The Europe 2020 Innovation Union initiative is committed to securing more finance for Research, Development and Innovation (RDI). Risk-sharing loans for higher-risk RDI projects encourage more investment in this area.
EU contribution to RSFF loans
in 2011: € 255.95 million
President Barroso hence praised the innovative Risk-Sharing Finance Facility (RSFF), which shares underlying risks between the EU and the European Investment Bank (EIB). Both the EU and EIB will make €1 billion available between 2007 and 2013.
RSFF has already stimulated investments in RDI exceeding initial expectations. Between 2007 and 2011, the EIB signed loans worth €7.3 billion for 75 European research-intensive entities and research infrastructures. The main sector financed was engineering/industry, which received 37%.
The 2010 independently conducted interim RSFF evaluation concluded that thus far the implementation of RSFF had been successful. Improvements for reaching underrepresented target groups were suggested and endorsed by the Commission for 2011-2013. Amendments to the RSFF Cooperation Agreement were adopted by the Commission following further strategy improvements suggested by the European Council and the Council of the EU and the European Parliament's call for a funding increase after 2013.
By being able to assume higher risks, the EU can now unlock significant new investments for RDI. Some of these will benefit innovative SMEs through the newly created Risk-Sharing Instrument (RSI). RSI provides dynamic and fast growing SMEs easier access to start-up and early-stage financing. It is expected that RSFF will have unlocked €1.2 billion in loans for SMEs by 2013.