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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

38%

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

Pilot actions

Outputs

1.1. Strategy for a more diversified portfolio of Financing Schemes

The output presents a comprehensive guide for Central Europe policy makers. It outlines various effective paths for adopting modern financing schemes that broaden the range of financial tools available. The aim is to support companies in executing innovative projects by directly addressing their specific requirements. This strategy builds upon prior insights and analyses from first phase project deliverables.
Type of output: Solutions

1.2. FI4INN network of partners and their associated partners for long term policy collaboration

Project partners and associated partners are the key actors and main direct beneficiaries of the FI4INN. They will increase their innovation capacity thanks to peer learning and joint implementation of project activities. Their close linkages with innovation ecosystems will ensure downstream of project results at territorial level. Long term cooperation after the end of FI4INN project will be formalized in a Memorandum of Understanding.
Type of output: Solutions

2.1. Regional piloting of co-design innovative financing schemes for SMEs and Startups

This specific output includes 7 regional pilot actions focused on co-designing innovative financing schemes for SMEs and startups. These pilots will utilize newly acquired capabilities in practical fieldwork, aiming to deepen theoretical learnings through hands-on experience and apply these insights in real-world settings. Each pilot involve end-users and undergo transnational peer review to ensure robust co-design processes. The objective is to either create new financial instruments from the ground up or enhance existing schemes to better serve the needs of SMEs and startups.
Type of output: Solutions

2.2 Solutions

By applying the same approach, seven Central European regions will introduce new or improved financing schemes based on collaborative methods. Each pilot region will develop its own solution, tailored to the needs and objectives identified with their Local Stakeholder Group. These solutions will be refined through peer reviews with partners from other countries and will be presented during various events for broader sharing and discussion.
Type of output: Solutions

3.1. Strategy for innovation investments' greater accountability through M&E

This output is a strategy for developing comprehensive Monitoring & Evaluation plans that assess the financial, economic, social, and environmental impacts of financing schemes aimed at supporting business-driven innovation in the Central Europe program area. Designed by TEC4IFVG, Impact Hub, and ZEF, with contributions from other partners and associated partners, this public strategy will target policy makers, public fund owners, and financial stakeholders. It builds on insights from previous project analysis to provide a thorough framework for evaluating the effectiveness and broader impacts of these financing schemes.
Type of output: Solutions

3.2. Jointly developed regional action plans

This output aims at jointly developing regional action plans to describe territorial-based roadmaps to improve FIs portfolios with Monitoring & Evaluation systems.
Type of output: Solutions

Project videos

FI4INN

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Project on social media

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