To design a methodological approach for policy makers to combine funding and financing support for research and innovation, starting from building capacities to the support to business development (beyond the entry to the market of new products or services)
- Short analysis of the main challenges of combining funding and financing tools
- Exploration of frameworks to better characterise and position R&I support, by making use of the concept of Technological Readiness Levels (degree of maturity) across a range of dimensions.
- A tentative methodological approach is proposed for a more coherent picture of available funding and financing support in order to better implement RIS3 strategies
- The approach is tested for the case of Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) technology in Andalusia region
- The concept of Readiness Levels (RL) is offers potential for examining funding and financing scenarios, and allows for consideration of the broader context in which projects are implemented (readiness of the technology (TRL), the entrepreneur (ERL), the market (MRL), etc.).
- The Technological Readiness Level scale is considered as a reference tool and is used increasingly by EU programmes (e.g. Horizon 2020, some ERDF operational programmes). However, the approach appears to be too technological and is less compatible with non- or low technological areas. The scope of the TRL scale could therefore be widened to other aspects of innovation such as commercialisation of new products and services and to scaling up of business capacities.
- Both better information and better alignment needed: There is a need for cross-cutting knowledge of existing funding and financing support. Information on R&I support schemes is very often considered separately from each other. There is also a need for better alignment of rules of participation. Between different support mechanisms, disparities exist regarding rules of participation (e.g. eligibility criteria) and the legal framework. A better alignment of funding rules between EU funding, and also national, programmes could facilitate synergies between funding mechanisms.
- When implementing R&I projects, the focus is still too often exclusively on funding sources (grants), whereas financing instruments also have good potential. In particular the financing of EIB offers good opportunities. A better communication of this potential and the possibilities for synergies with funding schemes would unlock good part of this potential.
Doussineau, M, Arregui-Pabollet, E, Harrap, N, Merida, F (2018): Drawing funding and financing scenarios for effective implementation of Smart specialisation strategies, JRC Technical report.