"InnovFin – EU Finance for Innovators" is a joint initiative launched by the European Investment Bank Group (EIB and EIF) in cooperation with the European Commission under Horizon 2020. InnovFin aims to facilitate and accelerate access to finance for innovative businesses and other innovative entities in Europe.
InnovFin financing tools cover a wide range of loans, guarantees and equity-type funding, which can be tailored to innovators’ needs. Financing is either provided directly or via a financial intermediary, most usually a bank or a fund.
InnovFin is available across all eligible sectors in EU Member States and Associated Countries, under the EU Research and Innovation programme Horizon 2020.
With InnovFin – EU Finance for Innovators, the EIB Group (the European Investment Bank and the European Investment Fund) can provide financing starting at EUR 25 000 for investments in research and innovation (R&I) to companies and other entities of all sizes and age.
InnovFin Equity provides equity investments and co-investments to or alongside funds focusing on early stage financing of enterprises operating in innovative sectors covered by Horizon 2020, located or active in the EU or Horizon 2020 Associated Countries. In this way, InnovFin Equity supports micro, small or medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and social enterprises which play a crucial role in promoting innovation and the creation of growth and employment but which face difficulties in accessing finance.
Innovative sectors covered by Horizon 2020 include:
- Medical technologies
- Green technologies
as well as areas addressing societal challenges such as:
- resource efficiency
- bio economy
- health and demographics
- climate change
InnovFin Equity is available via four products:
- InnovFin Technology Transfer
- InnovFin Business Angels
- InnovFin Venture Capital
- InnovFin Fund-of-Funds
The INNOVFIN GUARANTEE Program offers three types of financing to choose the one that best suits company’s needs:
- Long-term financing of investment plans for the acquisition and / or creation of fixed assets
- Short-term financing to meet the needs related to the business /
- Medium-term financing of capital for the development and expansion of business activity.
The duration of the loan depends on the funding that each company will choose. The amount of funding ranges from € 25,000 to € 7,500,000.
Investment loan, from 12 to 120 months
- Capital for developmental purposes, from 12 to 72 months
- Operating capital payable at maturity, from 12 to 36 months
- Revolving working capital (overdraft), with a maximum total maturity of 3 years.
The European Investment Fund provides a guarantee of up to 10 years
InnovFin Emerging Innovators bridges the research and innovation (R&I) investment gap in EU Member States which are labeled as Moderate Innovators and Modest Innovators in the European Innovation Scoreboard and Horizon 2020 Associated Countries.
The InnovFin Emerging Innovators improves availability of risk finance for fast-growing or R&I-driven enterprises, R&I infrastructures, innovation-enabling infrastructures and other entities.
The funding is being made available by the European Investment Bank or through a financial intermediary via loans and equity-type financing starting at EUR 7.5 million.
InnovFin Emerging Innovators is targeted towards small and medium-sized entreprises or mid-caps (less than 3 000 employees) which are fast-growing and/or innovation-driven.
To be considered as innovative under InnovFin Emerging Innovators, companies must comply with at least one of the following statements:
- Intention to use the EIB financing to invest in producing or developing products, processes and/or services that are innovative and where the business plan indicates a risk of technological or industrial failure, or a business risk
- The company’s registered office is in a science, technology or innovation park, technology cluster or technology incubator, in each case with activities relating to R&I
- The company has benefited from tax credit or tax exemption related to R&I investment in the last 24 months
For fast-growing companies with high turnover or employment rate
- Average annualised growth in turnover greater than 10% a year, over a three-year period
- Average annualised growth in full-time employees of at least 5% a year, over a three-year period (with one hundred or more employees at the beginning of the observation period)
For innovation-driven companies or companies with significant innovation potential
- R&I expenses/investment that are at least equal to 5% of its annual turnover
- The company undertakes to spend an amount at least equal to 80% of the EIB financing on R&I expenses/investment in the next 36 months as indicated in its business plan
- It has been formally awarded grants, loans or guarantees from European R&I support schemes (e.g. Horizon 2020 or FP7) or through their funding instruments (e.g. Joint Technology Initiatives, “Eurostars”) or through a national or regional research or innovation support scheme over the last 36 months
- It has been awarded an innovation prize over the last 24 months
- It has registered at least one patent in the last 24 months
- It has received an investment from a private-equity fund or from a business angel that is a member of a business angel network; or such a private equity fund or business angel is a shareholder of the company at the time of its application for the EIB loan
Innovative product / production process
The enterprise is a small or medium sized enterprise (SME) or small midcap enterprise that intends to make use of Bank financing for the purpose of investing in production - development - implementation of new or substantially improved
- products, processes or services , or
- delivery or production methods; or
- organizational innovation or process innovations, including innovative business models and where there is a risk of technological, industrial or business failure based on the assessment of an external expert.
Research and innovation expenditure of at least 5% of total operational expenditure
The enterprise operates on a specific market for less than 7 years from its first sale and research and innovation costs account for at least 5% of its total operating costs in at least one of the three years preceding the application for funding; or In the case of a start-up company without any financial history in accordance with its current financial statements.
Annual research and innovation costs of 20% or more of the funding
The enterprise's annual R & I expenditure, according to its latest financial statements, is equal to or more than 20% of the funding, provided that its business plan provides for an increase in research and development expenditure Innovation at least equal to the amount of funding.
Total funding for research and innovation expenditure
The enterprise undertakes to spend an amount that is at least equal to 80% of the funding, for research and innovation activities, and the remainder in expenditure necessary to enable these activities to be carried out.
Research and innovation costs of at least 10% of operating costs
The R & I expenditure of the enterprise represents at least 10% of its total operating costs in at least one of the three years preceding the application for funding or in the case of an enterprise without a financial background based on the current financial statements.
Research and innovation costs of at least 15% of operating costs
The enterprise is a small midcap company and its R & I expenditure represents at least 15% of its total operating costs in at least one of the three years preceding the application for funding.
Research and innovation costs of at least 10% of annual operating costs
The enterprise is a small midcap company and its R & I expenditure represents at least 10% per year of its total operating costs over the 3 years preceding the application for funding.
Implementation of research and innovation expenditure through competent organizations
The enterprise has spent research and innovation (R & I) expenditure recognized over the last 36 months by competent national or regional bodies or institutions as part of general support measures approved by the European Commission and designed to motivate companies to Invest in research and development, provided that:
- these institutions or institutions are independent of the Bank and the enterprise
- the financing covers incrementally increasing costs as imputed to the entrepreneur As business plan and
- it does not cover the same eligible expenditure already funded by the measures
The enterprise is a "fast growing business", operating on a specific market for less than 12 years, from its first commercial sale, with an average annual inherent growth in turnover or employees, more than 20% per annum for a period of 3 years, and with at least 10 employees at the beginning of the observation period.
It has been funded by European R & I support schemes
Grants, loans or guarantees from the European research and innovation support systems (eg Horizon 2020 or FP7) or the financial instruments of the latter (eg Joint Technology Initiatives or Eurostars) or through regional, national support systems for research or innovation have been officially awarded to the enterprise, over the past 36 months, provided that funding does not cover the same expenditure.
It has received a prize for research and development and innovation
For the past 24 months, the enterprise has been awarded an R & D or Innovation Award by an EU institution or body.
The company has patented technology right
The enterprise has patented at least one technological right (such as patents, utility models, design right or topography for semiconductor products, supplementary protection certificates for medical products or other products for which supplementary protection certificates, plant health certificates or software copyrights are provided) over the last 24 months and the purpose of the funding is to allow direct or indirect use of this technology right.
Venture capital companies have invested in the company
The enterprise is a small or small enterprise at its initial stage and has received over the last 24 months an investment from a venture capital investor or business angel, a member of a business angel network, or a business investor Capital or business angel, a business angel network is a shareholder of the business at the time of applying for funding.
Sign in a new product or enter a new geographic market
The enterprise aims to invest a financial risk that, based on its business plan for the introduction of a new product or its entry into a new geographic market, is higher than 50% of its average annual turnover over the previous 5 years.
The business is characterized as innovative
The enterprise has been designated as an innovative company by the EU or by a national or regional body or institution over the previous 36 months, provided that, in any case, (I) the designation is based on publicly available criteria, where the following criteria:
• are not restricted or favor a particular industry / industry; and
• reflect at least one of the Ineligibility Eligibility Criteria other than the criterion referred to prize for research and development and innovation, or reflect the substance of at least one of these criteria, without being less stringent and
(Ii) the institution or institution is independent of the Bank and the enterprise; and
(Iii) financing covers incrementally increasing costs, as reflected in the business plan of the enterprise