The recent decision of the Ministry of Finance and Public Administrations to advance the budget closing of 2016, according to order HAP / 1169/2016, puts at serious risk the call for aid to IEDs (Innovative Business Groups, a term coined by MINETUR for the clusters), which if confirmed will paralyze more than 360 cooperative innovation projects, developed by Spanish clusters.
These projects, now seriously questioned, currently involve more than 2.600 companies, mainly small and medium-sized ones, and more than 180 Technology Centers and Universities. In the last three years, through this program, 569 innovation projects have been co-financed, mobilizing 26.762.390 euros.
The Program of Innovative Business Groups (AEI) of the Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism (MINETUR), launched in 2007, has as its main objective to make possible the execution of the strategic plans of the Spanish clusters, financing collaborative innovation projects, in which the AEIs act as facilitators of innovative practices that allow improving the competitiveness of Spanish companies and their international projection.
At the moment the number of AEIs, whose strategic plan has been classified as excellent and, therefore, registered in the Ministry's registry, amounts to 99. 5.619 companies participate in them, of which 4.708 are SMEs, to which there are to add more than 218 technology and knowledge centers. The total number of employees in the companies that are part of these AEIs exceeds 1.950.000 workers.
The National Federation of Innovative Business Groups and Clusters (Clusters.es) was established in Madrid in March 2009, with the main objective of defending the interests of the clusters and promoting collaboration between them.