On 31 December 2021, the Horizon2020 project InnoRate, with White as its Communication and Dissemination Manager, officially closed its books. For three years, the EU funded project worked to help tech-driven SMEs showcase their potential and gain access to financial solutions. Among other things, InnoRate helps investors with their decision-making process through its newly developed InnoRate Technology Rating System (ITRS), featured on the InnoRate Platform. In addition, the project arranged review, advisory and networking opportunities for SMEs that are looking for potential investors. Although InnoRate has officially ended its activities, SMEs will continue to benefit from the resources that the InnoRate project developed.

Strong international collaboration

InnoRate brought together nine leading institutions in the fields of financial advisory services, finance and private equity with innovation management, communication specialists and EU-wide Technology Transfer Offices (TTOs) and matchmaking networks. These institutions came together to create a novel platform that leverages cutting-edge technology to allow promising SMEs to showcase their potential and streamline their growth. This will then help investors make informed, hassle free decisions. The InnoRate partners are spread over 6 different countries: Greece (Q-PLAN INTERNATIONAL), Italy (EY and UNISMART), Bulgaria (TECH TOUR GLOBAL and ONTOTEXT), France (JOLT CAPITAL), Belgium (EUROPEAN BUSINESS AND INNOVATION CENTRE NETWORK and WHITE) and Republic of Korea (KOTEC Technology finance Corporation).

An innovative Technology Rating System

InnoRate’s main objective has been the development and piloting of the InnoRate Platform and the Technology Rating System (ITRS) that help potential investors decide whether they want to invest in a deep-tech company. This rating system goes beyond the traditional credit-focused approaches of evaluating the potential and risks of innovations. The system is based on the Korean Technology Rating System (KTRS), a novel technology assessment model that has already assessed over 200,000 SMEs and assisted them in getting more than EUR 75 billion in the Republic of Korea. This technology, together with the expertise of leading European organisations, makes the InnoRate Platform, with its ground-breaking Technology Rating System (ITRS), an effective tool for SMEs and investment parties for the whole European economic framework. Since the beginning of the InnoRate project, over 250 SMEs, investors and other experts in deep-tech and innovation have benefited from the platform and its services.

Review, advice and networking

Next to developing and testing the ITRS and the online platform, InnoRate also actively reviewed, assisted and advised SMEs who were interested in gaining access to new investors. To do so, the project established an Advisory Board and gathered a pool of established business experts. The project also formed 15 important ‘synergies’ (informal collaboration agreements) with projects, initiatives, and organisations with a similar scope to InnoRate’s. Innorate also organised and took part in numerous events, such as the European Big Data Value Forum 2021 (EBDVF21) and the EBN 2021 Congress. Moreover, under InnoRate’s framework, more than 50 events were organised for investors, tech-driven SMEs and intermediaries to connect with one another to facilitate the financing of innovative projects.

Not the end

While InnoRate is coming to an end, the project has established a valuable basis to better shape policy that enables a financing environment for innovative SMEs and informs future projects that are striving to ‘bring innovation to finance, and finance to innovation’. The InnoRate tools, such as the InnoRate platform will also remain available for SMEs, investors and other actors in the deep-tech ecosystem to use

“We are thrilled to have been part of this state-of-the-art project that brought together important players from the tech industry. We thank all those who have participated and contributed to the successful implementation of InnoRate. This project will deliver positive results for years to come.” – Giulia Zendron, Project Manager, White