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European Innovation Council and SMEs Executive Agency (EISMEA)
TAF

Technical Assistance Facility for Industrial Modernisation and Investment

About

The Technical Assistance Facility (TAF) provided project promoters, under the S3P-Industry platform, the opportunity to work with business, corporate finance and legal experts from leading business advisory firms to improve their business plans and investment readiness of their projects.

The experts provide tailored advice on a wide range of topics. These included, but were not limited to, appropriate financial structuring and mix of funding sources, investment vehicles, governance rules, business models, review of marketing and sales strategies, financials, cash flow analysis, due diligence preparations and intellectual property rights.

TAF visual
TAF - Infographic
TAF Infographic - Downloadable
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(18.44 MB - PDF)
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TAF supported a number of projects from different S3P-Industry Partnerships. Find more about lessons learnt from the TAF support to S3P-Industry projects below.

Events and initiatives

TAF final conference

TAF final event promo

The final conference of the Technical Assistance Facility for Industrial Modernisation and Investment (TAF) took place on Thursday, 18th November 2021(9:30 – 13:00 CET). 

The conference provided participants the opportunity to learn and exchange about the process of developing and financing interregional investment projects, based on the lessons learnt and good practices from the S3P-Industry community’s experience with TAF advisory services which has been providing tailored advisory services to project promoters over the last 3 years.

During the conference, some of the key steps and must-dos in the process of investment idea generation & business plan development were presented and discussed through the testimonials of TAF beneficiaries and TAF business and legal experts.

In addition, the conference hosted a panel discussion focused on the Smart Specialisation Platform’s approach to interregional investment project development and financing, reflecting on the characteristics of the projects in the S3P community and the implications of the S3P experience for future EU support mechanisms.

TAF Final Conference - Highlights
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Two webinars were organised in 2021 to disseminate four of the tools and case studies developed in the context of the TAF Toolbox on Interregional Investment:

  • 30th September: Lessons on market research & financial modelling
TAF Toolbox Webinar 1: Lessons on market research & financial modelling
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(1.65 MB - PDF)
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  • 28th October: Lessons on defining your offer & targeted funding mix 

During the webinars, the tools were introduced by the TAF team, followed by the presentations from TAF beneficiaries and TAF experts who shared their personal experiences and lessons learnt pertaining to the covered topics. The webinars also offered an opportunity to exchange with the presenters and the audience. Presentation slides and agendas of the webinars are available below:

TAF Toolbox Webinar 2: Lessons on defining your offer & targeted funding mix
English
(1.92 MB - PDF)
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TAF Talks 2.0 series

As part of the TAF Talks 2.0 series that took place between March and June 2021, the Technical Assistance Facility (TAF) hosted technical Q&A on the TAF application, one-on-one sessions with TAF experts and horizontal capacity building sessions, as we did in 2020 in the context of the previous TAF Talks series. In addition, two new types of sessions were launched: a series of short bite-sized webinars focusing on tips for completing a TAF application and on webinars on funding sources for interregional investment projects.

Short bite-sized webinars on elements of the TAF application

With TAF support coming to an end in 2021, and the last cut-off dates for applications taking place in the first half of the year, the webinars aimed at supporting S3P-Industry project promoters in improving different core aspects of their TAF applications. The following bite-size webinars were hosted:

  • 25th March: Part 2 of the TAF application – About the project consortium
Presentation Webinar: About the project consortium
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(778.69 KB - PDF)
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  • 23rd April: Part 3 of the TAF application – Level of project development.
Presentation Webinar: Level of project development
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(637.31 KB - PDF)
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Webinars on funding sources for inter-regional investment projects

In the context of the EU 2021-2027 budget, the TAF team organised a series of webinars focusing on potential funding sources for interregional investment projects. Experts provided an overview of the benefits, difficulties in getting access to and other particularities of different funding sources available for the 2021-2027 period under the EU long-term budget. The sessions focused on the following funding sources:

  • 29th April: Interregional Innovation Investment (I3) initiative (Valentina PINNA, DG REGIO)
TAF Talks 2.0 29.04.21 - Webinar on the I3 initiative
English
(2.37 MB - PDF)
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  • 18th May: Horizon Europe (Mattia CERACCHI, APRE – Italian Agency for the Promotion of European Research)
TAF Talks 2.0 18.05.21 - Webinar on Horizon Europe
English
(2.31 MB - PDF)
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  • 15th June: InvestEU (Antonio FANCELLU, Cassa Depositi e Prestiti)
TAF Talks 2.0 15.06.21- Webinar on InvestEU
English
(1.09 MB - PDF)
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The TAF Talks were a series of sharing and learning interactive sessions that took place between October 2020 and January 2021. Featuring various formats and participation of TAF beneficiaries and TAF experts, the aim of the series was to help project promoters from S3P-Industry to move their project ideas forward and improve the quality of their TAF applications and/or encourage them to apply for the TAF support.  The content of the sessions included:

  • Discussions about the barriers to S3P-Industry projects development;
  • Clarification of the scope of TAF and the benefit that this type of business and legal support can provide to their projects;
  • Provision of concrete advice and feedback on the rationale and structure of their investment ideas, to finetune them towards successful TAF applications. 

The TAF Talks addressed the specific needs identified among the S3P-Industry stakeholders over the first two years of TAF implementation and encompassed the following:

  • Horizontal capacity building session (9th December 2020):TAF experts shared their insights on how to address challenges faced in two key areas: governance aspects of interregional investment projects; and development of platform business models.
Workshop presentation: Governance models and platform business models
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(6.51 MB - PDF)
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  • Experience-sharing by TAF supported projects (30th October 2020):past beneficiaries of TAF support presented their experiences with the service, from the application preparation phase to receiving support and progressing their investment ideas towards bankable projects. The session targeted S3P-Industry project promoters who considered applying for TAF and were interested to learn about what the service looks like of in practice. 
  • Technical Q&As on the TAF application: taking place about one week before each cut-off date, the sessions were targeted at S3P-Industry project promoters working on a TAF applications. The objective was to provide tips & tricks on how to make their applications successful.
TAF Q&A session
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(938.22 KB - PDF)
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  • One-to-one sessions with TAF experts(October-December 2020): project promoters pitched their projects to TAF experts, who provided them with immediate advice on how to improve them.  The sessions were targeted at projects at higher level of maturity and prospective applicants.  
  • Horizonal capacity building session (21st January 2021) on basic financials and synergies between clusters and interregional projects.

Regional workshop/TAF Virtual workshop (4-5 June 2020)

The 2 day-event consisted of four separate online sessions that allowed project promoters from the industry, regional clusters and other business entities under specific thematic areas of the S3P-Industry to receive personalised and targeted advice from the TAF business and assessment experts on how to move their investment projects forward.

TAF Virtual Workshop 4-5 June 2020
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(1.15 MB - PDF)
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Regional workshop (4 October 2019)

The event was a one-day ‘hands on’ workshop for project managers responsible for specific international investment projects eligible for TAF support. The focus of the workshop was on how to build a project idea into a draft business plan and prepare a successful TAF application, covering the elements that make up a mature investment project.

TAF Regional Workshop 4 October 2019
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(1.29 MB - PDF)
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Regional workshop: Investment Day (13 June 2019)

The workshop focused on topics related to bankability and financing of projects and aimed at attracting applications for support by informing members of S3P-Industry and project promoters about services available through the TAF. Among the workshop sessions were a panel discussion on available financing sources and procedures for cross-regional projects and on the obstacles for funding and roles of project promoters.

TAF Regional Workshop Investment Day 13 June 2019
English
(1.31 MB - PDF)
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TAF Toolbox on interregional investment and case studies

TAF supported a number of projects from different S3P-Industry Partnerships between 2019 and 2021. The experience gained through the delivery of TAF advisory services to S3P-Industry stakeholders has shown that project promoters face similar challenges when developing interregional investment projects.

To provide further guidance to stakeholders, TAF developed a Toolbox on interregional investment, which translates the lessons learnt from TAF support into tools with examples from supported projects. Five tools were developed to provide tips, methods, best practices and risks to be avoided when developing investment projects, drawing from the experience of TAF experts and TAF beneficiaries. 

S3 Facility logo

The Technical Assistance Facility is funded by the EU Programme for the Competitiveness of Enterprises and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (COSME). The Programme is managed by the European Innovation Council and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Executive Agency (EISMEA).