Financing and Innovation
The European Investment Bank
The role of the European Investment Bank (EIB), an autonomous EU institution, is to finance investment projects contributing to the balanced development of the Union. The EIB offers:
1. Loans for SMEs through an Intermediary (Global Loans)
2. Direct Loans (also known as Individual Loans)
3. Structured Finance Facility (SFF)
4. Venture Capital
In 2000, the European Investment Bank (EIB) launched its Innovation 2010 Initiative (i2i) to further the Lisbon EU Summits' guidelines for developing a knowledge-based economy driven by innovation. This initiative focuseson sectors whose high technological value that could have a great impact on the economy. It makes finance available for R&D; and the diffusion of innovation, as well as venture capital for high-tech SMEs through a combination of loans and equity investment in venture capital funds through the European Investment Fund (EIF).
The European Investment Fund (EIF)
The European Investment Fund (EIF) is the EU specialised vehicle providing venture capital and guarantee instruments for the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). The EIF's primary task consists of enhancing the competitive strength of small enterprises, developing venture capital know-how, fostering innovation and technology, promoting growth, high quality jobs and balanced regional development while generating economic returns. EIF gives priority to early stage funds, that are, amongst others, funds that focus on specific industries and technologies (such as biotechnology, nanotechnology or enabling technologies).