Access to Risk Finance

Under ‘Access to Risk Finance’, Horizon 2020 helps companies and other types of organisation engaged in research and innovation (R&I) to gain easier access, via financial instruments, to loans, guarantees, counter-guarantees and hybrid, mezzanine and equity finance. This part aims to overcome deficits in the availability of debt and equity finance for R&D and innovation-driven companies and projects at all stages of development. Together with the equity instrument of the Programme for the Competitiveness of Enterprises and small and medium-sized enterprises (COSME) (2014-2020) it shall support the development of Union-level venture capital.

The main purpose of the programme is to support and facilitate access to sources of debt and equity financing by innovative companies of all sizes and also by research centers and universities, public-private partnerships, special-purpose companies or projects, and joint ventures.

Who can apply?

The loan facility is open to all types of businesses, but has a special SME opening, offering loans on terms suited to SMEs’ specific needs.


Overall, Horizon 2020 has allocated approximately 2.6 billion euro to the Access to risk finance programme (for the period 2014-2020). Funding will be managed by the European Investment Fund (EIF) and the European Investment Bank (EIB).

 Funding ActionSelection procedureIndicative budgetElegibility criteria
InnovFin SME GuaranteeFinancial InstrumentFor financial intermediaries under InnovFin SME Guarantee: a call for expression of interest issued by EIF is open at [click here]
EUR 50.00 milliontargets R&I-driven SMEs and small midcaps requiring loans of between EUR 25 000 and EUR 7.5 million. A loan of more than EUR 7.5 million can be considered on a case-by-case basis
InnovFin SME VCFinancial InstrumentFor risk-capital funds acting as financial intermediaries under InnovFin SME VC: a call for expression of interest issued by EIF is open at [click here]
EUR 50.00 millionR&I-driven SMEs and small midcaps
InnovFin AngelsFinancial Instrument[more info - click here]
EUR 30.00 millionIndicators and targets will be set during negotiations with the entity implementing the scheme
InnovFin TTFFFinancial InstrumentFor TT funds and vehicles acting as financial intermediaries: a call for expression of interest will be openedEUR 35.00 million
Capacity-Building in Technology TransferPublic Procurement - 1 direct service contract[more info - click here]
EUR 2.50 millionTechnology transfer (TT) Universities, research institutes, public research organizations, regions.
Boosting the Investment-Readiness of SMEsPublic Procurement - 1 direct service contract[more info - click here]
EUR 2.50 millionSMEs, Investor
Prizes Scheme in the "Access to Risk Finance" DomainFurther details of the prize(s) will be providedEUR 0.50 million
Innovative Enterprise Week 2017Grant to identified beneficiary - CSA[more info - click here]
EUR 0.30 millionThe standard evaluation criteria, thresholds, weighting for award criteria and the maximum rate of co-financing for this type of action are provided in parts D and H of the General Annexes.
InnovFin MidCap Growth FinanceTerm loans[more info - click here]
to finance future investment programmes linked to research and innovation. Typically, companies will plan to spend a cumulative amount of at least EUR 15m over the next three years
InnovFin MidCap GuaranteeFinancial Instrument[more info - click here]
Midcap companies in EU-28 and Associated Countries; Innovative midcaps investing in a project; Minimum midcap rating limit
H2020-ALTFI-01-2017 Improving access by innovative SMEs to alternative forms of financeCoordination and support action[more info - click here]EUR 2.5 millionsAt least one legal entity estabilished in EU-28 or Associated Countries