EU member states back new fund to give high-tech firms a boost

14 Feb 2023

Image: © nmann77/

The European Tech Champions Initiative aims to give at least €10bn to high-tech scale-ups in the late-stage of growth, to create more jobs and boost European growth.

The European Investment Bank (EIB) has launched a new fund to back high-tech companies and support EU competitiveness.

The bank has launched the European Tech Champions Initiative, which aims to tackle the gap in European scale-up investment compared to the US and China.

The initiative plans to mobilise more than €10bn in investments to support companies in their growth stage, particularly high-tech companies at late-stage growth. This will be done through 10 to 15 VC funds of roughly €1bn each.

The initiative has launched with an initial fund of €3.75bn, with €500m coming from the EIB along with additional funding from Germany, France, Spain, Italy and Belgium. The EIB expects other EU member states to join in the future.

The EIB said Europe’s tech start-ups often lack access to the capital needed to compete on a global scale, forcing them to relocate overseas. The organisation hopes to boost European growth and create more high-skilled jobs by plugging this funding gap to retain more start-ups.

Concerns around Europe’s tech sector investment have been noted for some time. Last May, a joint report by the European Patent Office and the EIB said a lack of access to finance and skilled talent were key reasons the EU’s deep-tech businesses lag behind their US counterparts.

A report last month found that deep-tech was one of Europe’s strongest sectors last year, but noted that Europe is still lagging behind the US in terms of investment.

French Minister of the Economy, Finance and Industrial and Digital Sovereignty, Bruno Le Maire, said the new initiative shows what can be achieved collectively to “strengthen EU’s economic and industrial sovereignty”.

“In doing so, European technology companies will contribute further to innovation, growth and job creation, and therefore to the EU’s economic, social and environmental future,” Le Maire said.

Nadia Calviño, vice-president of the Spanish government, said start-ups are a “key asset of our strategic autonomy” and that the new fund is an “investment in our future”.

“This initiative will provide the most innovative start-ups with the capital they need to scale and lead the global entrepreneurial ecosystem,” Calviño said.

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic