BCR was selected by the European Commission in a consortium that applied for the European initiative “INNOSUP-10-2020 – Closing the finance gap for IPR-driven start-ups and SMEs” to receive a grant totaling EUR 1 million. The funds will be used to support 15 start-ups and 15 innovative SMEs based in the European Union, including Romania, to efficiently leverage their intangible IP assets.
BCR applied for the program, as part of a consortium with extensive background in innovation, both locally and internationally. It also includes: bwcon GmbH (Germany), Iceberg Consulting SRL (Romania), Innova (Italy), Aster Capital Partners (France), BUGNION S.p.A. (Italy), CNRS Innovation (France) and KMU FORSCHUNG (Austria).
The Leadership4SMEs program, part of the INNOSUP-10-2020 initiative, was launched by the European Commission in 2019. The overall objective is to develop a comprehensive program that allows innovative SMEs and start-ups to efficiently leverage their intangible IP assets, increasing accessibility to funding opportunities related to business strategy and market potential. It will be supported by a dedicated, self-sustaining platform, and companies that will receive funding must be established in at least 10 EU Member States or countries associated with the Horizon 2020 program.
“We are the first bank in Romania that is interested in financing technology companies in a fair and active manner and that is why we applied for this grant, because it will help us find functional tools for evaluating and developing intangible IP assets for startups and SMEs,t hese being highly valuable for intellectual property rights. Applying for this grant program is the result of the experience gained in the BCR-InnovX program, the accelerator launched last year to support Romanian entrepreneurs active in technology. Following the feedback received from participants, we realized that companies operating in this area need guidance and resources when it comes to financing and designing intellectual property rights”, said Ana-Maria Crețu, Head of BCR Social Banking Department.
The program will contribute to:
- Enable European innovative start-ups and SMEs to protect and enhance the value of their innovations and the attractiveness for investors,
- Reduce the risk of access to financing for intellectual property rights,
- Increase the leverage effect of intellectual property assets of the supported SMEs and start-ups.
The project has a timeline of two years, and the coordinator will be bwcon GmbH, while BCR will provide support to the members of the consortium, by allocating a team specialized in the management of intellectual property rights, business acceleration and financing. The project involves the creation of a one-stop-shop assistance platform for SMEs and startups based on intellectual property rights, access to private growth capital and the promotion of start-ups selected through the program.