We are building the new Europe 4.0 economy, based on smart, sustainable and competitive solutions. If you have a smart future-proof idea; if your company has the ambition and the skills but is lacking finance; if you are ready to make the great leap into production - EFSI can help you get there!
Scientific developments of the new millennium have brought about technologies we couldn't have dreamed about until very recently. They have revolutionised the way we communicate, commute, consume, produce, or simply put: every aspect of our lives. This radical change in our industry, one which has come to be known as no less than the 'Fourth Industrial Revolution' creates an endless range of opportunities for entrepreneurs around the world and for us in Europe in particular. They also require a significant level of investment, one which some compare to Europe's post-war period.
But as every entrepreneur knows, having a brilliant idea is one thing, commercialising it is yet another. That is because between the scientific discovery and the steady generation of revenues lies the infamous 'Valley of Death', the period of time when financing becomes scarce, sometimes too scarce to make it till the end.
Europe is no different. Investment levels have never picked up to pre-crisis levels. Compared to the 2007 peak, investments have dropped by around 15% in the EU. The funds exist in the market but the risky environment impacts investors' appetite. That is often the case even when it comes to sound and solid ideas, ones which could make our economy grow and create new jobs; which would our lives more enjoyable, sustainable, and efficient.
The EU is not trying to replace private investors; it is attracting private investment and creating a more favourable investment climate. How? By absorbing some of the investment risk. That is the concept behind the European Fund for Strategic Investment (EFSI), launched by the Commission just over one year ago. Since then, EFSI has already triggered an estimated €61.5 out of our target €315 billion which we aim to achieve from private and public sources over the course of the next three years.
This has been an important contribution for the Energy Union and to Europe's commitment to decarbonise our economy. The EFSI focus on infrastructure in the energy and transport sectors, as well as energy efficiency has already resulted in 45 projects approved by the European Investment Bank (EIB) so far, of which 17 projects are in the energy sector and another 9 in transport. These include investing in energy efficiency of residential buildings in France, offshore wind in the UK, extending clean gas networks across Spain, modernising steel factory in Spain, etc.
But it's not only about money. The second angle of the EU Investment Plan 'triangle' is the European Investment Advisory Hub which provides expert guidance and technical support for project promoters, public authorities, and investors. Sometimes it is knowledge and expertise in investment which could make the difference between default and a fantastic success story.
Video of Introducing the European Investment Advisory Hub
There's more; the third innovation of the Investment Plan is the newly launched Investment Project Portal which provides a transparent pipeline of investable projects all under one roof, a digital roof of course. By registering your project on the portal you gain visibility and increase the chances of finding a match with an investor.
Check if you fit the criteria and submit an early-bird application at ec.europa.eu/eipp.