European Investment Bank: start regional investment platform Zuid-Holland

To improve the implementation of large innovative transition projects in Zuid-Holland, an investment platform should be established. That is the conclusion of the European Investment Bank.

The European Investment Bank (EIB) presented this conclusion on Monday 9 July to the administrative Investment Board of the Regional Investment Programme. In this programme, public parties, knowledge institutions and the business community collaborate to strengthen the region. This collaboration is very important, as it ensures an optimal use of the region's opportunities.

High-risk projects

The Province of Zuid-Holland, the Rotterdam-The Hague Metropolitan Region and the Municipalities of Rotterdam and The Hague had asked the EIB to investigate, because it proved to be quite a challenge from time to time to find funding for projects initiated by this programme. The research shows that there are various means - both national and European - but that there is a mismatch with regard to risk appetite, just when the region faces large challenges such as energy transition, circular economy and digitisation, which naturally include high-risk innovation projects.

Support and funding

An investment platform would provide the support to turn start-up innovative projects of the Roadmap Next Economy and the Regional Investment Programme into fundable business cases. The platform can, for example, bring entrepreneurs in contact with the various programmes and financial instruments of the EIB and the EU. In addition, the EIB advises to offer risk financing through this platform from 2020 onwards. This will give the innovation projects a first impulse for market parties to join more readily and invest as well. The province, region and municipalities should create a fund for this purpose, in which the EIB would participate. Thanks to the contribution of the public parties and the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the fund would finance higher risk projects than those usually funded by the EIB. The administrators who received the report, acknowledged the EIB analysis and will get to work on this advice.