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Financing the Circular Economy – 25 October 2016, Brussels

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New finance mechanisms for high-potential eco-innovation projects

European companies, research centres and entrepreneurs produce an impressive amount of highly interesting and promising solutions related eco-innovation, circular economy, nature-based solutions etc. While there is funding for the research and development stage of these ideas and technologies, the actors involved are then confronted with enormous difficulties in attracting funding for the next stage, i.e. the marketing and scaling of the solutions once the concept has been proven. What are the reasons for this challenge? Do they not fit the requirements of traditional private and public investment schemes? Do alternative finance solutions provide a better fit with these initiatives or should we find a hybrid solution? Or do we need different business and ownership models?

In order to discuss the obstacles and some possible scenarios for improving the situation, the RECREATE project is organising a half-day workshop with a small group (15 people) of forward-thinking financial experts in Brussels on October 25.

The objective of the workshop is to identify the characteristics of these new circular/sustainable economy initiatives as well as the difficulties they have in attracting traditional finance mechanisms. Are they investment-ready at the time they look for funding, or should they get additional hands-on support in an earlier phase? What type of investment should be used in what stage? Is it possible to combine several types of financing such as crowdfunding, governmental grants, bank loans, regional development programs and community shares? What is the potential of new business and governance models to support and finance these initiatives? And what kind of initiatives would the EC be able to do for support?

The results of this workshop will be used by the RECREATE project team to formulate policy recommendations to the EU's governing bodies in research, innovation and sustainability. The event will be chaired by Ronald Kleverlaan, founder of CrowdfundingHub and international expert on Alternative Finance. Participants of the event will be a wide range of financial experts, ranging from founders of alternative finance solutions, experienced financial advisors and academics.

The workshop will start with registration & lunch at 13:00 and finish around 17:00. A more detailed agenda will follow. Please note that the number of participants is limited, quick confirmation and registration is therefore recommended. Travel costs will be reimbursed. The event is organised back-to-back with the Annual RECREATE Stakeholder Event on 26 October (see this link), to which you are also very much invited. Please note that registration for the latter event is separate.

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