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INNEON project sets out to galvanise financing for eco-innovation  

18/06/2014

A new project that aims to make it easier for eco-innovative companies to secure financing is getting underway. The INNEON (Network for eco-innovation investment) project formally started in February 2014, and has now launched its website at http://www.inneon.eu.

INNEON's objective is to improve access to finance for eco-friendly companies. There are three current barriers to this, according to the project:

  •  Investors tend to look at eco-innovative companies in the same way they look at other companies, judging them largely on their potential to generate a financial return, rather than factoring in fully the environmental benefits they can bring.
  • Ensuring that eco-innovative companies are “investment ready”: many eco-entrepreneurs are not sufficiently prepared when seeking major investment.
  • Broadening investment in eco-friendly companies beyond renewable energy. Most “green” investment so far has favoured renewables because regulations have been put in place that benefit this type of investment - for example, favourable feed-in tariffs. A case needs to be made for investors to take a broader view of the opportunities eco-innovative companies can offer.

The concrete actions planned by INNEON to tackle these shortcomings are:

  • Creation of a platform to support and coach selected entrepreneurs and SMEs to reach the stage of “investor readiness”;
  • Creation of a pan‐European network of eco-innovation investors and financiers;
  • To encourage the involvement of development banks;
  • To leverage all sources of EU funding that could be applied to eco-innovation.

For eco-innovative entrepreneurs, INNEON will offer tools (covering, for example, business development, patent applications and life cycle analyses), coaching and introductions to potential investors. For investors, INNEON will offer access to potential investment opportunities that have been screened for their investment readiness. Entrepreneurs and investors can already sign up by completing a form available on the INNEON website.

INNEON has a total budget of €1,973,199, of which €1,874,539 is provided by the EU Competitiveness and Innovation Programme. The project runs for 30 months from February 2014. For more information, visit http://www.inneon.eu.