Access to finance can be difficult for companies in environmental sectors due to limited information or understanding of new business models or the issues driving them. In addition, there are also challenges in getting from innovation to the market. Therefore, reliable access to a variety of funding sources is crucial for European companies in green sectors and for the development of the circular economy. A number of grant schemes and public initiatives at national and European level, such as Horizon 2020, provide support to research, demonstration and sometimes pre-commercial activities. However, sustainable growth of the environmental sectors and for the circular economy requires stronger involvement from private sector capital. In this sense, new financing schemes developed by the European Investment Bank group and the European Commission, such as Horizon2020 Innovfin or EFSI, provide new funding opportunities and structures, beyond grant schemes, that range from debt and equity schemes to advisory services and can be the catalyst to bringing innovators and financial institutions together, to overcome the so-called ‘Valley of Death’ between demonstration and commercialisation of innovative products and services.
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