The BlueInvest Fund.
The following description explains the context and conditions for Blue Economy investments that European Investment Fund (EIF) will be seeking as part of the EFSI Equity Instrument, it also provides additional elements of considerations for investors operating in this space. It therefore does not replace the terms and conditions provided in the Call for Expression of Interest, which shall remain valid.
The EU’s Blue Economy encompasses all sectorial and cross-sectorial economic activities related to oceans, seas and coasts. It is defined, in the context of this Call, as all economic activities that take place in the marine environment or that use sea resources as an input, as well as economic activities outside the marine environment that are involved in the production of goods or the provision of services that will contribute to those activities. They can also be land-based activities such as, for instance, micro-algae production and processing, land-based aquaculture, or similar. They should aim at contributing to one or more EU political objectives including lower greenhouse gas emissions, a more circular economy, energy security, adaptation to climate change, inclusion of coastal communities, creation of high-value blue economy jobs, better coastal protection, sustainable use of natural or cultural capital.
This sector is of significant importance for the EU as it will make a substantial contribution to meeting the goals of the European Green Deal. Offshore renewable energy, a sector that hardly existed 10 years ago, now employs more than fishing and plans are in place to quadruple capacity by 2030. The Commission’s Chief Scientific Advisors have determined that food from the ocean can relieve pressure on land and freshwater resources. The maritime transport sector must reduce emissions. Battery-powered ferries are already in operation.
The EIF, in cooperation with the European Commission, has launched a dedicated thematic allocation of €75m, to be invested into equity funds, which investment strategies target, partially or fully, the Blue Economy sector, as well as co-investments alongside equity funds into companies operating in the Blue Economy sector. The programme shall aim to cover a broad range of blue economy-related activities in an attempt to foster the emergence of a self-sufficient Blue Economy Venture Capital ecosystem that attracts successfully private investment.
To receive financing, Financial Intermediaries shall, inter alia, comply with certain criteria, such as:
- The maximum size of a single EIF’s investment is limited to EUR 50m, representing at least 7.5% and up to 50% of the aggregate commitments made to the financial intermediary;
- Target to invest into SMEs, established or operating in one or more EU Member States the lower of:
- (i) 2 times the amount drawn down from the relevant Blue Economy thematic allocation to the fund
- (ii) or two thirds of the aggregate amount drawn down by the applicant from its investors for the purpose of the investment.
Undertake to invest at least an amount equal to the amount drawn down for investments from EIF’s commitment in eligible final recipients, i.e. a SME established or operating in EU and:
active in research, development or operations of the BE-related activities, or
exploiting marine environment data or information in order to research, develop or manufacture products and/or services, or
transferring non-BE sectors technologies and/or data to BE-related activities, or
otherwise pursuing digitalisation in BE technologies, products or services.
Except for co-investments, if the applicant is established (or is to be established) in the EU, its strategy should be to invest more than 50% of its invested amounts into SMEs established or operating in one or more EU Member States. Otherwise, its strategy should target for more than 75% of its invested amounts in SMEs, established or operating in one or more EU Member States.
For full documents and information see the webpage here.