03 Oct 2007   |   News

EIB toasts introduction of loans for R&D

The European Investment Bank and the European Commission have announced the introduction of the Risk Sharing Finance Facility to provide additional support to R&D and innovation projects in Europe.

The European Investment Bank and the European Commission have announced the introduction of the Risk Sharing Finance Facility (RSFF), devised to provide additional support to research, development and innovation (RDI) projects in Europe. The first RSFF projects focus on renewable energy technologies, a priority lending objective for the bank in 2007.

In addition, RSFF will benefit biotechnology, engineering, manufacturing and automotive, information and communication technology projects, as well as European research infrastructures. In total, €359 million has been made available in the first tranche of support.

The principal beneficiaries of RSFF will be midcap companies and SMEs, as well as large companies and public/private entities.

The first research and innovation projects selected for support under RSFF include;

The Andasol Solar Thermal Power (Spain), which involves two new concentrating solar thermal power generation plants with a capacity of 50 MWe each, to be developed in a valley north of the Sierra Nevada;

The Solucar Solar Thermal Power (Spain), another project in the area of solar thermal power generation plants, to be implemented west of Seville, but using a different technology from the Andasol project;

Renewables and Energy Technologies RDI (Spain) for the development of technology in the field of renewable energy, in particular, the production and reforming of bio-ethanol;

Automotive Energy Efficiency, AVL (Austria), for the development of clean and efficient automotive powertrains, as well as for research on hydrogen fuel cell technology, nanocomposites and engine technologies to increase energy efficiency and to reduce the impact on climate change;

Automotive Exhaust and Heat System RDI, Eberspächer (Germany), to develop exhaust technology and heating systems for cars and trucks, including research in thermo and flow-dynamics, exhaust gas treatment and noise reduction;

Automotive Research & Innovation Facility for Midcaps and SMES (Germany)involving an technology leasing facility, allowing automotive suppliers to finance their RDI activities through the sale and lease-back of intellectual property rights to Deutsche Leasing, a leasing institute in Germany;

And, in biotechnology, Zeltia Pharmaceutical RDI (Spain), to finance research activities in commercialising four products targeting different forms of cancer.

The RSFF, was launched on 5 June 2007 as part of the EU's 7th Framework Programme for Research (FP7), and the EIB's Innovation 2010 Initiative. It will provide an additional €10 billion of higher risk financing. The Commission, via FP7, and the EIB will each contribute up to €1 billion, providing the capital to underpin the expected loans and guarantees by the EIB of several billion euros.

The EIB will implement RSFF in close collaboration with all major EU national and regional banks.

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