FINNO is a new Access2Finance and Innovation platform in South-East Europe.
FINNO is a one-stop shop for financial instruments and innovation support for SMEs in the region.
The key idea behind FINNO is to assist the growth and development of SMEs from South-East Europe (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia and Slovenia).
FINNO was created by Enterprise Europe Network Consortia to improve the access to finance (access 2 finance, a2f) and facilitate the innovation process from business ideas to commercial success on international markets.
What does FINNO offer?
FINNO can assist SMEs in the region to pick the right financial and innovation support offered by various EU programmes and institutions.
Through FINNO SMEs can get valuable information on available financing and innovation opportunities suitable for their businesses.
The Western Balkans Enterprise Development & Innovation Facility (WB EDIF) offers financing and other types of support to SMEs throughout all stages of their lifecycle.
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) that targets to support SMEs through several initiatives such as Small Business Initiative (addressing barriers to SMEs’ growth, adopting innovative technologies and helping their breakthroughs in the market), the Advice for Small Businesses Programme (supporting SMEs blends access to finance with business know-how to deliver tailored support to enterprises and transform their business models), Women in Business programme (promotes women’s entrepreneurship and participation in business through a holistic approach, combining financing with advisory) or EBRD Star Venture programme (identifies and supports innovative early-stage companies with high growth potential).
InvestEU is one of the programmes of the EU budget (2021-2027). It is a policy instrument aimed at supporting the policy objectives of the EU by mobilising public and private investment within the EU and a delivery tool for implementing the EU budget through a budgetary guarantee by achieving economies of scale and increasing the visibility of the EU.
Access2Markets is an online portal that helps SMEs trade beyond the EU’s borders. It serves both the existing companies that trade internationally and SMEs contemplating presence in foreign markets.
The Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) is a key regional organisation in South-East Europe. RCC closely cooperate with the Western Balkans 6 Chamber Investment Forum (WB6 CIF) (a registered association of chambers of commerce and industry from the six Western Balkan economies) and Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA) towards implementing the Common Regional Market (CRM) 2021-2024 Action Plan.
The CRM targets four key areas: Regional trade area (free movement of goods, services, capital and people), Regional investment area (aligning investment policies with the EU standards and best international practices and promoting the region to foreign investors), Regional digital area (integrating the Western Balkans into the pan-European digital market) and Regional industrial and innovation area (transforming the industrial sectors, shaping value chains they belong to, and preparing them for the realities of today and challenges of tomorrow).
The programme facilitates collaboration and strengthens the impact of research and innovation in developing, supporting and implementing EU policies while tackling global challenges. It supports creating and better dispersing of excellent knowledge and technologies.
Horizon Europe introduced new elements:
The European Innovation Council (EIC) has been established under the EU Horizon Europe programme. With a budget of €10.1 billion, EIC represents Europe’s main innovation programme to identify, develop and scale up breakthrough technologies and game-changing innovations. Note that 70% of the budget is earmarked for SMEs.
Missions: Sets of measures to achieve bold, inspirational and measurable goals within a set timeframe. There are 5 main missions as part of Horizon Europe.
Open science-policy: Mandatory open access to publications and open science principles are applied throughout the programme.
New approach to partnerships: Objective-driven and more ambitious partnerships with industry in support of EU policy objectives.
The European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) is an independent body and a unique EU initiative that drives innovation across Europe by bringing together organisations from business, education and research to find solutions to pressing global challenges, create jobs and deliver sustainable economic growth opportunities for Europe.
It does this by supporting the development of dynamic, long-term pan-European partnerships among leading companies, research labs and higher education institutions, called EIT Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs).
There are currently eight EIT KICs and each focuses on a specific societal challenge:
- EIT Climate-KIC: Accelerating the transition to a zero-carbon economy
- EIT Digital: For a strong, digital Europe. Inclusive. Fair. Sustainable.
- EIT InnoEnergy: Accelerating sustainable energy innovations
- EIT Health: Promoting innovation in health
- EIT RawMaterials: Developing raw materials into a major strength for Europe
- EIT Food: Making the food system more sustainable, healthy and trusted
- EIT Manufacturing: Leading manufacturing is Made by Europe
- EIT Urban Mobility: Solving the mobility challenges facing our cities together
Together with leading partners, all EIT KICs offer a wide range of innovation and entrepreneurship activities: entrepreneurial education courses that combine technical and entrepreneurship skills, tailored business creation and acceleration services and innovation-driven research projects.