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Investments, in a variety of forms, will help create a modern, dynamic agri-food
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European Regional Development Fund

Lithuanian financial instrument invests in energy efficiency for buildings

Lithuania's financial instrument promoting energy efficiency in apartment buildings has been featured as an interesting case study at fi‑compass events, and we went to speak to some of the people involved to find out more about this innovative way of using the European Regional Development Fund.

Dutch financial instrument promotes high-tech business innovation

A new fi‑compass case study shows how a financial instrument from the Eastern Netherlands has used European Regional Development Fund assistance to support innovation investments by small and medium‑sized enterprises (SMEs).

This 'Innovation Fund East Netherlands' was designed to help improve access to finance for the region's most promising entrepreneurs during the global economic crisis.

The fund manager, Participatiemaatschappij Oost (PPM Oost), provided equity and loans that many banks, venture capitalists, and business angels were considering too high risk.

PPM Oost also offered networking, training, and coaching opportunities. Results led to 33 SMEs investing EUR 25.7 million which created 325 new jobs.

Investing in low carbon economies: Lessons from the London Green Fund

Our fi‑compass publications library includes a case study from the London Green Fund (LGF). It explains how this financial instrument used the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) to successfully support much‑needed investments in environmental infrastructure.

This ERDF financial instrument contributes directly to reducing carbon emissions and it received international recognition earlier this year when its urban development achievements were discussed at the C40 Financing Sustainable Cities Forum. The story behind this success was told by the LGF fund managers and the Greater London Authority (GLA), the ERDF Intermediate Body.

Simon White from the GLA explained how the financial instrument was primarily driven by targets for minimising carbon emissions and waste within the city's urban regeneration plan, saying: "There were lots of projects that needed to be delivered, and there were lots of finance that needed to be secured to enable those to happen."

A solution to this challenge involved a shift in approach to develop a fund that used the ERDF as investment finance to support infrastructure projects.

Case study (Innovation Fund, East Netherlands)

This study explains how the Innovation Fund in East Netherlands, co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) in the 2007-2013 programming period, addressed a regional market gap for access to finance. Target recipients were small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the food, health and technology sectors, with no track record and in the early development stage. The fund manager, Participatiemaatschappij Oost (PPM Oost), provided equity and loans combined with non-financial support such as networking, training and coaching.

Presidency points of view from Malta

Malta currently holds the Presidency of the Council of the European Union and fi-compass spoke to Maltese stakeholders about their experiences with using EU-funded financial instruments. 

Jonathan Vassallo is the Director General of Malta's managing authority for the European Structural and Investment Funds and the SME Initiative. He notes how: "When one considers the success that the implementation of financial instruments had in the 2007-2013 period, there was a natural expectation by the market that Structural Funds would again be implemented to address the persisting market gaps. When we speak about persisting market gaps here reference is made specifically to the consistently higher interest rate as well as the higher collateral requirements requested by local financial intermediaries."