Research & Project Management

ECN is engaged in the development of the European crowdfunding ecosystem through its participation in research and development projects supported by the European Institutions and national administrations.  ECN is already involved in several projects and is always open to new opportunities.

ECN is willing to participate in EU projects in areas and topics relevant for the development of European crowdfunding platforms. We want to raise awareness among entrepreneurs, citizens and stakeholders on crowdfunding, develop a better understanding on the sector and set-up new tools for crowdfunding platforms, investors and citizens.

We are particularly interested in joining projects related to access to finance, entrepreneurship (incl. social entrepreneurship, web entrepreneurship) and citizen involvement. Initiatives with an educational dimension including crowdfunding are also of high interest, as well as regional and local initiatives supported by the EU and integrating crowdfunding approach.

Projects can target a specific sector, with the aim to enhance the understanding and reinforce the presence of crowdfunding in areas such as creative industry, renewable energy, health, etc.

Interested in integrating a crowdfunding dimension in your project? Please feel to contact our Head of Research & Projects, Dr Conny Weber, for any additional questions.

Our Activities

Entrepreneurship, Innovation, SMEs

Raising awareness on crowdfunding to support entrepreneurs

Crowdfunding offers new perspectives for entrepreneurs to finance their projects and connect with their potential investors, consumers and partners. However, crowdfunding remains at a development stage and needs to attract more and more entrepreneurs and investors. This is why raising awareness of European entrepreneurs is vital for European crowdfunding platforms to ensure their growth.

ECN is involved in EU projects that will:

  •         Raise the awareness of entrepreneurs about crowdfunding,
  •         Liaise entrepreneurs with European crowdfunding platforms,
  •         Develop guidelines, guides, training tools,
  •         Develop best practices about crowdfunding.

It will attract entrepreneurs on European crowdfunding platforms and will contribute to the development of a more mature crowdfunding ecosystem in Europe.

Running Projects
Completed Projects

Environment, Sustainability, Renewable Energy

Enhancing the use of Crowdfunding to finance environmentally sustainable projects

The development of projects aiming at reducing the impact on our environment, like renewable energy or pollution reduction projects, can be supported by new forms of finance and a stronger involvement of citizens. By its nature, Crowdfunding can bring a crucial added-value for an increased participation of citizens as investors and as consumers.

ECN is engaged in EU projects that will:

  •         enhance the understanding of opportunities and obstacles for crowdfunding,
  •         involve wider communities of users,
  •         set-up new guidelines, tools and platforms.

The aim for the European Crowdfunding Community is to establish crowdfunding as an attractive and recognised tool to finance environmentally sustainable projects and to involve citizens, and position Europe as a leader in crowdfunding for environmental sustainability and renewable energy.

Running Projects
Completed Projects


Rethinking investments in Europe

ECN is engaged in a few projects with the aim of creating a better environment for private investments into European SMEs and of decreasing their dependency from bank financing. Crowdfunding can in fact help increasing the level of private investments, while providing a transparent channel for it.

The projects deal with the following challenges:

  • Investment in Europe remains heavily reliant and dependent on banks
  • Significant differences in financing conditions between Member States exist
  • There are differing rules and market practices for financial products
  • Shareholders and buyers of corporate debt rarely go beyond their national borders when they invest
  • Many SMEs still have limited access to finance.

And they tackle the following objectives:

  • Unlock the capital around Europe which is currently frozen and put it to work for the economy, giving savers more investment choices and offering businesses a greater choice of funding at lower costs
  • Develop a more diversified financial system complementing bank financing with deep and developed capital markets
  • Establish a genuine single capital market in the EU where investors are able to invest their funds without problems across borders and businesses can raise the required funds from a diverse range of sources, irrespective of their location.
Running Projects
  • n/a
Completed Projects