Notifications of aid for research, development and innovation pending on 1 January as well as all new notifications received in the reporting year were assessed on the basis of the new Framework23. The Commission approved 48 notified R&D and/or innovation schemes. In addition, it approved four ad hoc aid measures below the threshold triggering a detailed assessment under Chapter 7 of the Framework. The Commission took eight Decisions with a detailed assessment of large amounts of aid to projects under Chapter 7. It authorised a number of projects financed by the French Industrial Innovation Agency . The Commission approved 19 notified schemes under the risk capital guidelines .
Although training aid is covered by a block exemption Regulation26, the Commission is required to assess projects exceeding EUR 1 million. In the GM Antwerp27 case, the Commission found part of the notified State aid incompatible as it would have served to finance training activities which the beneficiary would have carried out anyway, even without aid. In Fiat28 and Club Med Guadeloupe29 the Commission found the aid to be necessary and compatible. In the DHL Leipzig/Halle case30 the Commission initiated the investigation because it had doubts whether DHL would not anyway have to provide the training to its employees.
On 10 October31, the Commission opened the formal investigation procedure with respect to a tax incentive for the acquisition by Spanish companies of significant participations in foreign companies. The tax measure allows Spanish companies to amortise over a 20-year period the goodwill deriving from the acquisition of significant shareholdings in foreign companies, whereas the goodwill arising from domestic acquisitions does not benefit from a similar measure.
Rescue and restructuring (R&R) aid to firms in difficulty may be regarded as legitimate only if strict conditions are fulfilled. During 2007 the Commission applied the amended rules, laid down in the 2004 R&R Guidelines.
In a number of rescue aid cases the Commission again emphasised that such aid is no more than a temporary measure facilitating the preparation of a restructuring plan or the liquidation of the company. Accordingly, in certain cases, the Commission opened the formal procedure because rescue aid had not been repaid within the
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The Commission also authorised German aid to AMD for the conversion and extension of its existing micro-processor wafer plants in Dresden (Case N 810/2006, AMD Dresden). OJ C 323, 30.12.2006, p. 1. Two of the projects concerned R&D aid (“NanoSmart” and “HOMES”) totalling EUR 119 million (Cases N185/2007, OJ C 284, 27.11.2007, p. 3, and N89/2007, OJ C 275, 16.11.2007, p. 3). Other projects approved included: EUR 26.5 million in aid for the NeoVal R&D programme (Case N 674/2006, OJ C 120, 31.5.2007, p. 2); EUR 37.6 million in aid for the “Télévision Mobile Sans Limite” R&D project (Case N 854/2006, OJ C 182, 4.8.2007, p. 5); EUR 31 million aid for the OSIRIS R&D programme (Case N 349/2007, OJ C 304, 15.12.2007, p. 5). OJ C 194, 18.8.2006, pp. 2–22. Commission Regulation (EC) No 68/2001 on the application of Articles 87 and 88 of the EC Treaty to training aid (OJ L 10, 13.1.2001, p. 20). Case C 14/2006, Training aid to General Motors Antwerp (OJ L 243, 18.9.2007, p. 71). Case N 541/2006, Fiat Auto S.p.A. (OJ C 220, 20.9.2007, p. 2). Case N 206/2007, Training aid for Club Med Guadeloupe (OJ C 284, 27.11.2007, p. 5). Case C 18/2007, Training aid for DHL Leipzig (OJ C 213, 12.9.2007, p. 28). OJ C 311/2007, 21.12.2007, p. 21.