These figures, announced by the Commission on February 22, stem from an extension of the I-TEC pilot scheme (Innovation and Technology Equity Capital) approved on July 9, 1998.
The maximum I-TEC contribution per venture capital fund cannot exceed 5% of the overall investment.
The European Commission announced on July 9 its decision to grant an extra ECU 3.5 million to the I-TEC pilot project, which seeks to boost the capacity of venture capital operators to assess and manage start-up investment projects for innovative small and medium-sized enterprises.
The I-TEC pilot project was launched in July 1997 in response to a call by the Amsterdam European Council a month earlier for measures to encourage the financing of this kind of business, which offers the prospect of technology-led growth.
With the new extension, I-TEC will be opened up to venture capital funds specialising in new companies, and to funds with a regional focus, funds focused on specific technologies, and funds associated with science parks and research centres.