Innova-FI Slovenian partner, Government Office for Development and European Cohesion Policy (GODC) organised the first regional stakeholders group meeting. The aim of the meeting was to make an introduction to INNOVA-FI project, present its aims, activities and timeline to two institutions, namely Government Office for Development and European Cohesion Policy and Ministry of Economic Development and Technology.

The main emphasis was put on preparing the map of institutions that offer financial instruments to support the innovation of SMEs. Once the guides about how to collect information are prepared, GODC will start collecting relevant information.

Also discussed on this day, were the Slovenian good practices that could be presented and later included in the final report. There are few show cases among SMEs, where different types of financial instruments were used (not subsidies and grants), but further elaboration is need based on guides. Moreover, the conclusions from two meetings - the kick-off in Porto (Portugal) and exchange of experience workshop in Brussels (Belgium) – were presented.

Participants agreed that subsidies and grants are still the most common financial instruments used to implement the operational programme, nevertheless there are also significant efforts to divert this practice to more ambitious and investment return-based financial instruments. The picture is similar to certain EU countries, namely Portugal, Spain and Italy.

Since it was the first meeting, no policy recommendations were made, and no particular key conclusions were drafted. However, the stakeholders confirmed seeing this project as a huge potential to get a complementary knowledge about which practices from other countries and regions could be used and transferred.