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Eco-innovations have become a clear target of EU policy strategies. Consequently, measuring eco-innovation performance at the country level has become crucial to detect eco-innovation patterns and to design eco-innovation policy implementation. This paper focuses on EU small and medium enterprises (SMEs) with the aim to understand to what extent EU funding programmes influence barriers and drivers towards SMEs’ eco-innovation performance. A correlation analysis between data from Eco-Innovation Scoreboard index and competitiveness and innovation framework programme/Entrepreneurship and innovation programme/Eco-innovation programme projects database reveals that the countries with the highest number of EU funded projects are those with the lowest levels of green early-stage investments. According to the findings, EU funding programmes reduce financial constraints that SMEs face for developing eco-innovations. This paper recommends that policymakers should keep in mind the dynamic interaction between private and public funding support, the latter is customised according to the entity of risk along the innovation cycle.
Keywords: Eco-innovation, barriers, drivers, policy strategies, index.
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