European Union launches €410m venture capital fund for start-ups and SMEs

EU launches €410m venture capital fund for start-ups and SMEs

Blockchain is Going Mainstream from the Laboratory: EU Official

A European Commission vice-president has called on EU nations to commit to blockchain technology which he says is moving out of the lab and going mainstream.

The announcement came after the speech of the EC's Vice President Andrus Ansip, in which he praised the nascent blockchain technology as well as artificial intelligence.

In February, the commission the EU Blockchain Observatory and Forum in partnership with the ethereum startup ConsenSys, an effort it would invest €300 million in blockchain-related projects. In March the commission stated its intentions to launch a joint regulatory framework on Fintech, which will include crowdfunding and Blockchain technology standards. "With VentureEU, Europe's many innovative entrepreneurs will soon get the investment they need to innovate and grow into global success stories".

"For the last eight years, Invest Europe has advocated using public money in new ways to bring in more private capital and facilitate the next stage of venture capital's evolution in Europe", said Michael Collins, CEO of the trade body.

The EC said that close cooperation between member states would help in avoiding fragmented approaches and ensure interoperability and wider deployment of blockchain-based services.

Separately, the European Commission is proposing EU-wide fines of up to 4 percent of a company's annual turnover in each member state for firms found guilty of widespread infringements.

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"Blockchain is a great opportunity for Europe and member states to rethink their information systems, to promote user trust and the protection of personal data, to help create new business opportunities and to establish new areas of leadership, benefiting citizens, public services and companies", Gabriel said.

The partnership is tasked with allowing member countries to share experience and expertise in the emerging technology in order to create a path for a Digital Single Market that will benefit the private and public sectors.

The European Commission and the European Investment Fund (EIF) have launched a venture capital programme aimed at resolving the size problem that has deterred many investors from allocating to the asset class.

The EU will provide the first lump sum of €410 million, which will be made up of €67 million from the European Investment Fund, €200 million from the Horizon 2020 InnovFin Equity, €105 million from COSME and €105 million from the European Fund for Strategic Investments.

"In a globalized world where the big companies have a huge advantage over individual consumers, we need to level the odds", EU Justice Commissioner Vera Jourova said in a statement.

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