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Spain launches programme to support innovative small businesses

Spain is pumping €235 million of venture capital into its struggling businesses as part of a programme to support industry research.

Spain’s minister of economy and competitiveness, Luis de Guindos, launched the Innvierte programme to finance technological and innovative small businesses on 30 October. The programme makes available €234.5 million in venture capital. Of this, €83.5m comes from public funds and the rest from private companies.

Seven large firms have committed to supporting the initiative. Telefónica has agreed to make available €26m, Iberdrola and Agbar are pledging €15m each, CaixaBank, Repsol, FCC and Arteche are putting forward €12m, and the remaining funds come from other private investors.

De Guindos said that the government’s policies aim to make the Spanish economy highly competitive and that such public-private collaborations allow the society and economy to become more resilient in the face of recession.

Spanish government funding for research has undergone substantial cuts in the country’s 2013 budget, but the government has increased funding for business loans.