According to an ordinance published on its official website, the Russian Government approved necessary amendments to Vnesheconombank’s Memorandum on Financial Policy to provide financial support for National Technological Initiative projects.
In terms of the NTI project support, VEB is to perform the following functions:
- Expert assistance for projects with high commercial potential that are eligible for repayable financing. Expert assistance is to be rendered at the start-up stage, subject to the availability of a product prototype. The goal is to help build a full-fledged business model in order to qualify for VEB financing;
- Support for a business accelerator in elaborating business models and preparing projects for entry into the market. The business accelerator is designed to help NTI projects finalize a project business model, prepare the project for investor dialogue, assess the market, and interact with mentor(s) on specific development areas of the project, such as entry into global markets, generation of demand, promotion and marketing, pricing, etc.;
- Financial assistance in launching and scaling-up innovative production and services.
In accordance with the amendments, Vnesheconombank will provide repayable financing for NTI projects that comply with the key areas and industry priorities of the Bank’s investment activities as specified in the Memorandum, as well as with the following criteria:
a) Payback period to exceed 5 years;
b) Total project value of no less than RUB 1 billion (or its equivalent);
c) An NTI project on launching and/or scaling-up innovative production is approved by the NTI Interagency Task Force established under the auspices of the Presidium of the Presidential Council for Economy Modernisation and Innovative Development of the Russian Federation.
Repayable financing of NTI projects is provided over the term of 5 to 10 years.
“According to the Bank’s new Strategy, NTI is one of the priority areas. The respective amendments to the Memorandum are just a first step in harmonizing the regulatory framework with the objectives declared in Vnesheconombank’s Strategy approved by the Supervisory Board last December, providing the Bank the opportunity to more actively engage in the promotion of such projects”, said Chairman of Vnesheconombank Sergey Gorkov.
Vnesheconombank’s Strategy 2021 prioritizes financial assistance for NTI projects with the Bank acting in cooperation with the NTI Project Office, NTI Working Groups and the Agency for Strategic Initiatives (ASI).