Sharing risk in research, development & innovation (RSFF)

Sharing risk in research, development & innovation (RSFF)

Investing in complex, long term research, development and innovation (RDI) projects can be risky. We are able to lower these risks, facilitating investment that will boost competitiveness, growth and job creation. The Risk Sharing Finance Facility (RSFF) improves access to debt financing for all types and size of private company and public institution undertaking RDI projects.

  • We share risks with promoters, banks and others
  • This attracts other financing partners
  • We offer good terms thanks to our AAA rating and non-profit orientation
  • We have extensive structuring expertise
  • We make a long-term commitment
  • Availability of all major currencies

What can be supported?

The scope of eligible activities is wide including infrastructure, equipment, salaries (researchers, management and support staff), utility bills, consumables, intellectual property rights acquisition and protection and, under certain conditions, leasing and depreciation. RSSF can support the following:

  • basic or fundamental research
  • applied or industrial research
  • experimental or pre-competitive development
  • definition stage or feasibility studies
  • pilots and demonstration activities
  • European Research Initiatives (including research infrastructure, European technology platforms, joint technology initiatives or projects undertaken under the Eureka scheme.)

We support investment that we believe is technically, economically, financially and environmentally sound. It must also be promoted by creditworthy counterparties based in the EU and certain partner countries. Projects backed so far include clean auto technology, energy efficiency, pharmaceuticals, bio-medical engineering, transport and communication.

Who can benefit:

Organisations of any size and ownership can access RSFF funding.

How it works

The main techniques we use are:

  • Strengthening the promoter’s financial profile enables them to attract additional funding. We do this through long-term financing with potentially subordination elements (financing ranking behind debt provided by senior lenders).
  • Alleviating banks risk-management related lending constraints boosts their capacity to support RDI activities particularly for SMEs and mid-caps. We use our Risk Sharing Instrument (RSI) Facility  portfolio guarantee product.
  • Overcoming market weaknesses by developing new financial products.

The programme is a joint effort of the EIB and the European Commission, with each providing half the facility’s EUR 2bn capital. With this we are able to provide loans, guarantees, equity investment etc. up to a maximum of EUR 10bn for projects with a higher than normal risk/reward profile

What financing products are available?

RSFF financing products use a wide range of loans and guarantees which can be tailored to individual innovators’ needs. Financing is either provided directly or via a financial intermediary, most usually a bank.

Direct RSFF financing is via corporate debt financing, project financing and mezzanine financing

Intermediated RSFF Financing is via risk sharing lines of credit and guarantees

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High risk-high reward RDI projects

See how one of our debt financing instruments helps to increase investment in Europe's knowledge economy.

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