Blog post Jens Rockel, Deputy Group Leader, Innovation Financing Unit

Fraunhofer Survey: Co-financing for Companies

News | Leipzig /

Co-financing is increasingly coming into the focus of companies. This is because it is necessary to set up a broader and more diverse financing structure in order to make entrepreneurial decisions more independently. But what is the state of knowledge among companies on this topic? Fraunhofer IMW surveyed companies from all over Europe to find out.

In co-financing, companies use various instruments to finance investments or projects. In particular, classic and alternative financial instruments are taken into account in the financing structure. In a new survey, the Innovation Financing Unit at the Fraunhofer Center for International Management and Knowledge Economy IMW found out what the state of knowledge and dissemination on co-financing is. 

Project focus: Contemporary financing of the energy transition.

We asked these and other similar questions as part of the European research project “FIRECE” to learn more about the level of awareness of co-financing and whether it is a contemporary financial instrument for the energy transition. For this purpose, 135 fully completed questionnaires from companies in the project partner countries were considered, 49 of which related to co-financing from traditional and alternative financial instruments.

Co-financing for companies: Key questions

  • What are the contemporary financial instruments for the energy transition in Europe?
  • Have you heard of the combination of crowdfunding (as an umbrella term) and traditional financial instruments (loan or grant)?
  • Do you think this co-financing is a promising solution for financing energy efficiency measures?

Respondents' comments on the results

"Participation creates acceptance and interest in change. Through the participation of the crowd, the crowd itself experiences its self-efficacy and receives an opportunity to exercise its responsibility, which a society (crowd) has. In addition to the acceptance of the technologies, the acceptance of the energy transition project in and of itself is also increased. It is no longer the 'big, distant, evil corporations and politicians' that instrumentalize the energy transition, but the citizens themselves who can participate, shape and profit.

The combination increases capital power so that absolutely necessary large-scale projects can be implemented more realistically."


 "Crowdfunding can be a good source of retention if the investment generates revenue for investors and supports a socially important issue like climate protection."


"Banks expect a corresponding equity investment, which can be presented through this and thus such projects are feasible. Without equity and / or crowdfunding, these projects may fall by the 'wayside.’"

Conclusion: Interest among companies in co-financing is growing

There is growing interest among companies in using co-financing - especially if they have already had experience with co-financing models or alternative financial instruments. There is already ample evidence of successful co-financing models. This is because corporate financing needs to become more diverse.