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The European Investment Bank (EIB) has announced that it will support five innovative Finnish Midcap companies. Loans totalling EUR 60,5 million for innovation in different fields were signed today in Pori, in the margins of the high-level “Suomi Areena” event. The operations are supported by ‘InnovFin – EU Finance for Innovators’, with the financial backing of the European Union under Horizon 2020 Financial Instruments.

“Finland has long been one of the innovation leaders in the EU and the EIB is proud to continue its support for Finnish industries." said Vice-President Jan Vapaavuori, responsible for EIB operations in the Nordic countries. “Thanks to InnovFin, the European institutions can really make a difference, by being able to back to ground-breaking and promising innovative developments in different sectors.”

Commissioner Jyrki Katainen, added: “I am very pleased that the EIB and InnovFin programme put a strong emphasis on SMEs and midcap companies with strong focus on research and innovation - R&D being one of the areas where we see that the Investment Plan makes a real difference. Finnish innovative midcap companies and SMEs can now make even better use of EIB financing to create growth and jobs.”

The InnovFin programme has several specific financing instruments, for example allowing the EIB to support Enevo, Frosmo and Canatu under the “MidCap Growth Finance” window of InnovFin. Enevo (EUR 15m) will invest in a revolutionary sensor technology and cloud based operations management platform for the waste and recycling industry. Frosmo (EUR 8,5m) will finance its three-year investment programme for the internationalisation and product development of its B2C e-commerce optimisation solution. Canatu (EUR 12m) will further develop its revolutionary materials for foldable displays.

AW Energy (EUR 10m) was the first ever company to benefit from the “Energy Demo Projects” instrument. The loan will support the commercialisation of “WaveRoller” technology, generating electricity out of the motion of ocean waves. Finally, Mobidiag (EUR 15m) was the third company to receive funding through the “Infectious Diseases Finance Facility”, it will scale-up their “Novodiag” diagnostics platform; an on-demand automated solution for small labs or decentralized units

Background information:

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is the long-term lending institution of the European Union owned by its Member States. It makes long-term finance available for sound investment in order to contribute towards EU policy goals. In 2015 alone, it made available over EUR 1.6 bln in loans for Finnish projects in various sectors, including healthcare, industry and telecom.

Information about InnovFin:

InnovFin MidCap Growth Finance offers long term senior, subordinated loans or mezzanine loans, in order to improve access to finance mainly for innovative larger midcaps (up to 3000 employees), but also SMEs and small midcaps. Loans from EUR 7.5m to EUR 25m will be delivered directly by the EIB.

InnovFin Energy Demonstration Projects provides loans, loan guarantees or equity-type investments between EUR 7.5m and EUR 75m to innovative first-of-a-kind commercial-scale demonstration projects in the fields of renewable energy, and hydrogen / fuel cells, helping them to bridge the gap from demonstration to commercialisation. 

Infectious Diseases Finance Facility provides a broad range of financial products ranging from standard debt to risk sharing instruments for amounts between EUR 7.5m and EUR 75m, to innovative players active in developing new innovative vaccines, drugs, medical and diagnostic devices or novel research infrastructures for combatting infectious diseases. Final recipients will be project developers that have successfully completed the pre-clinical stage, and preferably early stage clinical development, and would now require clinical validation or be ready for later stage clinical trials.

Details on the loan agreements:

AW-Energy is a pioneer in the green economy and is the global leader in wave energy technology. Its flagship product, WaveRoller, is a submerged wave energy converter based on a hinged panel that is attached to the sea bed in the near shore area. It generates electricity from the movement of the waves (surge phenomenon) and is connected to the electric grid onshore. The company is based in Finland, and operates in multiple continents.

The company was granted a EUR 10 million loan for the continued commercialisation of the “WaveRoller” wave energy converter, the first commercial scale 350kW device is currently under construction in Portugal. The investment will support and speed up the commercial roll-out of European wave energy technology and is the first project to be supported by the InnovFin Energy Demonstration Project (EDP) programme. Wave energy is the largest untapped form of renewable energy in the world with a global potential greater than the capacity of all the installed fossil fuel plants in Europe combined. 

Canatu is a leading manufacturer of transparent conductive films for flexible and formable touch sensing applications. Canatu helps its customers to differentiate and increase the performance of their products. With its products based on a new type of carbon nanomaterial (Carbon NanoBud®) Canatu serves OEMs and their partners in the rapidly-expanding markets such as mobile and wearable consumer devices, white goods and automotive.

The company was granted a EUR 12 million loan for the development and capacity increase of its Carbon NanoBud® based conductive film and touch sensor production in Finland. The investment will further speed up the continuing commercialization of the company’s products and allows Canatu to better serve customers in the consumer electronics and automotive markets. A part of the investment is used to attract more talent to the Canatu team and the company has already started to recruit more employees.

Founded in 2010, Enevo is a forward-thinking company with a vision to transform the financial, environmental and social impact of waste. By collecting and analysing data from refuse containers across the world, Enevo is able to create efficiencies and cut the cost of waste collection and recycling. Enevo simplifies, de-risks and optimises the waste management process, helping to make a sustainable waste-free environment a more achievable proposition.

The company received a EUR 15 million loan to finance volume manufacturing and further research and development efforts of its revolutionary sensor technology and cloud based operations management platform for the waste and recycling industry. By utilizing big data analytics, advanced routing algorithms and smart wireless sensors to capture fill level data from waste bins, cities around the world can manage and optimize their waste collection operations to gain significant cost savings while increasing recycling rates and protect the environment.

FROSMO is a forerunner in Single Tag based User Interface development methodology. With the FROSMO platform, online business owners achieve unprecedented freedom, speed and cost-efficiency in developing online user experiences that bring competitive advantage and increased ROI.

The company was granted a EUR 8,5 million loan for a three-year investment programme intended to strengthen and speed up the ongoing internationalisation and product development processes. In internationalisation, the focus will be in recruiting top talent for sales and marketing primarily to work in Europe and Asia. In product development, the focus will be on the development of new features to expand the achieved customer benefits of the ground-breaking FROSMO platform.

Established in 2000, Mobidiag develops innovative solutions to advance the diagnosis of infectious diseases and serves the European clinical diagnostics market since 2008. Mobidiag is headquartered in Espoo, Finland, with a subsidiary in Paris, France.

The Finnish molecular diagnostics company obtained a EUR 15 million loan from the EIB. As part of the InnovFin “Infectious Disease Finance Facility” the loan will allow Mobidiag to finalize and scale up their “Novodiag” products manufacturing, assay validation and commercialization over the next 3 years. The Novodiag platform will offer an on demand automated solution for small labs or decentralized units, bringing key benefits such as low hands-on time, ease of use and reliable results.