, green hydrogen, industrial valorization of natural and agricultural resources, electronics, mechatronics and mechanics, and the agri-food industry, aquaculture, and the valorization of marine products and by-products. These clusters are MTI (Morocco TraIndustry), GREEN H2 MAROC (Green Hydrogen), COER (Oum Er-rbia Agro-Industrial Cluster), CE3M (Electronics, Mechatronics, and Mechanics), and AHP (Agadir Haliopole).

These clusters were selected after the call for proposals launched by the Ministry of Industry and Commerce (MIC) for the year 2023, within the framework of the program to support the creation of Moroccan clusters in industrial and technological sectors. The goal is to promote the emergence of collaborative projects that are innovative and have high added value in research and development (R&D).

It is worth noting that a budget of approximately 160 million dirhams has been allocated by the State to the clusters for the period 2022-2028. The total grant awarded to operational clusters since the beginning of the program is around 142 million dirhams.

Article source: mcinet