Established in 2005, OSEO is a French public organisation that funds and advises small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Part of OSEOs activities involves supporting innovation in SMEs, and since 2008, in larger enterprises meeting similar barriers to innovation as SMEs. OSEO Innovation offers a combination of grants and zero-interest advances to SMEs and larger enterprises for research, development, innovation and deployment activities, with the latter accounting for the majority of financial support. The advances are repaid in accordance with the financed projects level of success. Support for research, development and innovation in industry and industrial services is offered to SMEs, as well as enterprises with less than 2000 or even less than 5000 employees. For these companies, separate funding for the development of methodologies, norms, models or new procedures. Grants and interest-free advances are also provided to public research organisations to help with deployment of technologies to the marketplace and to enterprises. OSEO Innovation also provides support to SMEs that have little experience with innovation activities, through funding for technical feasibility studies and for obtaining patents. OSEO Innovation also provides loans to companies requiring investment in non-technical aspects of developing new products, production tools, technologies and market deployment. These range from EUR 40 to 400 thousand over six years. It can also offer loan guarantees cover 60% of a loan taken for research, development and/or deployment activities. In 2007, OSEO supported 208 projects in the field of Energy for a total of EUR 27.4 million. These included use of technology for improved energy consumption monitoring, high-efficiency construction materials, and a variety of renewable energy projects. The latter include biomass heat production projects, building construction using renewable energy, and solar photovoltaic technology development. Most projects supported rational use of energy in buildings, industry and transport, followed by biomass, hydrocarbon, and solar energy production. OSEO also supported 164 projects for a total amount of EUR 16.47 million in the ground transport sector. Several projects involved reduced CO2 use, hybrid vehicles, and new petrol injection techniques to reduce consumption. Since January 2008, the Industrial Innovation Agency (AII) has been incorporated into OSEO, along with any existing projects it was supporting. The new programme stemming from this fusion is called Strategic Industrial Innovation (ISI), and has a budget of EUR 300 million for 2008. ISI targets not only SMEs but companies with up to 5000 employees. ISI supports collaborative projects between research centres and enterprises, aiming at research, development and deployment. The projects must be led or headed by a leading enterprise. ISI seeks to promote programmes that address major preoccupations and challenges, including reducing energy consumption, promoting clean transport, zero-emission energy production and increased use of renewable energy. Of the 17 projects being financially supported by ISI are: The HOMES programme, led by Schneider Electric, on energy-efficient construction. The programme involves 16 partners, and has a budget of EUR 88 million over 5 years. OSEOs contribution is of EUR 39 million. The LowCO2Motion programme, headed by the car supplier Valeo, on research and development to improve vehicle engine efficiency and economise on fuel consumption when vehicles break and stop. The programme involves 8 partners, has a budget of EUR 212 million over 5 years, with OSEOs contribution totalling EUR 63 million.
- Multiple end-uses