Where to get funding for innovative products in 2022?

The basis for the operation of any business is continuous development, and thus the introduction of newer and more competitive solutions to the market. Such activities often require large financial outlays, which not every entrepreneur has. Here with help come numerous programs of subsidies and loans offered by state, EU or private institutions. From our text you will learn about available financing opportunities for new products and how to take advantage of them.

Great base of grants for innovation

The Polish Development Fund Group and its member Polish Agency for Enterprise Development have a wide range of support for the development of small and medium-sized enterprises. It combines various programs, both government and EU ones. "The Eastern Poland Operational Program enables companies in the eastern part of our country to expand their operations and implement modern solutions to help improve production processes or development work."

"Norwegian Funds". is another initiative of which PARP is a part. From 2014 to 2021, as much as EUR 93 million has been earmarked for SMEs - to increase their competitiveness, promote innovation and attract business partners. The funds obtained can be used for R&D work or investment expenditures related to the development and implementation of new or improved products on the market. In addition to the above-mentioned initiatives, entrepreneurs can also count on obtaining funds from smaller competitions such as: "Grants for Eurogrants". or "Polish Product of the Future"..

Joining grant programs or the above-mentioned competitions only involves meeting the criteria listed on the project website and completing the documents required by PARP by the specified deadline.

European Innovation Council Work Programme 2022 - European Commission in pursuit of innovation

Second edition of this EU program, operating within the broader Horizon Europe initiative, whose main goal is sustainable development, boasts a budget of about €1.7 billion scheduled for 2022. It is aimed at small and medium-sized enterprises, which want to expand their brand in the market. In the EIC WP 2022 itself, 3 areas have been separated:

  • EIC Pathfinder - is €350 million for technological breakthroughs. The competition is divided into two parts. The first, for which as much as €183 million is earmarked, is an open call without a strict thematic framework. The remaining €167 million is intended to help
    in meeting the challenges of environmental, medical or energy problems.
  • EIC Transition - €131 million to use the acquired research results to carve out new products. Nearly €60.5 million will be allocated to meet "Transformation Challenges," among them: green digital devices for the future.
  • EIC Accelerator - €1.16 billion specifically for start-ups and SMEs to scale up innovations with the potential to revolutionize existing markets or create new ones.

Those interested in obtaining subsidies from the above-mentioned initiatives must, within the deadlines set by the European Commission submit the applications on the dedicated portal and draft the business plan, which will allow the commission to positively evaluate the prepared idea.

Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego as an intermediary between the entrepreneur and the EU

BGK offers numerous loans and guarantees for entrepreneurs. They are financed from the European Funds' Regional Programs by proven lenders. These include loan funds, guarantee funds, commercial and cooperative banks and venture capital fund managers. Different offers are provided for each of the sixteen provinces. Both small and medium-sized enterprises are able to obtain appropriate funds to expand their operations through BGK. Aid amounts range from a few thousand to as much as several million zlotys.

Support for young entrepreneurs

A good solution for budding entrepreneurs are loans provided on favorable terms under the government program "First business - support at the start".. They apply to unified master's students and final year undergraduate and master's students. The amount of such a loan reaches approx. 100 thousand PLN.

JEREMIE2 as a regional program for business development

One of the most important initiatives for those entering the business world is JEREMIE2, which is a continuation of the JEREMIE assistance program operating from 2007 to 2013. It is based on offering Repayable assistance on affordable terms for start-ups and small and medium-sized companies. The program provides for loans in different variants, tailored to the needs of entrepreneurs from the provinces of Lodz, Mazovia, West Pomerania and Greater Poland.

Venture capital funds as catalysts for innovation

Venture capital is a form of financing for the development of companies that is proprietary in nature. It consists in taking up the issue of shares or stocks. Investors most often allocate their funds to promising and market-breaking projects that are in the initial stages of their operations. Such investments are often burdened with a considerable chance of failure according to the "high risk, high return" principle. For entrepreneurs, this is a tremendous opportunity to obtain financing that allows for resilient business development. However, the very process of obtaining support from such a fund is quite complex and requires good presentations prepared product to continue the fight for investors.

  • Year after year, the flow of capital through VC funds is growing and has a CAGR of 38% for the past three years.
  • In 2021, VC funds supported nearly 400 Polish start-ups by nearly PLN 3.6 billion
  • Some of the largest players in the Polish market include: PFR Ventures or Inovo Venture Partners
  • The end of 2022 will bring the beginning of the program FENG - European Funds for the New Economy, which will allow the recapitalization of nearly 500 start-ups

How do we compare to Europe?

According to the report "European Innovation Scoreboard 2022". prepared by the European Commission Poland is among the emerging innovators. A year-on-year upward trend is evident, as evidenced by more than 11% growth innovation index in the years 2015-2022 and the fact that the result of our country's improved by as much as 4.3% compared to 2021. This perfectly highlights the growing need for financing new and groundbreaking projects for various sectors of our economy. However, we are still well behind the top leaders, which include, among others: Sweden or Finland, whose innovation index exceeds 140 (Poland - 60.5).

What do modern solutions mean for the Polish economy?

The number of programs and initiatives to support small, growing companies looking to bring their revolutionary products to market is growing steadily. These activities have a huge impact on the competitiveness of the Polish economy on the international arena. They make it possible to attract investors and large multinational corporations wishing to expand into prospective markets. Our country, despite a position that still leaves much to be desired in relation to the countries of Western Europe and Scandinavia, is rapidly developing in terms of modernizing a broad spectrum of the economy. More and more Polish start-ups and enterprises are being recognized by domestic as well as foreign investors, as shown by the increasing investments in VC funds, EU subsidy programs or government development programs.

Today, many methods are available for innovators to raise capital. Both national and EU organizations offer a wide range of opportunities. The numerous offers of repayable loans, competitions and programs for start-ups available allow entrepreneurs to develop and also drive the Polish economy while encouraging increasing numbers of foreign investors to locate capital in our country.

Daniel Wielechowski

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