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PORTUGAL BLUE is set to mobilise €75 million in the blue economy ecosystem

  •  
    Date: 29 October 2020
  • The EIB Group and the Portuguese Government, via IFD, have launched a new investment partnership targeting blue economy start-ups, SMEs and mid-caps.
  • PORTUGAL BLUE will select up to two Portuguese funds focused on the blue economy with climate impact and sustainable development objectives.

The European Investment Fund (EIF) – the venture capital arm of the European Investment Bank (EIB) Group – and Instituição Financeira de Desenvolvimento (IFD) – on behalf of Fundo Azul – have launched a new programme to support the investments of Portuguese companies operating in ocean-related areas of business.

The new partnership, established as a fund of funds called Portugal Blue, will be funded with €25 million from each institution and it is expected to attract €25 million of additional private capital from other institutional investors pursuing climate action as well as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set by the United Nations.

In total, Portugal Blue aims to mobilise over €75 million of private, public and European capital to foster the Portuguese blue economy ecosystem by providing early-stage, venture, and growth capital to over 30 start-ups, SMEs and mid-caps.

The investment programme will cover up to 70% of commitments to emerging fund managers, with an effort to build meaningful capacity in the local blue economy hub. The programme will select up to two Portuguese-based teams with a strong knowledge of the Portuguese blue ecosystem and in full alignment with the Sustainable Blue Economy Finance Principles. In order to align return objectives with the sustainable development agenda, the investment teams will define and monitor climate impact indicators, which may affect their respective success fees.

The EIF will manage the selection of investment teams and the application process is already available through an open call for expression of interest (link available here).

Commenting on this initiative, EIB Vice-President Ricardo Mourinho Félix, responsible for the Bank's operations in Portugal, said: “The EIB Group is very pleased to strengthen its collaboration with IFD, now under Portugal Blue. Investing in our seas and in the ocean ecosystem and ensuring their sustainability is of the utmost importance for Portugal, particularly in the context of the recovery of the Portuguese economy. This initiative is unique and will enable us to support blue economy start-ups, SMEs and MidCaps in Portugal, which add value within the blue economy and in so doing promote climate action and a sustainable and inclusive development in an Europe that acknowledges the priceless value of the oceans.

Alain Godard, EIF Chief Executive, also added: The launch of Portugal Blue is an important milestone for the EIF, as it is the first concrete equity partnership signed with a National Promotional Institution seeking to achieve a positive sustainable development and climate action impact. The success of this pilot will set the standards for similar partnerships going forward.”

According to Frederico Serras Gago, IFD Board Member: “Portugal Blue is a landmark deal that strengthens the strategic relationship between IFD and the EIF. This third programme builds on the existing programmes Portugal Tech and Portugal Growth by now contributing to UN Sustainable Development Goals and Environmental, Social and Governance policies. This allocation to Portugal Blue is a strong commitment towards the blue economy in Portugal.”

Helena Vieira, President of the Board of Fundo Azul, concluded: “Portugal Blue represents an outstanding investment opportunity for Fundo Azul, the ministerial fund, to invest directly in our blue economy and its stakeholders, promoting innovative businesses and blue entrepreneurship and focusing on ocean conservation and sustainability linked to climate action and the Sustainable Development Goals.”

About the EIF

The European Investment Fund (EIF) is a subsidiary of the European Investment Bank Group. Its central mission is to support Europe's micro, small and medium-sized businesses by helping them to access finance. The EIF designs and develops both venture and growth capital, guarantees and microfinance instruments which specifically target this market segment. In this role, the EIF fosters EU objectives in support of innovation, research and development, entrepreneurship, growth and employment.

About IFD

Instituição Financeira de Desenvolvimento (IFD) is the national development bank of Portugal. IFD develops financial instruments to address market gaps in funding SMEs and mid-caps. More info about IFD and its activity here.

About Fundo Azul

The Portuguese Fundo Azul, is a governmental fund acting as a financial incentive mechanism for the blue economy in Portugal and it is strategically lead by the Minister of the Sea and Minister of State and Finances. This mechanisms focus specifically on leveraging the Blue Economy, while also incentivizing innovative R&D and promoting safety at sea and maritime surveillance technology and innovation development. More information here.

 

Press contacts:

EIB:

Lorenzo Squintani, tel.: +352 691 285 772, l.squintani@eib.org

Website: www.eib.org/press – Press Office: +352 4379 21000 – press@eib.org

IFD:

Filipa Pouzada, tel.: +351 916 745 454, filipa.pouzada@ifd.pt

 

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