Based on more than 80 expert interviews in the framework of a market and stakeholder analysis with financial stakeholders that are active in the field of eco-innovation/resource efficiency, the guideline aims to give a comprehensive overview of relevant actors among the six countries of PRESOURCE (Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Italy and Poland).
In this section financial stakeholders from Austria are presented.
The primary objective was hereby in particular on collecting financing instruments fostering intentions of environmental innovation overall. Even though the topic of resource efficiency - herewith, it is understood as “reducing the use and the costs of energy, material and water in the production process and product life cycle”- has reached a high importance in politics and business, the financial instruments for resource efficiency projects are still rare, under development or not yet developed in the different countries. Therefore, the focus of resource efficiency was broadened to the eco-innovation sector as a whole.
Besides the fact, that small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are often not aware of their resource utilisation, real costs of non-product outputs and the related (cost) reduction potential as well as possible means to improve it, SMEs face serious challenges in financing necessary investments due to the lack of information of the increasing variety of specific instruments. Hence, one of the major impulses for the guideline was to foster the overcoming of the existing barriers as well as to introduce a set of economic incentives that stimulate SMEs to systematically measure and improve their resource efficiency/eco-innovation.
Therefore, the guideline shall result in improved knowledge and mechanisms for risk sharing and for financing eco-innovations in SMEs within the existing framework conditions. This again shall increase investments in eco-innovations by introducing new innovative financing schemes such as revolving funds, contracting schemes or no cure / no pay arrangements that enable SMEs to invest into eco-innovations focusing on resource efficiency.
Nevertheless, this overview of the different kinds of instruments is without any claim to completeness and cannot be seen as a final result, but rather as a first step of orientation for capital-seeking SMEs, financing institutions, policy makers and public bodies responsible for the development of public funding sources. And also rather as a first step of research that should continuously be pursued.