InnovFin – Equity 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 equity financing possibilities:

  • InnovFin Technology Transfer (InnovFin TT) external link icon : supports technology transfer projects or technology rights, through commercial demonstration and commercialisation, by targeting investments into technology transfer funds operating in the pre-seed (including proof of concept) and seed stages.
  • InnovFin Business Angels (InnovFin BA) external link icon : targets funds pooled by business angels or business angel co-investment funds investing into innovative early-stage enterprises and social enterprises established or active in Participating Countries operating in the sectors covered by Horizon 2020, including social impact.
  • InnovFin Venture Capital (InnovFin VC) external link icon : targets investments into venture capital funds that provide financing to enterprises (including social enterprises) in their early-stage operating in Horizon 2020 sectors.
  • InnovFin Fund-of-Funds (InnovFin FoF) external link icon : targets investments into a fund or funds holding or targeting to build a portfolio of investments in underlying funds with significant early-stage focus.
  • InnovFin Corporate Research Equity external link icon : increases the supply of equity-type financing under the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) to large research and innovation (R&I) programmes and to innovative large mid-caps and small or medium-sized enterprises (SME). The investments are deployed by the European Investment Bank (EIB) or through a financial intermediary and target amounts of EUR 75 million.
  • 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 research and innovation (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 with a threshold of EUR 25 million or more.
  • 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 product. In general, the EIB assesses the eligibility of the company and/or the project, technological and economic viability, and environmental soundness, as well as the promoter’s financial situation and outlook.

In addition to equity instruments, InnovFin also offers debt financing, guarantees, and financial advisory services.

Post 2020 – InvestEU Programme

The new InvestEU Programme, implemented in the course of 2021-2027, will bring together multitude of EU financial instruments. By bringing together the different financing programmes under one roof, project promoters can benefit from simple and streamlined investment and advisory support.

The new programme will include the objectives of this InnovFin Instrument. The existing InnovFin instruments will remain operational until the actual implementation of the InvestEU Programme.

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.

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.