Bratislava, August 13, 2020 – One of the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic has been slowing down the inflow of investments into Slovak innovation-oriented companies in the initial growth phase, which may lead to their undercapitalization. Therefore, the Slovak Investment Holding (SIH) and the Slovak Alliance for Innovation Economy (SAPIE) with support from the Ministry of Finance (MF SR) have begun to cooperate on the preparation of a new investment financial instrument that would allow the SIH to support innovation-focused businesses during the current period of difficulty.
The investment funds shall be available in the form of convertible loans with maturity of 18 to 36 months, provided that the maximum amount of principal and accrued interest does not exceed €800,000 at maturity. The SIH and the SAPIE have agreed to coordinate their approach in scouting eligible companies and assessing their innovation drive.
Since the principal source of this investment money shall be European structural and investment funds, one of indispensable preconditions for implementing this design was the preparation of State Aid Scheme, which the European Commission approved yesterday. The SIH assumes that individual investments should be realized in September through December 2020.
The SIH shall release information on further measures in the course of August.
Slovak Investment Holding
The SIH is a joint-stock company that is 100-percent owned by the Slovak government. Its main mission is to support strategic public as well as private investments in Slovakia in the field of infrastructure, energy efficiency, waste management, social economy, and small and medium-sized enterprises. It draws the funds to pursue its investment designs from European structural and investment funds. The SIH finances the projects exclusively via repayment schemes, i.e. through financial tools as opposed to grant programmes.
Slovak Alliance for Innovation Economy
The SAPIE is the largest national organization associating over 100 subjects that form the ecosystem of innovation and digital economy in Slovakia and providing the platform that promotes a dialogue between its individual members and encourages discussion on topical issues related to innovation-based economy. The Alliance acts as the umbrella organization for innovation-oriented companies in Slovakia and promotes adoption of open, progressive and flexible legislation that catalyses innovation. The SAPIE also creates networks that promote knowledge sharing, increases awareness of the needs of parties involved in the innovation process and, last but not least, serves as the contact point for entrepreneurs, investors and decision-makers within the innovations ecosystem.