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Innovative Enterprise Financing Ideas from Europe conference

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - FIE2016 (Innovative Enterprise Financing Ideas from Europe conference)

Reporting period: 2016-01-23 to 2016-07-22

The Innovative Enterprise (or Access to Risk Finance) conferences raise awareness of the potential of the EU’s financial instruments, facilities and accompanying measures to enhance access to finance for research and innovation. Previous successful conferences were organised in Greece, Latvia and Luxembourg. The Innovative Enterprise - Ideas from Europe conference took place 31 March-1April 2016 in The Hague, the Netherlands. The conference was organized for the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Research and Innovation and the Ministry of Economic Affairs in the Netherlands in association with the Netherlands Presidency of the Council of the European Union and in conjunction with TEDxBinnenhof Ideas from Europe.

In addition to a particular focus on the instruments launched under Horizon 2020 (InnovFin), also addressed were the interactions between InnovFin, COSME, the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF), and the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), as well as with instruments at national and local level. The event included sessions on alternative finance, such as crowdfunding.

The conference was opened by the Minister of Economic Affairs of the Netherlands Henk Kamp with key note speeches from Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation Carlos Moedas, EIB Vice President Pim van Ballekom and TomTom director Corinne Vigreux. Other high-level speakers were EIF Chief Executive Pier Luigi Gilibert, KfW Senior Vice President Katrin Leonhardt and Bpifrance Executive Director Pascal Lagarde. The programme offered a total of 24 plenary and parallel sessions with a total of more than 100 speakers, a clear focus on stakeholder groups (government, finance, business, research) and in particular aimed at attracting businesses with growth ambition. Programme strands were: 1) financial products (in particular InnovFin); 2) framework conditions (policy, supervision, regulation); 3) investment and investor readiness; 4) masterclass/academy/B2B; 5) social events / networking. It brought together 400 policymakers, financial intermediaries and representatives of the research, innovation and business communities, including SMEs. New elements of this conference were the B2B matchmaking for the Fintech sector “FintechMatch” (Enterprise Europe Network), InvestHorizon pitching and Eureka InnoVest academy.

Information about the conference, including photos, presentations and videos are available on the website: On Twitter @innovin_enter.
The main result has been the successful staging of the conference on 31 March – 1 April. All activities pre-, during and post-event and post-event have been carried out and completed. To ensure a successful conference, the work was organised into the following work packages and activities.

1. Project management; this entailed the management of the overall conference organisation and the development of the content and scheduling of the programme together with the European Commission, the Ministry of Economic Affairs as well as the European Investment Bank, the European Investment Fund, Fluent Digital Capital (Fund of Funds), the Dutch Incubation Association, the CrowdfundingHub, the innovation centre at Leiden-The Hague university, the InvestHorizon and Eureka Innovest programmes and the Enterprise Europe Network. Achieved: attractive and varied programme with more than 20 (parallel) sessions.

2a. Speaker management; worked with the Commission, the Ministry and other partners to invite and attract the right quality and quantity of session moderators and speakers for the programme. Developed a briefing pack for session moderators and speakers. Achieved: attendance of the Minister of Economic Affairs, the Commissioner for Science, Research and Innovation, other high-level speakers and in total more than 100 speakers.

2b. Guest management; developed the list of invitees (building on the list already provided) for the purpose of this conference (Ideas from Europe, growth companies). Contacted European and national networks to get as broad a distribution of the invitation as possible. In addition to the partners above this included for example the Dutch Banking Association. The objective was to get a good mix of financiers (institutional and private) and entrepreneurs.
Achieved: 400 participants; from a mailing list with 9% of business representatives the actual attendance of business representatives was 47% and 12% represented finance.

3. Communication; communicated and disseminated information before and during the conference to raise attention and interest with speakers, participants and press. Post-event all speakers and participants were thanked and advised of photos, presentations and videos being available on the website. of The broader objective was to raise awareness of the financial instruments available at EU, national and local level. Main means of communication were the website and direct email with registered participants. Achieved: website, high level of speaker and guest satisfaction with the amount and quality of communication.

4. Production; encompassed the provision of all technical and logistic facilities, from locations, to wifi, light, audio, video, power etc. and including the conference website. Plenary and parallel sessions were available via livestream. Most striking achievement was the building of a temporary, purpose-built glass pavilion on the Hofvijver in The Hague.
"Beyond the state of the art (of European conferences):

External partners, such as the CrowdfundingHub, Dutch Incubation Association and Fluent Digital Capital (Luxembourg), were made responsible for part of the programme adding a new dimension to the core programme of EU financial instruments - such as masterclasses and a ""FUN"" (about business failing) event. Being co-responsible these partners brought in their own expertise and network and helped disseminate the information to a broader audience.

As part of the conference, the Enterprise Europe Network (EEN) organised their first ever B2B matchmaking for the Fintech sector. This is a relatively new but growing sector and within EEN was not (yet) recognised as a distinct sector, which made identifying and reaching the right audience a challenge. For this NL EEN partner not only worked with its own network partners but also with Holland Fintech and EASME.

Unique, purpose-built location: the main location was be a purpose-built pavilion on the pond (Hofvijver) in the centre of The Hague, adjacent to the Binnenhof, the seat of Government. The prime minister’s office (“the tower”) will overlooked the pavilion. Three other high-quality locations for parallel sessions were private club Sociëteit de Witte (Plein, The Hague), Johan de Witthuis (exclusively available to Government organisations, Kneuterdijk, The Hague) and 7AM meeting centre (Buitenhof).

The Ministry of Economic Affairs and the European Investment Fund signed an agreement for Dutch Venture Initiative II ( and the Commission and European Investment Bank launched a new securitisation instrument for SMEs (

All of the above were aimed at reaching as broad a group of policy makers, financial institutions and entrepreneurs as possible in order to make them aware of the opportunities to provide/get finance. The actual uptake (and as such the wider socio-economic impact and societal implications) of the instruments is beyond the remit of the conference and cannot be measured directly in relation.

Commissioner Carlos Moedas, key note speech
Commissioner Carlos Moedas, key note speech
Hostess networking reception
Cultural evening programme, opera singer Lotte on roller skates
Parallel session in progress, Societeit de Witte
logo Innovative Enterprise
Minister of Economic Affairs Henk Kamp, opening speech
TomTom director Corinne Vigreux, key note speech
Outside view of Pavillion, Hofvijver and Binnenhof
Minister of Economic Affairs Henk Kamp, opening speech