Science at the service of Europe

Risk-Sharing Finance Facility (RSFF)

Loan finance meets a research funding need

Demand for the new Risk-Sharing Finance Facility (RSFF) created in conjunction with the European Investment Bank has been strong since its launch in June 2007.

EU funding in 2008
€ 1.025 billion

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Men working around a table with a computer and calculator

"Community contribution increases the capacity of the EIB to offer loans and guarantees covering more risky research-intensive projects and companies."

Increased investment in research, development and innovation has been identified as a key priority of the Lisbon strategy to create a more competitive knowledge-based European economy. The Commission, in cooperation with the European Investment Bank, therefore developed the Risk-Sharing Finance Facility (RSFF) as a new financial instrument to complement FP7 grants in supporting EU initiatives.

The two parties will each provide up to €1 billion over the 2007-2013 lifetime of FP7, allowing a maximum of €10 billion in investment loans and guarantees. Their contributions partially cover the credit risks associated with research-intensive companies, and thus improve access to debt financing. Companies of any size and ownership, research infrastructures, Joint Technology Initiatives, universities and research institutes can all benefit from this highly flexible scheme to improve their investment in research, development and innovation.

The RSFF provides capital for projects and companies that the financial market – especially in view of the current liquidity crisis – is unable or unwilling to fund. This exerts a catalytic effect and can leverage private investment in R&D and innovation. By increasing the total amount of available funding and providing an additional source, the Facility thus contributes to implementation of the Lisbon strategy and to achievement of the Barcelona goal of 3% of GDP investment in research and development.