The Covid-19 lockdown and resulting economic slowdown brought an unexpected silver lining to companies able to pivot rapidly and embrace the unusual downtime to push their innovation projects forward. During this period, Minalogic members submitted 26 projects and obtained financing for 16 of them.
Preparing for a post-crisis world
Covid-19 brought France’s—and the world’s—economy virtually to a halt. Some businesses in the Auvergne Rhône-Alpes region—similarly affected by the crisis—took advantage of the lockdown to prepare for the post-crisis world, most notably by investigating sources of financing for their R&D and innovation projects.
The mission of Minalogic, the digital technology cluster for France’s Auvergne Rhône-Alpes region, is to harness the power of innovation to support the growth of its members’ businesses. The cluster was on hand to assist its members with their strategies and help them apply for financing for their growth projects during the Covid crisis.
Expert support creating winning project submissions
Between April 2020 and June 2020, Minalogic supported 26 projects, orienting them to different sources of individual and collective financing at the regional and national levels. The cluster also certified these projects—a mark of quality recognized by public-sector financers. The rigorous certification process also provided feedback utilized to improve project submissions. And, once a project was shortlisted for financing, Minalogic continued to provide support, right up to helping project owners prepare to pitch to financers.
A big influx of financial resources
Of the 26 projects certified by Minalogic during the period, 16 were awarded financing for total investments of €27.7 million in the region’s innovation-driven economy; €15.2 million of the total came from government subsidies. The particularly high success rate for this crop of projects is even more remarkable given the number and diverse nature of the submissions.
Innovation financers from the local to European levels
Depending on the financing instrument, support for innovation can come from:
- The European Commission and, specifically the EU Horizon 2020 program (Horizon Europe going forward).
- The French government through its investment bank Bpifrance and the Directorate General for Enterprise under the aegis of the Ministry of the Economy and Finance.
- The Auvergne Rhône-Alpes, regional government, which, along with the national government, supports innovation in the region through its own financing instruments.
- The region’s major cities, through their intermunicipal governments (Grand Lyon, Grenoble Alpes Métropole, Saint Etienne Métropole) also present alongside the national and regional governments in their support for innovation.
How Minalogic supports its members
For members seeking financing opportunities, Minalogic can:
- Direct them to the most appropriate financing instrument for their project.
- Make targeted introductions to help members round out their project consortium with the know-how they may not have in-house.
- Conduct thorough reviews of project submission files and hold intensive and constructive feedback sessions with the cluster’s innovation experts and external volunteer experts on technical and business/market aspects.
- Certify projects with a seal of quality recognized by financers.
- Facilitate communication with public-sector financers, including during the project implementation phase.