InnovFin – Debt instruments

EU Finance for Innovators (InnovFin) was established by the EIB and the European Commission under the Horizon 2020 programme for research and innovation. It provides a range of financial instruments and advisory services by the European Commission and the European Investment Bank Group to help innovative firms in the EU and beyond gain access to finance.

InnovFin offers tailored products that provide financing to support research and innovation by companies (SMEs and large companies) and in support of promoters of research infrastructure. The following InnovFin products offer debt financing possibilities:

  • InnovFin Emerging Innovators external link icon: bridges the research and innovation (R&I) investment gap in so-called “Moderate Innovators” and “Modest Innovators” countries in the European Innovation Scoreboard external link icon. The financing is 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 Science external link icon: aims at supporting R&I investments by public or private research institutes/organisations and universities, including the financing of buildings and other infrastructure directly related to R&I activity. InnovFin Science is made available directly by the EIB in the form of debt or equity-type financing for a minimum amount of EUR 25 million.
  • InnovFin Energy Demonstration Projects external link icon: provides loans, loan guarantees or equity-type financing typically between EUR 7.5 million and EUR 75 million to innovative demonstration projects in the field of energy system transformation.

Eligibility criteria differ per InnovFin product. It is therefore recommended to carefully read the specific information per instrument. In general, the EIB assesses the eligibility of the company and/or the project, technological and economic viability, environmental soundness, as well as the promoter’s financial situation and outlook.

In addition to debt instruments, InnovFin also offers equity external link icon instruments, guarantees external link icon and advisory services external link icon.

What is the relevance for Circular Cities?

This programme does not have a specific sectoral focus, which means that all types of innovative initiatives are eligible, including circular city initiatives. Although cities themselves are not eligible for support from InnovFin’s debt instruments, they can play an important role in connecting companies and research organisations and informing them about these funding opportunities.

How to apply?

Companies, research organisations and universities: you can contact InnovFin via the EIB information desk contact form external link icon. In addition, you can search this list external link icon of financial intermediaries that are currently operating under InnovFin.

Financial institutions: are you a financial institution interested in cooperating with the EIF under InnovFin? Visit this website external link icon for more information.

POST-2020: InnovFin instruments will be included in the InvestEU Fund

The InvestEU Fund will bring under one roof 14 EU financial instruments that currently support investment in the EU. The InvestEU Fund will capture the objectives of existing instruments such as COSME and InnovFin. The larger scale and efficiencies of this single fund will give it a strong brand and will allow for an even further boost of investments.
In addition to the Fund, the new InvestEU programme will also contain an Advisory Hub to provide technical advice on investment projects that require funding, and a Portal that will match projects with potential investors worldwide. Learn more on the InvestEU programme for 2021-2027 external link icon.