EIB supports Grupo Antolin's innovation investments with a EUR 100m loan
The European Investment Bank (EIB) has signed a EUR 100m loan with Grupo Antolin to finance its RDI strategy. The EIB support will enable the multinational company to develop innovative solutions for automotive interiors giving it a competitive edge and helping to design safer vehicles that are also more comfortable, environmentally friendly and technologically advanced.
The agreement signed in Madrid today by EIB Vice-President Emma Navarro and Grupo Antolin Chairman Ernesto Antolin is supported by the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the central pillar of the Investment Plan for Europe (commonly known as the Juncker Plan).
The EIB-financed investments will be made in Grupo Antolin's innovation centres in Spain, Germany and France and will contribute to developing the company's global competitiveness. Grupo Antolin's European RDI strategy from this year until 2020 has a budget of almost EUR 220m and aims to lead the transformation the sector is currently undergoing with connected, self-driving and electric cars, together with industry 4.0. The agreement will strengthen the European automotive industry's capacity for innovation, contributing to the development of new patents. Grupo Antolin's projects are related to natural materials research, future mobility via new vehicle interior concepts and designs, advanced manufacturing and the integration of electronic and lighting functions into automotive components.
The loan is backed by the Investment Plan for Europe, which enables the EIB to finance projects that have a higher risk profile owing to their structure or nature. The EIB financing will ensure that the projects will be implemented within the established time frames (i.e. between 2018 and 2020) and will provide the resources needed to maintain current employment positions and continue creating high quality jobs. Grupo Antolin has almost 1 000 engineers in Europe, including around 350 in Spain.
At the signing ceremony today in Madrid, EIB Vice-President Emma Navarro highlighted how “this agreement will enable the EIB to help foster innovation at Grupo Antolin, a major Spanish multinational in the European automotive industry. As the EU bank, we are pleased to support a project fostering innovation investment in a key sector for the European economy, while also promoting highly skilled employment.”
European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation Carlos Moedas made the following comment on the agreement: “Investment in research and innovation is investment in the future of Europe. The EUR 100m EIB Juncker Plan loan signed today will enable Grupo Antolin to develop innovative products to improve its competitiveness in Europe. I am pleased that the European Union is supporting a highly innovative project in a traditional sector such as automotive. It is vital that our businesses receive the financial assistance they need for their RDI activities.”“As people will be spending a lot of time in the car of the future, its interior will include new functionalities and solutions. Grupo Antolin endeavours to be the key partner of vehicle manufacturers in developing the interiors of their future cars. The key to this is innovation, something that we will continue to strengthen with the EIB's support,” said Grupo Antolin Chairman Ernesto Antolin.
The European Investment Bank (EIB) is the long-term lending institution of the European Union owned by its Member States. It makes long-term finance available for sound investment in order to contribute towards EU policy objectives.
The Investment Plan for Europe, known as the Juncker Plan, is one of the European Commission’s top priorities. It focuses on boosting investment to generate jobs and growth by making smarter use of financial resources, removing obstacles to investment, and providing visibility and technical assistance to investment projects.
The European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) is the main pillar of the Juncker Plan and provides first loss guarantees, enabling the EIB to invest in more projects that often come with greater risks. EFSI has already yielded tangible results. The projects and agreements approved for financing under EFSI are expected to mobilise more than EUR 284bn in investment and support some 611 000 SMEs in the 28 Member States.