The InnovFin SME loan guarantee facility of the European Commission is intended for research-oriented, innovative Austrian SME and mid-caps (with fewer than 500 employees). The goal is to encourage banks to provide financing for this InnovFin target group through aws guarantees. The 50% counter-guarantee provided by the European Investment Fund (EIF) allows companies to obtain funding for investments and/or resources in an innovation-oriented corporate context under improved conditions.
This funding is made possible through the InnovFin SME loan guarantee facility of the European Union’s Horizon 2020 programme (framework programme for research and innovation).
InnovFin SME guarantee
From December 17 2015, the conditions of the aws guarantees for research-oriented, innovative SME and mid-caps (with fewer than 500 employees) have become more favourable due to an additional counter-guarantee within the scope of InnovFin.
In order to access support via the InnovFin counter-guarantee, an enterprise must fulfil one of the following InnovFin innovation criteria (summary):
- company is an SME or a small mid-cap; the loan funds will be used for the production, development or implementation of improved
- products, processes or services,
- production or delivery methods or
- organisational or process innovations including business models
- which are associated with a high technical industrial risk or a high commercial risk of failure.
- company age < 12 years; “fast-growing company”: average annual increase of 20% p.a. in turnover and/or number of employees in the last 3 years (initial value: 10 or more employees in addition to the owner)
- company age < 7 years; R&D and/or innovation costs make up at least 5% of all operating costs in one of the last 3 years or in the first year for start-ups
- 20% of the loan amount (including where business plan anticipates an increase of at least the loan amount in R&D and/or innovation costs) ≥ R&D and innovation costs during the last fiscal year
- at least 80% of the loan will be used for R&D and/or to cover innovation costs and the remainder (20%) to cover the necessary costs in order to make these activities possible.
- received EU or national innovation or research funding (FFG, Horizon 2020, FP7 EU 7th Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development, etc.) in the last 36 months
- received a prize for R&D or innovation from an EU institution in the last 24 months
- patent or property rights registered in the last 24 months
- company is an early-phase SME; entry into a venture capital company or a business angel from a business angel network in the last 24 months
- venture capital funding required (equity capital and loan capital; for the development of new products, entry into new markets) ≥ 50% of the average turnover for the last 5 years
- SME with R&D or innovation costs of at least 10% of its overall operating costs in at least one of the last 3 years (or in the current year for a start-up).
- small mid-cap/mid cap with R&D and/or innovation costs of at least 15% of its overall operating costs in at least one of the last 3 years or
- small mid cap/mid cap with R&D and/or innovation costs of at least 10% of its overall operating costs per annum in the last three years.
- a company that has incurred costs in the last 36 months that have been assessed by competent independent national, regional or EU institutions as R&D and/or innovation costs as part of the general support measures approved by the European Commission that serve as an incentive for enterprises to invest in R&D&I.
- a company that has been classified as innovative by an independent EU, national or regional institution in the last 36 months.
- aws checks all guarantee applications automatically to determine whether InnovFin support is a possibility.