The establishment, through the Hellenic Development Bank, of the Innovation Guarantee Fund in order to support and enhance the competitiveness of innovative micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) for the implementation of investment research and innovation plans, was signed by Undersecretary of Development .
Through the Innovation Guarantee Fund and in cooperation with the Banks, investment loans of up to 400,000 euros will be granted for investments in tangible or intangible fixed assets necessary for the completion of the investment plan of the company. The companies will have the opportunity to use part of the loan as working capital which is related to the implementation of their investment plan.
Beneficiaries will be only companies that will undertake to complete an innovative investment plan, with specific innovation criteria, as described in the announcement, but also environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) criteria, important for their further sustainable development, while all industries are eligible.
This is the first financial tool that concerns only innovative companies and comes to fill the funding gap of these companies in view of the launch of the new NSRF through which hybrid financial tools will be introduced as a basic form of business financing.
For the establishment of the Fund, a financial contribution from the Public Investment Program to EBA is foreseen, amounting to 64,490,000 euros to cover the guarantee fund and the grants that will be provided by the Fund. The total funds that are expected to be leveraged, are over 120 million euros.
It is noted that the management and operation of the Fund will be the Hellenic Development Bank.