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The Malta National Coordination Centre (NCC) and the Malta Information Technology Agency (MITA) have created the CYBER+ALT Grant Scheme to assist small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) with improving their resiliency. This initiative provides financial support for adopting advanced cybersecurity solutions. In line with our commitment to help companies become more secure, we drafted this article to provide an overview of the guidelines and how to get started.

The goal is to help SMEs overcome financial barriers and promote a safer digital ecosystem. Eligible SMEs can receive financial aid for investing in cybersecurity solutions. The grant scheme can finance up to 80% of initial investments, with a maximum grant of €60,000 per project. The aim is to deploy effective cybersecurity solutions across the Maltese economy — an initiative that aligns perfectly with the Digital Europe work programme 2021-2022 to develop a robust competence community and with our vision to make companies safer online.

Duration, Budget and Compliance

The CYBER+ALT Grant Scheme will provide up to €2,000,000 to support eligible SMEs in investing in cybersecurity. It is open for SMEs to apply on a rolling basis until December 29th, 2023 (or until the funds run out). To be considered for evaluation, an application must meet gateway criteria and focus on at least one of the five following areas:

  1. Threat Detection and Response
  2. Vulnerability Management Solutions
  3. Identity and Access Management
  4. End-to-End Data Protection
  5. Enhanced Cloud-Based Platform Security

ICT Solutions offers these areas as Managed Security, Managed Cloud and Managed Secure Network services. And if you’re interested, you can also hit all of the above with one managed service. For more information, you can set up a consultation meeting with one of our certified experts. Grants are awarded based on selection criteria and given on a first-come, first-served basis, subject to budget availability. Furthermore, evidence of private financing for the project is required.

To be eligible, recipients must follow the implementation guidelines while complying with policies on de minimis aid and cumulation of aid.

Eligibility, Assessment and Selection

The gateway criteria are based on excellence, quality, and coherence. Project excellence assesses its relevance, objectives, and alignment with national strategies. Impact and sustainability examine cybersecurity status, future growth, and economic viability. Project risk assessment includes proposed duration, implementation plan, and mitigation strategies.

Upon meeting gateway criteria, applications will be evaluated based on project excellence (45 marks), impact & sustainability (30 marks) and project risk assessment (25 marks), with a minimum overall score of 50% required to receive the grant. Undertakings must seek advice and comply with State Aid rules. As this is a limited call, we recommend acting now if this is an area of interest for you and your business.

Application Process and Implementation

The application should include investment details, start dates, end dates, location and public funding needs. It should also include the name and size of the organisation. Once confirmed, the system generates a unique reference number for the project and sends an acknowledgement email. Projects seeking funding should submit a budget breakdown between €20,000 and €60,000, where they can get up to 80% financing. The grant scheme amount depends on the de minimis state aid received in the past three fiscal years. Some expenses, like maintenance, shipping, and insurance, are not eligible for funding. Applications must be operational by September 30th 2024.

Beneficiaries must obtain licenses, submit reimbursement requests and provide the necessary documentation. Additionally, they must cover all associated expenses. The NCC can approve extension requests, but it is not guaranteed.

Companies with outstanding obligations from European-funded aid schemes may still apply. However, agreements will only be entered into if all debts are fulfilled within six months of selection. The grant scheme is awarded based on the terms and conditions set by the European Union and the Commission Regulation (EU) No 1407/2013, which was amended by Commission Regulation (EU) 2020/972.

Next Steps and How We Can Help You

ICT Solutions has been crucial in supporting small and medium-sized businesses in becoming more resilient. Our cybersecurity solutions help clients stay safe from cyberattacks. This case study is a perfect example. With the CYBER+ALT Grant Scheme, ICT Solutions can help you obtain financial support of up to 80% of the initial investment and a maximum of €60,000 per project. If you get the funding, you can have the peace of mind that you are working with best-of-breed cybersecurity solutions and you are working with a trusted partner that has your back.

This grant scheme is also suitable for companies that must be compliant with the DORA regulation, fast-tracking key initiatives for digital resilience before the mad rush to be compliant towards the end of 2024.

We are ready to assist companies with submission in terms of planning, budgeting and timelines of application components in line with the grant scheme requirements. If you want to take advantage of the CYBER+ALT, add ICT into the equation to increase the likelihood of SUCCESS. Get in touch so we can get the ball rolling as quickly as possible!

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