Under ‘Access to Risk Finance‘, Horizon 2020 helps companies and other types of organisation engaged in research and innovation (R&I) to gain easier access to debt and equity finance. The ‘InnovFin‘ product range consists of a suite of tailored financial instruments complemented by a set of accompanying measures.
The priorities for the period 2018-2020 are to continue the financial instruments and accompanying measures (including InnovFin Advisory) launched in 2014-2015, and maintain a strong focus on SMEs and small, medium and large midcaps. The current range of accompanying measures will be reviewed in the course of 2018, and new ones may be launched in 2019. Horizon 2020’s financial instruments will operate in conjunction with those of COSME and in complementarity with ESIF financial instruments delivered under shared management, and instruments at national and regional levels. In addition, strong synergies will continue with the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI). Through frontloading and top-ups, EFSI has helped InnovFin meet the high demand by SMEs and small midcaps for access to risk finance.
Debt and equity facilities are run in a demand-driven manner, though the priorities of particular sectors or of other EU programmes are targeted when top-up funding is made available, including funds from managing authorities wishing to invest part of their European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) programme contribution. Firms and other entities located in the EU or in non-EU countries associated with Horizon 2020 are eligible as beneficiaries unless otherwise specified.
The European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Investment Fund (EIF) are the entrusted entities that implement each financial instrument facility on behalf of and in partnership with the European Commission. For EIF in particular, this role includes conducting calls for expressions of interest for selecting the financial intermediaries when supporting medium and large midcaps. Preliminary discussions with other financial institutions of comparable stature are underway, and in future one or more may join EIB and EIF in running facilities for the European Commission.