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EIF, ICF and Grow Venture Partners sign agreement to set up the Fondo de Inversión en Tecnología Avanzada (FITA)

    Date: 04 March 2024
  • FITA is the result of an investment agreement signed by the EIF and ICF in 2022 to promote technology transfer and scientific research projects in Catalonia.
  • Following the corresponding selection process, Grow Venture Partners was the sole entity chosen to manage this venture capital investment fund set to operate between 2024 and 2029.
  • FITA will be able to invest up to €55 million to develop technology transfer projects mainly originating in universities and research centres in Catalonia.

The European Investment Fund (EIF), Catalan Institute of Finance (ICF) and Grow Venture Partners signed an agreement needed to set up the Advanced Technology Investment Fund, or Fondo de Inversión en Tecnología Avanzada (FITA). Following a selection process completed over the past year, Grow Venture Partners has been chosen as the managing entity of the fund, enabling FITA to start operating and receive investment proposals.

FITA’s core objective is to promote startup initiatives fostering the transfer and commercialisation of scientific research in Catalonia. The fund’s investments will go to technology-transfer and intellectual-property-rights projects and to companies at the pre-seed, seed or startup stages. It will strengthen research and scientific entrepreneurship as a driving economic force

FITA plans investments of as much as €55 million, of which €30 million will be provided through ICF by the fund’s original promoters, the Department of Economy and Finance and the Department of Research and Universities of the government of Catalonia. The EIF will provide €15 million via the InvestEU programme and the remaining €10 million are due to be provided by capital injections from private investors.

Grow Venture Partners will decide when, where and how to invest the capital deposited by the participating partners in accordance with the investment policy criteria set out in the tender.

“We are very happy that FITA has been set up to boost investment in innovation and technology transfer, ultimately contributing to promoting the green transition, job creation and business competitiveness,” said EIF Chief Investment Officer Alessandro Tappi. “The selection of Grow Venture Partners concludes the process needed to enable the fund we launched with ICF in 2022 to start making investments.”

ICF CEO Vanessa Servera added: “The fact that ICF will be able to help manage FITA — providing our external fund investment experience — is very good news for promoting the success of this project. This fund will be key to channelling our outstanding scientific production into economic growth and social development to transform the ecosystem, fostering the creation of more and better companies and facilitating the transition of researchers into the business world as entrepreneurs. By promoting the creation of more spin-offs and attracting new investors, we will not only boost technological development, but will also retain local talent, create high-value jobs and contribute to the economic growth and social development of Catalonia.”

Francisco Badia, managing partner of Grow Venture Partners, highlighted "our gratitude for the trust and recognition placed on our work and team to manage FITA. We approach this transformative project with the vocation of service to investors, entrepreneurs and society in general that defines our management company. FITA will allow us to transform the extraordinary quality of the science and technology of our universities and research centres to create wealth and new high-quality jobs in Catalonia,” said Francisco Badia, managing partner of Grow Venture Partners. “We will work to make FITA the driving force behind the future technology leaders of southern Europe.”

The accord in 2022 to create FITA and its operational start today follow other EIB Group-ICF financing and advisory partnerships, the goal of which is to drive the dual green and digital transitions and to improve business competitiveness. Other recent partnerships include a loan signed by the EIB and ICF in June 2023 to finance small businesses and mid-caps in Catalonia, complete with an advisory service for sustainable projects.

Background information

About the European Investment Fund (EIF)

The European Investment Fund (EIF) is part of the European Investment Bank Group (EIB Group). Its central mission is to support Europe's micro, small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) by helping them to access finance. The EIF designs and develops venture and growth capital, guarantees and microfinance instruments that specifically target this market segment. In this role, it contributes to the achievement of key EU policy goals such as competitiveness and growth, innovation and digitalisation, social impact, skills and human capital, climate action and environmental sustainability.

About Institut Català de Finances (ICF)

ICF is the public promotional bank of the government of Catalonia, and its main goal is to boost the growth of companies and other entities. It finances relevant, transformational projects through loans and capital, with special emphasis on the green transition, reindustrialisation and social housing. ICF often supplements commercial bank lending, offering long repayment terms to facilitate debt repayment. Since 2014, it has been a member of the European Association of Public Banks (EAPB), which brings together many of the public banks and financial institutions operating in Europe.

About Grow Venture Partners

Grow Venture Partners is a venture capital firm specialising in Deep Tech and Technology Transfer. The fund was founded by a series of successful entrepreneurs with a clear vocation of service and with the purpose of creating better founders and with them generate employment and wealth in a sustainable way. The fund manager has invested, among others, in the quantum computing company Qilimanjaro, recent winner of the 4YFN Awards at the Mobile World Congress, or Nimble Diagnostics, winner of the last edition of the best Deep Tech start-up at the Barcelona Deep Tech Summit.

Press contacts:

Maite Cordero, m.corderomunoz@eib.org, tel.: +34 606 66 82 62
José Vicente Alzola | j.alzola@ext.eib.org, tel.: +34 608 14 39 03
Website: www.eif.org — Press Office: +352 4379 21000 — press@eib.org
X: @eif_eu 

Natalia Touzón, ntouzon@icf.cat, tel.: + 34 687 46 99 46
Website: www.icf.cat
X: @icfcat
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/institut-catala-de-finances

Grow Venture Partners
Marta Esteban Mesteban@growventurepartners.com tel. 936 550 935
Website: https://growventurepartners.com/
LInkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/grow-venture-partners

Note: Following the recent withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union, we are updating the relevant EIF.org pages.


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