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EIF, SID Banka and HBOR launch a new €40 million investment platform to support innovation, scientific research and the protection of intellectual property in Slovenia and Croatia

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    Date: 26 July 2021
  • The new regional platform will provide €40 million for investments in research projects and the protection of intellectual property at universities and research institutes in Slovenia and Croatia
  • The fund will help Slovenia and Croatia improve the use and commercialisation of research projects and scientific achievements
  • The operation is an important first step towards the long-term provision of funds in the form of capital and near-equity financing for research projects in the two countries

The European Investment Fund (EIF), part of the European Investment Bank Group, joined forces with Slovenia’s national promoter bank, SID Banka, and the Croatian Bank for Reconstruction and Development (HBOR) to launch the Central Eastern European Technology Transfer — CEETT — platform today, a new regional platform worth at least €40 million for investment in technology transfer.

The CEETT will invest in venture capital funds and finance innovative technological research projects and the protection of the intellectual property of universities and research institutes in Slovenia and Croatia. It will also fund the commercialisation of scientific achievements and research projects.

This is the first multinational investment platform for technology transfer ever launched in the European Union. The EIF estimates that the universities and research institutes in Slovenia and Croatia targeted by the platform will generate more than 350 patent applications and 100 spin-off companies in the next five years.

Investment in innovation and technology transfer will be key to the long-term sustainable green economy, job creation and global competitiveness of the European Union.

Alain Godard, Chief Executive of the EIF, said: “With the launch of the CEETT, the EIF, SID Banka and HBOR are making financial history in the European Union, Slovenia and Croatia. We have created the first ever multinational platform for technology transfer in the European Union. At the same time in Slovenia and Croatia, CEETT is the first long-term solution for financing research projects and the protection of intellectual property at local universities and research institutes and, equally important, for financing technology transfer. The EIF is very proud of our contribution to the further advancement of scientific research in the two countries and I would like to thank our partners at SID Banka and HBOR for their energy and hard work in setting up the CEETT.”

Sibil Svilan, President of the SID Banka Management Board said: “The sustainable development of the Slovenian economy and Slovenia will depend heavily on whether Slovenia will be an innovator, i.e. by investing in science, research, development, innovations and human capital. For a number of years, SID Banka has been active in this field with its debt programmes funding research, development and innovations, along with technological and development projects in the economy. In cooperation with the EIF and HBOR, existing equity and near-equity financing programmes for companies will be upgraded (€100 million for the Slovene Equity Growth Investment Programme and €80 million for the Croatian Growth Investment Programme). In addition, the new CEETT platform will provide financing of at least €40 million via the venture capital fund for technology transfer, targeting research projects, scientific achievements and intellectual property at universities and research institutes in Slovenia and Croatia deemed to have potential for commercialisation on the market and use in the economy. Support will also be provided to help establish innovative spin-off companies. In this way, connections between research institutions and businesses will be strengthened. The aim is for Slovenia to rank again amongst leading innovator countries and to increase the competitiveness of its economy — a process which SID Banka will further encourage with other financing and insurance programmes.”

Tamara Perko, Presidentof the HBOR Management Board said: "Croatia does not lag behind in the development of patents and new solutions, however it does lag behind in their application in the economy. Namely, both the Croatian and the Slovenian markets lack a link in financing, due to which many valuable patents and technological solutions never reach commercialisation. This is the riskiest form of investment and, therefore, private capital is rarely invested in such projects. Our role, as development banks, is to fill this gap and enable a strong link between science and entrepreneurship. In this way, we will encourage not only the commercialisation of the achievements of our scientific institutions, but will also ensure the growth of our economy based on the application of new and innovative solutions with high added value,"

The platform will be the first in Slovenia and Croatia to offer financial assets, including equities, for the commercialisation of scientific research and innovation on the market. It will allow universities and research institutes to reach the same level of use and commercialisation of scientific achievements in business as that seen in the economies of Western Europe

A partnership for EU leadership in innovation and technology transfer

The CEETT will be established with a €20 million contribution from the EIF and €10 million from both SID Banka and HBOR. These funds will be invested in regional venture capital funds that finance research projects and the development of technologies.

The funds will also be available for the protection of intellectual property with potential commercial value for the economy, targeting projects in their earliest phase when they are still in the domain of research groups at universities and research institutes.

The CEETT will also finance the successful commercialisation of research in final products and services with high added and market value. The goal is to strengthen the role of Croatia, Slovenia and the European Union as the home of innovation and increase the competitiveness of national and EU economies.

CEETT publishes call for expressions of interests

As a first step towards the implementation of its goals and the provision of funds in the form of capital and near-equity financing, the CEETT has published a call for expressions of interest from fund managers at venture capital funds for technology transfer.

Background information:

About the European Investment Fund

The European Investment Fund (EIF) is part of the European Investment Bank 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 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.

Press contacts:

Tibor Jona, t.jona@eib.org, tel.: +352 691 287 052
Website: www.eib.org/press - Press Office: +352 4379 21000 – press@eib.org

 

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