European Circular Bioeconomy Fund
The European Circular Bioeconomy Fund (ECBF) provides equity, quasi-equity, and debt funding to SMEs, midcaps, large caps, and special purpose vehicles/entities. The ECBF concept is based on an InnovFin Advisory Study1, and the fund is jointly developed by the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Commission with the aim to fill funding gaps faced by circular bioeconomy projects. Following a public tender, ECBF Management GmbH was selected as fund manager in 2019.
The ECBF aims to raise EUR 250 million to provide access to finance to innovative circular bioeconomy companies and projects of various sizes. The EIB has committed to investing EUR 100 million in the fund backed by a guarantee from InnovFin. The fund was launched in 2020 and is building an investment portfolio with innovative bioeconomy companies.
What is the relevance for Circular Cities?
The ECBF invests in and partners with ambitious and visionary European entrepreneurs to accelerate circular and bio-based industries in Europe. All projects have to commit to Environmental, Social and Governance criteria. In addition, as the fund is a growth stage venture capital fund, it focusses on financing innovation implementation projects (TRL 6 – 7). The investment size ranged from EUR 2.5 – 10 million.
The ECBF focusses on six sectors:
- Blue economy & Fishery
- Agro, Farming and Forestry
- Basic Materials & Chemicals
- Home & Personal Care
Although biomass valorisation is becoming increasingly viable, significant amounts of residual biomass streams are wasted in cities. Projects that implement and demonstrate technologies for the valorisation of bio-waste could be eligible for financial support from the ECBF. Such projects often require collaboration between different private and public organisations in which city authorities can play an important facilitating role.
How to apply?
European Investment Bank. (2017). Access-to-finance conditions for Investments in Bio-Based Industries and the Blue Economy.