The European Commission has signed a memorandum of understanding with Bill Gates-led Breakthrough Energy to establish a joint investment fund “to help innovative European companies develop and bring radically new clean energy technologies to market”.

The newly-established €100m ($115.2m) Breakthrough Energy Europe (BEE) fund links public funding with long-term risk capital to help clean energy research and innovation be brought to market faster and more efficiently.

BEE is expected to be operational in 2019. Half the equity will come from Breakthrough Energy and the other half from InnovFin – risk-sharing financial instruments funded through Horizon 2020, the EU’s current research and innovation programme.