EUROTECH INVEST encourages investment in high-technology SMEs
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) frequently find it difficult to secure private capital investment for their activities in the field of high technology. This is largely due to the high risk nature of investments in this area. EUROTECH CAPITAL (European Technology Capital) is a project launched by DG XVIII of the Commission of the European Communities aiming to encourage private capital to finance transborder high technology projects and to facilitate the launching of new projects of this kind. It consists of a network of key European financial institutions, experienced in the specific challenges associated with developing high technology oriented companies, which have agreed to invest approximately ECU 150 million in SMEs involved in high technology. In return they receive the benefit of a financial contribution plus two services; EUROTECH DATA (an expert information service) and EUROTECH INVEST. EUROTECH INVEST is a free, confidential service within EUROTECH CAPITAL providing liaison between the firms seeking capital through this initiative and the network of investors. It also offers accompanying support and advice to participating companies during the application process. Among its several advantages, the service is linked to two CORDIS databases, RTD-Results and RTD-Partners, permitting additional forms of support to be requested, such as joint ventures, licensing and marketing agreements. Types of finance available include seed finance, start-up or early stage, and expansion finance. To date, the EUROTECH INVEST success rate is high. Over half the proposals distributed are followed up by the investors, while some 10% reach the final stages of negotiation.