The fund aims to provide financing for innovative circular bioeconomy companies and projects in the EU and in countries associated with the Horizon 2020 programme.
The European Commission and the European Investment Bank (EIB) have announced the completion of the public procurement process for the selection of an investment advisor to set up and manage the European Circular Bioeconomy Fund (ECBF). The selected investment advisor is ECBF Management GmbH and Hauck & Aufhäuser Fund Services S.A. will act as the Alternative Investment Fund Manager.
The new fund will provide access to finance – in the form of equity, debt or quasi-equity – to innovative circular bioeconomy companies and projects of various sizes. ECBF Management will raise funds from public and private investors with a target fund volume of EUR 250 million and aims for a first close in Q1 2020. A proposal for the EIB to invest up to EUR 100 million in the fund will be submitted to the EIB’s Board of Directors for approval. This investment will be backed by a guarantee from InnovFin – EU finance for Innovators, an initiative of the EIB Group and the European Commission to facilitate access to finance for innovation and research through a wide range of financing tools and advisory services.
Carlos Moedas, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, said: “Sustainable bioeconomy has the potential to play a major role for the European Green Deal. It will help us reach our environmental, climate and biodiversity targets in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The European Circular Bioeconomy Fund will fill the funding gaps, attracting private investments that bring bio-based innovations closer to the market.”
Andrew McDowell, EIB Vice-President responsible for agriculture and bioeconomy, said: “Using renewable biological resources to produce our goods and energy is essential to transition to a circular economy and reduce our reliance on fossil fuels. With the launch of the European Circular Bioeconomy Fund, we have reached an important milestone to ensure that groundbreaking projects in the sector get the financing they need.”
Michael Brandkamp, Head of ECBF, said: “It’s a great honour and privilege as well as an entrepreneurial obligation for us to be chosen by the EIB to execute this very important fund initiative. In the transforming industry we see great investment opportunities in Europe contributing to a sustainable circular economy. With more than 30 years of investment experience, the ECBF team has the right qualifications do the execution professionally. We are very grateful for the valuable support of the European Commission, the EIB, InnovFin, Hauck & Aufhäuser, and many other institutions and networking partners.”
The creation of such a fund was recommended by the 2017 Innovfin Advisory study Access-to-finance conditions for Investments in Bio-Based Industries and the Blue Economy which identified an important financing gap in the bioeconomy sector.