RSI is a joint pilot guarantee scheme - managed by EIF - launched in cooperation with the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Commission (DG Research & Innovation) to improve access to debt finance of innovative SMEs and Small Mid-Caps (enterprises with less than 500 employees) in support of their RDI projects. RSI complements the scope of the Risk Sharing Finance Facility (RSFF), managed by the EIB, as RSFF is mainly addressing large Corporates and Mid-Caps.
The EIF does not support entrepreneurs directly but through selected financial intermediaries. Under RSI, EIF issues guarantees and counter-guarantees to such intermediaries, thus allowing them to provide loans, financial leases and loan guarantees to research-based SMEs and/or Small Mid-Caps. Serving as ground for the 2014-2020 programming period, RSI has also successfully complemented other EU SMEs support schemes, such as the CIP/SMEG
RSI is available for financial institutions based in the RSFF 7th EU Framework Programme countries, e.g. EU Member States as well as Associated Countries eligible under the RSFF, such as Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway, Switzerland, Israel, Turkey, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Serbia, Albania and Montenegro, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Faroe Islands and Moldova. Other countries may become associated during the course of FP7 subject to certain conditions.
Research-based and innovative SMEs and Small Mid-Caps established and operating in one or several of the EU 28 Member States or Associated Countries, subject to fulfilling certain criteria, will be eligible to benefit from RSI. RDI activities carried-out by SMEs and Small-Mid-Caps should not breach ethical principles or focus on one or more EIF restricted sectors.Financial or credit institutions duly authorized to carry out lending or leasing activities (or in the case of RSI counter-guarantee: guarantee schemes, guarantee institutions or other credit or financial institutions duly authorized to issue guarantees) according to applicable legislation, established and operating in one or more EU Member States or Associated Countries (see above) would be eligible to apply to become Financial Intermediaries under RSI.