Summary of the second part of the webinar "Access to Finance: Modern Trends in Financing Technology Companies"

The second part of the webinar "Access to Finance: Modern Trends in Financing Technology Companies" took place on 23 of September 2020. The webinar was organized by the Technology Centre CAS (TC CAS) within the activities of the Enterprise Europe Network (EEN). The aim of the webinar was to present new and non-traditional sources of financing technologies and projects to support digitization, especially grants and subsidies.

The introductory speech was given by P. Hladík, coordinator of the EEN network in the Czech Republic, who presented the services of the EEN network and TC CAS in the area of ​​business and innovation support. J. Vavřínek followed him with his lecture. He outlined the possibilities of financing for companies and from which subsidy programs (Czech and also foreign) and current calls can be selected. Central Bohemian innovation vouchers, current calls of the OP EIC program and international programs EUREKA and Eurostars-2 were presented.

EEN experts provide consultancies to these programes very often. However, they point out that the long-term cooperation with the client company is the right way to better results as well as to deeper understanding of clients needs and innovation opportunities. More mature innovative companies can also use the "Mapping Innovation Opportunities" program, where their innovation financing strategies are consulted.

A separate chapter was devoted to highly competitive international programs under the European Innovation Council (EIC) within Horizon 2020. S. Jirásková highlighted in particular the EIC Accelerator, designed to finance breakthrough innovations (in more advanced stages of development: from the early commercial phase to the scale-up), which ends in 2020. However, a follow-up program is being prepared within Horizon Europe. Experience shows that it is very difficult for Czech companies (also companies in general) to gain their place in this program. Nevertheless, failure does not necessarily mean a "loss" for the company - the company will gain a new perspective on business and will be able to prepare for negotiations with a potential investor. Companies also have the opportunity to use the mentoring program "Scale-up your business", organized by the Technology Center CAS, where they will gain knowledge and skills for a better presentation of their business plan thanks to advice tailored to their needs.

A new form of financing of innovative technologies of companies, especially in the field of ICT, is cascade financing, which was explained by L. Švejcarová. There are open calls implemented by individual projects financed from the Horizon 2020 program. Funds from the European Commission budget go to these projects and then from projects to successful participants in cascade calls, ie financial support to third parties. Project consortia can thus involve new actors in their research and innovation processes, companies will have better access to Horizon 2020 funds and the European Commission is thus fulfilling its strategies, such as the creation of the Digital Single Market.

The second block of the webinar was opened by M. Švolba, Director of the Department of Research, Development and Innovation at the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Czech Republic, who presented programs to support digitization and technology development - TREND and Country for the Future. The TREND program supports research and development of a specific applied result with market application within two sub-programs ("Newcomers" and "Leaders"). The next planned tender will take place in January 2021 in the sub-program "Newcomers". The sub-program "Leaders" is expected in the 3rd quarter of 2021. The Country for the Future program offers support to businesses under three sub-programs: "Start-ups", "Digital leaders" and "Innovation into practice". The next public tender will be announced in January 2021 within the sub-program "Innovation into practice".


P. Hladík spoke on the topic of digital transformation and its impact on business models of companies. The need of the introduction of digital technologies in companies is unquestionable and there are several reasons for this: the need for robotics and automation of production processes, pressure from customers and partners in supply chains, the need to respond quickly to unpredictable changes in the market (eg. COVID-19), more efficient processing of large volumes of data, etc. Digital transformation, ie the use of digital technologies to change existing or create new processes to better meet market and customer requirements, should be reflected in all dimensions of business management - innovation strategy, business model, corporate processes and corporate culture and the use of digital innovation tools. These changes should support the development of companies and the possibility of obtaining additional financing (see OP EIC).

J. Janošec closed the webinar with a presentation on digital innovation hubs. These arose from the initiative of the European Commission, which decided to support the digitization of companies by creating regional contact points that will have the latest knowledge on the issue, provide services in technology development (piloting and testing with digital innovation) and also offer cascade financing (it already works somewhere abroad). In the Czech Republic, across all regions, there is a diverse network of digital innovation hubs that specialize in specific topics, for example, TC CAS is a founding member of the digital innovation hub H4DI.

A summary of the first part of the webinar can be found here.

In case of any questions about financing, do not hesitate to contact J. Vavřínek ( and S. Jirásková (

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