Riga, 19 June 2015. The First Innovative Enterprise week “Access to Finance for Research, Innovation and SMEs 2015” which was held in Riga, brought together more than 400 financial policy-makers, financial intermediaries, innovation experts and entrepreneurs, who over three days of the conference discussed access to finance for research and innovative businesses. The European Investment Bank (EIB) Group and the European Commission (EC) announced at the conference three new support instruments under the "InnovFin – EU Finance for Innovators" support programme that are worth a total of more than 600 million euros, also confirming further development of increasingly more effective ways to attract investment in the European economy and stimulate small and medium-sized enterprises.
Two new InnovFin financial instruments for support of the health and energy sectors, which have a growing role in the economy, were launched during the conference. Also, a venture capital instrument for small and medium-sized enterprises will be launched, opening up new financing opportunities for small and medium-sized enterprises. The range of consulting services was also expanded to help innovative entrepreneurs become more attractive in the eyes of private investors, improving development opportunities for new enterprises across Europe and thereby facilitating economic growth in Europe.
This was the first European conference on innovative business and another is planned to take place under the Netherlands’ Presidency of the Council of the EU in 2016. Delegates acknowledged that the initiative of the Latvian Presidency and the European Commission to bring together high-level policy-makers, representatives of scientific institutions, entrepreneurs and private investors was a successful start of the further work on securing economic growth in Europe.
At the opening the conference, the Latvian Prime Minister Laimdota Straujuma stressed that “Europe’s success in the economic field is largely dependent on whether small and medium-sized enterprises are able to utilise their potential for growth. The development of these enterprises is affected by their access to financial resources, which has been significantly hampered by the cautious lending policy of banks, and, to improve the situation several important initiatives have been launched at EU level that will improve the investment environment and improve small and medium enterprises’ access to financial resources”.
The conference devoted much attention to the Investment Plan for Europe, the implementation of which will begin already in the coming months. The plan will stimulate investment in growth and jobs, diversify available resources of financing and facilitate cross-border capital flows.
The conference was attended by the European Commission’s Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science Mr Carlos Moedas who introduced the EU financial instruments in support of innovation. Mr Valdis Dombrovskis, Vice-President of the European Commission, responsible for the Euro and Social Dialogue, gave an insight into the current situation in the Eurozone, while work on the Investment Plan for Europe was explained by Vice-President of EIB Mr Pim van Ballekom. Vice-President of EIB Mr Ambroise Fayolle and CEO of the European Investment Fund (EIF) Pier Luigi Gilibert were also among the participants of the conference.
The First Innovative Enterprise week “Access to Finance for Research, Innovation and SMEs 2015” conference was held on 15-17 June in Riga as part of the First Innovative Enterprise Week initiated by the Latvian Presidency of the Council of the EU. The conference was organised by the Latvian Ministry of Economics in collaboration with the Altum development finance institution, the European Commission, the European Investment Bank, the European Investment Fund and the Secretariat of the Latvian Presidency of the Council of the EU
Conference materials are available on the official website: www.innoweek2015.eu.
Conference photo gallery: flickr.com/photos/innoweeklatvia/
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