The final three years of the Horizon 2020 framework programme will see a push to open new sources of capital finance commercialised by EU funding.
In addition to boosting access to debt and equity under existing schemes, the European Commission’s draft plan for 2018-2020 proposes new facilities, whilst continuing to support existing schemes.
One new facility, InnovFin Science, will aim to improve access to risk finance to set up innovation infrastructures for research organisations and universities.
Another, InnovFin Emerging Innovators, will support actors described as modest and moderate innovators with the aim of improving access to risk finance in member states that, to date, have received relatively limited support.
The draft also describes the commission’s plan for supporting commercialisation of green energy research in the InnovFin Energy Demo Projects, which will be the first of a kind.
Given the importance of these projects, the commission plans to double the budget. Loans between €7.5m and €25m will be available to set up demonstrators of untested pre-commercial energy technologies.
Likewise, the commission wants to plug the gap in funding the development of treatments for serious infectious diseases. InnovFin will fund projects developing vaccines, drugs and diagnostic devices that have advanced and require clinical trial.
The draft also details a proposed crowdfunding trial under which the commission will provide guarantees to crowd lending platforms that support research and innovation.