Subsidies are not the answer…

In France, the government grants subsidies to certain companies or projects. Sometimes these are technically implausible projects (for aviation, I have a long list 🙄), sometimes, fortunately, they are real projects.
In 2021, our company Electravia / E-Props has been chosen to receive a subsidy for the building and layout of its new plant.
In 2023, the plant is completed and fitted out – we are very proud !
An exceptional production tool, with numerous production facilities and machines designed by Electravia’s engineers.
Production capacity: 75,000 carbon propeller blades per year.

After submitting the final application, the contract manager, called “Bpifrance”, refused to pay 32% of the promise subsidy.
According to Bpifrance, we should have bought our production machines, for example in Germany or China, instead of designing and manufacturing them ourselves. They say that staff costs are not eligible (of course it is not written in the contract).

It made us angry, so we made this video :

Electravia’s experience with BPIfrance, manager of the Plan France Relance: what’s the story ?
Also visit of the new plant

Designing and manufacturing our production machines means :

  • acquiring and developing cutting-edge skills in robotics and CNC machines
  • facilitate maintenance
  • avoid dependence on foreign companies
  • tipping the balance of trade in France’s favor

Bpifrance agrees to finance 20% of a production machine purchased in Germany or China.
But would it refuse to take into account 20% of the salaries of French engineers and the purchase of components for machines made in France ?
It’s completely counter-productive !
And nothing in the texts applicable to Electravia’s subsidy contract justifies this approach.

The company’s managers spent 10 months trying to convince Bpifrance officials to visit the plant, to prove that the team’s achievements are real, of very high quality, and just as deserving of subsidy.
So far, to no avail…

We think that the solution is not to give subsidies, but to lower charges and taxes. In this way, there would be no attempt by government to intervene in corporate strategy by subsidizing certain expenses and not others.

Up until now, Electravia had developed its business on its own resources. For the new plant, we tried this subsidy experiment. But it doesn’t make us want to do it again ! 😡

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