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Newsletter October 2012

IQ - INNOVATION QUOTIENT

Greece Launches Innovation Fund

In an effort to boost entrpreneurship, Greece has launched a new fund to support SMEs.

Within the framework of Greece’s successful TANEO, or soveriegn fund of funds, a decision between the Ministries of Education and Development has established a new “Innovation Fund.”

The purpose of the "Innovation Fund" is to support innovative, dynamic companies, especially those in the high-tech area. The basic objective is to motivate private investors to supply venture capital to companies that are seeking it for business development through technological innovation. The funding, which will go to the businesses, is a loan, and will allow for continuous liquidity of the Fund, and gradually become a viable policy tool.

Innovative SMEs, which are currently at different stages of development, will be financed. The fund is designed to allocate venture capital to businesses that need to attract:

• seed capital (between 40,000 and 250.000 Euro per project) or
• start-up capital (between 250,000 and 1.500.000 Euro per project)

The total capital of the new Innovation Fund is estimated to be at least 30 million Euro, of which 21 million Euro correspond to public spending and the remainder to private investors. Public expenditure is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and from National Resources.

In order to achieve the objectives of the Fund, the money will be placed in venture capital funds, which will be established specifically for the purposes of the Innovation Fund following a public call for proposals.

The fund, and the legal Act that establishes it, is focused on five (5) thematic priority sectors of the new economy that demonstrate a competitive advantage and strategic importance for the country's development, under which the companies concerned will submit investment projects:

• Health and Biotechnology
• Food and Rural Development
• Energy
• Environment
• Nanotechnology and Advanced Materials

Within the next two months, TANEO, in cooperation with private investors who will be selected following a public invitation, will deliver an open invitation through the fund manager to innovative businesses.

Source: General Secretariat for Research and Technology