Investment in research and innovation by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Bulgaria, Latvia and Romania will now have support from a new financing programme launched by the EBRD and the EU.
The new financing programme that was launched in Bucharest offers up to 200 selected SMEs financial and advisory support.
The Horizon 2020 programme targets Bulgaria, Latvia and Romania as they have some of the lowest scores on the EU’s innovation scoreboard, which assesses innovation capacities and outcomes. These innovation support represents a strategic growth opportunity for transition countries to switch towards knowledge-based and low-carbon economies.
The support will be deployed through the following three channels:
Increasing innovative SMEs’ competitiveness with the provision of financing, advisory services and training in Bulgaria and Romania.
EBRD credit lines extended to financial institutions will be on-lent to SMEs and small mid-caps investing in innovation in Romania.
Green innovation support via technical assistance and co-financing grants for projects with SMEs and mid-caps which are directly financed by the EBRD in all three countries. This channel is also supported with technical assistance from the TaiwanBusiness-EBRD Technical Cooperation Fund.
€20 million of EU funding is being made available for EBRD efforts to help SMEs and midcaps in Bulgaria, Latvia and Romania. Under the EU definition, SMEs are companies that have fewer than 250 employees and have an annual turnover of less than €50 million. Midcaps are defined in terms of headcount, with a limit of up to 3,000 employees.
This collaboration with Horizon 2020 reflects the Bank’s commitment to building competitive, resilient and green economies in its regions of operation. The EBRD has invested around €3.9 billion in Bulgaria, €697 million in Latvia and more than €8.3 billion in Romania.