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FI4INN

Project overview

Co-designed impactful financial instruments for boosting innovation in SMEs and start-ups

Funding schemes for market-driven research and innovation are rare in central Europe. Finance providers and policy makers often shy away from introducing such schemes due to their complexity. The FI4NN project is changing this by supporting the co-design of new finance instruments in regions that want to boost research and innovation. A knowledge centre promotes innovative instruments that already exist elsewhere and new financial instruments are piloted in seven regions.

2,09m €

Project Budget

80%

of the Budget is funded by ERDF

Layer 1

8

Countries

10

Regions

10

Partners

7

Pilots

Duration

Start date

End date

Project progress

37%

About the project

FI4INN is an initiative in Central Europe that aims to enhance innovation financing by facilitating peer learning and capacity building among stakeholders. The project focuses on improving credit access for Research and Innovation (R&I) in SMEs and startups, especially those not yet operating on a global scale. Additionally, FI4INN seeks to enhance the quality and range of financial instruments available to innovators. By fostering collaboration and innovation, the project aligns with global priorities and contributes to the region's prosperity, entrepreneurship, and sustainability. It invites relevant stakeholders to participate in shaping the future of innovation financing in Central Europe.

Project partnership

Project partners

Italia (IT)

Lead partner

Friuli Innovazione

Address
Linussio 51
33100 Udine
Country
Italy (IT)
Web
www.friulinnovazione.it

Project partner

International Projects Department
Address
Cieszyńska 365
43-382 Bielsko-Biała
Country
Poland (PL)
Web
www.arrsa.pl
Total partner budget
201,600 €
Address
Av. des Arts 24
1000 Bruxelles
Country
Belgium (BE)
Web
https://startupregions.eu/
Total partner budget
270,000 €
Address
Dimičeva ulica 13
1504 Ljubljana
Country
Slovenia (SI)
Web
www.gzs.si
Total partner budget
189,000 €
Address
Štěpánská 15
120 00 Prague
Country
Czechia (CZ)
Web
https://www.czechinvest.org/
Total partner budget
169,092 €
Address
Lindengasse 56 / 18-19
1070 Vienna
Country
Austria (AT)
Web
www.impacthub.net
Total partner budget
152,040 €
Financial instruments and grants
Address
Galleria San Federico 54
10121 Torino
Country
Italy (IT)
Web
https://www.finpiemonte.it/
Total partner budget
263,900 €
Address
Lakeside B01 B01
9020 Klagenfurt am Wörthersee
Country
Austria (AT)
Web
https://build.or.at/
Total partner budget
211,680 €
Consulting
Address
Zavrtnica 17
HR-10000 Zagreb
Country
Croatia (HR)
Web
https://www.zef.hr
Total partner budget
117,600 €
Sectoral Agency
Address
Wesselényi utca 16/A
1077 Budapest
Country
Hungary (HU)
Web
www.xiagency.hu
Total partner budget
210,000 €

Roadmap

1

Challenge

The primary challenge of the project is the lack of successful financial schemes for innovation, particularly for SMEs and startups in Central Europe, leading to barriers such as limited credit access, financial constraints for innovative start-ups, and underdeveloped Social Impact Investment markets in the region.

2

Specific Problem

The specific problem is the inadequate access to effective financial schemes for innovation in Central Europe, particularly for Research and Innovation (R&I) activities in SMEs and startups.

3

Idea

Our idea is to revolutionize and reshape the innovation finance landscape in Central Europe. We aim to create a Virtual Knowledge Center that redefines the old financial schemes. The core concept is to empower innovators, SMEs, startups, and investors by providing them with the tools and resources they need to not only access funding but also foster an environment of collaboration and growth.

4

Solution

Our solution involves the creation of a user-friendly Virtual Knowledge Center that centralizes resources, funding opportunities, and expertise for innovators, SMEs, startups, and investors. This platform acts as a hub for reimagined financial schemes, innovative financing instruments, and holistic support, with active stakeholder engagement throughout its development.

5

How it works

1. We will actively involve stakeholders throughout the project's development, including innovators, SMEs, startups, investors, governmental bodies, and regional experts. Regular feedback sessions, surveys, and consultation forums will ensure the platform meets their specific needs. 2. The Virtual Knowledge Center will provide access to an extensive database of innovative funding schemes, which will be curated based on the input of stakeholders to ensure relevancy.

6

Proof and Credibility

In the next three years we will strengthening innovation capacities and co-design impactful financial instruments for boosting innovation.

7

Impact

Our mission is to revolutionize the way innovation is funded and unleash the potential of central Europe's brightest minds.

News

Outputs

VIRTUAL KNOWLEDGE CENTER

Welcome to the Virtual Knowledge Center! The VKC serves as a dynamic repository featuring curated cases, examples, and best practices of innovative financing and support schemes from across Europe and beyond. Our goal is to inspire policymakers, support institutions and finance providers by highlighting exemplary and highly innovative cases. Whether you are looking to explore new approaches to funding or seeking inspiration for your support schemes, the VKC is your essential resource.
Type of output: Solutions

CASE STUDIES | LOANS AND GUARANTEES

This type of scheme includes advanced forms of financial instruments, like securitization, patient capital, portfolio guarantees, bullet forms and other innovative forms of financing.
Type of output: Solutions

CASE STUDIES | EQUITY AND QUASI EQUITY

This type of scheme includes venture capital investments through the acquisition of shares in a company, and hybrid forms of finance with characteristics of both debt and equity investments. It includes not only schemes providing direct investments/support, but also schemes providing indirect support by facilitating and favouring the access of SMEs and start-ups to private investors and the development of the private equity market.
Type of output: Solutions

CASE STUDIES | REWARD / IMPACT

This category includes incentives and support based on the generated impact on the company or based on its performances. This type of support scheme can be developed through the valuation of environmental, social and governance (ESG) impacts of a company, or by rewarding its growth and financial performances.
Type of output: Solutions

CASE STUDIES | SERVICES AND IN-KIND SUPPORT

This category includes all the form of support that are not provided through finance but rather through the provision of services, facilities, commodities that can favour the growth and consolidation of a company in order to increase its possibility to access to financial instruments. Under this category, also support programmes are included, provided that they are finalized to promote the access to finance as a final scope.
Type of output: Solutions

CASE STUDIES | COMBINED INSTRUMENTS

This category includes all the schemes that are a combination of a financial instrument and a grant in a single operation, like for instance, combination of financial instruments and: capital grants, grant for interest rate and guarantee fee subsidies, grants for technical support, performance-based grants.
Type of output: Solutions

CASE STUDIES | BOND / BASKET BOND

This type of scheme includes all the financial instruments (mainly debt instruments) that refer to groups of companies, intended as joint and collective beneficiaries of the funding.
Type of output: Solutions

CASE STUDIES | IN-KIND / SERVICES INCENTIVES

Type of output: Solutions

Project videos

FI4INN

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Project Contacts

Project Manager

Claudia Baracchini
Phone: +39 0432 629940

Finance Manager

Elena Sandri
Phone: +39 345 5984242

Communication Manager

Petra Moreno
Phone: (351) 916375212