Access to Finance
DIH services for accessing financing to companies and public organisations are primarily through research grant applications. These competition-based grants can be either regional/national funding or come from the EU. In addition, DIHs can coordinate between potential partners (SMEs, larger companies, asset owners) to start Joint Industry Projects (JIPs) without public funding. It is healthy for a DIH to not be dependent on a single finance source, in order to survive changing market conditions. Proposal writing should be a free service to external partners if the DIH is a part of the proposal consortium and will gain financially through participation in the project. This makes it easier to attract partners and increases the perceived integrity of the DIH. DIHs can also connect with venture capital funds to invest in start-ups. Some DIHs have internal venture funds for direct financing. The trends in Europe in the last 5 years is that EU-research grants are not increasing, but venture capital is increasing, by on average 4bnEUR every year the last 5 years. The budget for the next ERC framework programme “Horizon Europe” is not yet finalized but is projected to be similar in scope to H2020.
EU spendings on research in billions of euro. Source: European Commission