‘Financial Instruments for Innovation’ organised its kick-off meeting last week (02 and 03 July 2018). In Porto, Portugal the 8 partners met for the first time since the launch of the project. Innova-FI aims to improve the design and implementation of Financial Instruments in the partner regions as a delivery mode of Structural Funds, specifically to improve those instruments, so that they best meet and serve the financing needs of innovative and RTDI driven businesses in all the stages of their start-up and growth.

The National Innovation Agency, coordinator of the project, hosted the kick-off meeting and showed a strong commitment in learning about the innovation landscape, and how it is being publicly financed in partner regions, to improve the design, set-up and implementation of financial instruments that can support highly-innovative businesses. In the framework of a rapidly changing world that demands the continuous update of instruments to meet the real financing demands of innovators, Innova-FI partners have gathered together to learn how peers in Europe are using financial instruments for supporting innovative companies in their financing needs.

 On 02 July, the morning session started with presentations of all the involved regions sharing their regional contexts - including challenges and opportunities - and activities implemented by their bodies/organisations. The session was then followed by an overview of Innova-FI, highlighting the issues addressed by the project, the challenges to be faced and the general/specific outputs. The morning session finished with the presentation “Project and financial management”. In the afternoon session, the partners analysed and agreed on the project work plan (including a brief outline of the communication activities planned for each semester), with a special focus on the dates and outputs foreseen for the 1st and 2nd semester.

The second day begun with Startup Europe Regions Network (SERN) - advisor partner responsible for the communication activities - presenting a framework of the main communication and dissemination tools. The last part of SERN session included a brainstorm for the design of #hashtags to be used during the lifetime of the project. The day continued with IVACE and its brief demonstration of the tool ‘Financing Innovation’. Still working on its development IVACE asked for partners inputs and discussed potentials indicators to be used to measure the real impact of the tool, since it will allow the different actors to know the state-of-play in the different partner regions and to make a consistent comparison between regions. To sum-up the kick-off meeting, the Lead Partner talked about the next project activities and thanked the dynamic participation of the partners.

More updates will follow!!! In the meantime, follow us on Twitter @Innova_FI