What are the instruments for risk financing

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The political goal of achieving greater competitiveness through research and innovation all too often fails due to a lack of funding or a lack of willingness to finance projects with economic and technical risks. This gap between research, development and innovations is to be closed and the market entry of new and improved products and services promoted. Therefore, the "Access to Risk Finance" division aims to remedy the respective market deficits.

This program area of ​​Horizon 2020 consists of two so-called financial facilities, i.e. budgets for certain instruments:

Credit facility

The objective of the R&I Credit Facility can be summarized as follows: "European Research and Innovation Loans and Guarantees" provide easier access to loans, guarantees, counter-guarantees and other types of credit and risk financing for individual legal entities, such as:

  • Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with the potential to innovate and expand rapidly
  • Medium-sized and large companies
  • Universities and research institutes
  • Research and innovation infrastructures
  • public-private partnerships as well
  • Special purpose vehicles or projects.

The credit facility has the following two components:

  • Demand-oriented funding: Loans and guarantees are granted in the order in which applications are received. Particular attention is paid to SMEs and in particular to those that are in phase 3 of the SME instrument.
  • Targeted funding: Focus on the strategies and key sectors that are important for overcoming societal challenges, strengthening industrial leadership and competitiveness, and pursuing other objectives of Horizon 2020.

Equity Facility

The Venture Capital Facility for R&I: "European funding through venture capital to finance research and innovation" supports early-stage and growth-stage investments by innovative companies of all sizes, especially innovative SMEs and medium-sized companies. The provision of equity capital extends from founding to growth and expansion. This is also intended to promote the development of the risk capital market in the EU in general.

The venture capital facility, which is primarily demand-driven, is based on a portfolio concept. Venture capital funds and other comparable intermediaries such as development banks select the companies in question. The companies can of course also force a presentation at the relevant funds and contact points.

  • The Foundation part, which supports the start-up and early stages of companies, targets the organizations for knowledge transfer, business angel co-investment tools, intellectual property rights, platforms for trading in intellectual property rights and the formation of venture capital funds from.
  • The facility offers im Growth part also the possibility for investments in the expansion and growth phase of companies. In order to guarantee continuous support from the foundation to the expansion of the company.

In risk finance, complementarity will be ensured between Horizon 2020 and the Enterprise and SME Competitiveness Program (COSME). The very flexible instrument also provides for close interfaces with the third phase of the SME instrument of Horizon 2020. The facilities are managed by the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Investment Fund (EIF).