Framework programme for SME competitiveness (COSME)

Following the highly successful implementation of the EU CIP programme (Competitiveness and Innovation Programme) during the 2007 – 2013 funding period, which helped provide loans amounting to over 18 billion euros and venture capital of over 3 billion euros to fund more than 350,000 small and medium-sized enterprises (SME), the European Commission is continuing its activities in helping SME to overcome their financial problems.

The new EU Programme for the Competitiveness of Enterprises and Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (COSME), which is being offered for the 2014 - 2020 period, is intended to mobilise loans and equity investments for SME in Europe. A budget of 2.3 billion euros for the 2014 - 2020 period will be used to provide support through two facilities:

—The COSME Loan Guarantee Fund (LGF) finances guarantees and counter-guarantees for financial institutions to promote the granting of additional loans and leasing financing, mainly for amounts of up to 150,000 euros, to small and medium-sized enterprises (SME).

The COSME Equity Facility for Growth (EFG) invests in equity funds, that are predominantly available to assist SME in their expansion and growth phase with venture capital.

This programme can be accessed by Austrian companies through financial intermediaries such as the aws.

aws concluded the first COSME counterguarantee agreement with the European Investment Fund (EIF), which is tasked with the administrative management of COSME, on 30 January 2015. As part of this agreement, a guarantee volume of EUR 170 million was mobilised for around 1,200 small and medium-sized enterprises, making it easier for them to access loan financing.

A COSME follow-up agreement was concluded with the EIF in 2017 as a continuation of the success of the initial counter-liability facility.

This second COSME counter-guarantee agreement, concluded on 28 April 2017 and worth EUR 85 million, was then topped up to EUR 215 million in the first half of 2019 (the existing agreement was increased by a further EUR 130 million, including an extension of the agreement by 2 years). This follow-up agreement is expected to support more than 2,000 small and medium-sized enterprises in Austria from a financial perspective.

The follow-up agreement and the related extension have been made possible thanks to the support of the European Fund for Strategic Investment (EFSI), the heart of the Investment Plan for Europe.

COSME protected financing instruments​​

In combination with European capital aws guarantees can be made even more attractive. The guarantee fee can be lowered on average by a third.

You do not need to submit a separate application for COSME!

The aws guarantee solicited by a company/bank will automatically be checked to see if it is eligible for COSME funding and the guarantee fee can be reduced accordingly. This makes it very easy to take advantage of this facility.

Small and medium-sized enterprises (as per the EU definition of SME, see downloads on this webpage) are supported with a maximum aws guarantee volume of 3 million euros (which corresponds to a credit volume of 3.75 million euros at a maximum guarantee rate of 80%).

The EU InnovFin SMEG programme is used for innovative SME and small mid-caps. This programme complements the COSME-supported products and allows the needs of Austrian companies to be covered as effectively as possible.

The aws products listed below are counter-guaranteed through the COSME programme.

Funding supported through COSME

aws Guarantee

Your contact

Mag. Wassilis Laitsos
Mag. Wassilis Laitsos
Garantien für Industrie und Internationalisierung

These products are supported by means of a counter-guarantee as part of the European Union’s framework programme for the Competitiveness of Enterprises and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (COSME, 2014 – 2020), regulated under Regulation (EU) No. 1287/2013 of the European Parliament and the Council (COSME LGF counter-liability agreement 1).

These products are made possible through the counter-guarantees provided by COSME and the European Fund for Strategic Investment (EFSI) established in connection with the Investment Plan for Europe. The purpose of the EFSI is to support with funding and the implementation of productive investments in the European Union and ensuring improved access to financing (COSME LGF counter-liability agreement 2).