Innovative lamps: EIB supports OSRAM with research loan
- Release date: 24 February 2015
- Reference: 2015-038-EN
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The European Investment Bank (EIB) is participating in the financing of research and development (R&D) in the field of opto-semiconductors (OS), by lending over EUR 200m to OSRAM GmbH, which is developing new low energy components to replace traditional bulbs. The loan contract has just been signed in Munich.
EIB Vice-President Wilhelm Molterer welcomed the company's contribution to Europe's competitiveness: "In order to underpin the technological transition in the lighting industry, OSRAM has set itself ambitious targets for the research and development of new reliable, low-energy products. The innovation programme requires a highly-qualified workforce. The company is therefore also cooperating closely with European universities and research institutes, as well as with its customers. OSRAM is not only improving its own position in international competition but is also helping considerably to strengthen Europe as an innovative and technologically pioneering continent through qualifications and networking."
The use of energy-efficient lighting in Europe has grown rapidly over the past few years, largely as a result of EU legislation, which since 2009 has imposed a shift from the use of traditional light bulbs to low-energy solid-state lighting products. These opto-semiconductors for light-emitting diodes (LED) and organic LEDs (OLED) have a much longer service life than traditional light bulbs, and at the same time consume much less power for the same light intensity. As a result of their high energy efficiency, they will be key to energy-saving and environmentally-friendly lighting solutions.
In order to be able to respond to these new industry trends and manage this transition, R&D activities in the lighting industry have to be stepped up. As a global leader in the supply of lighting products, OSRAM is focussing its R&D activities on opto-semiconductors for LEDs in the visible as well as invisible light spectrum and also on organic LEDs. As part of its research activities, the company also aims to improve its technology basis through new patents and also new products. Accordingly, bespoke lighting solutions for different fields and applications are to be developed for the general lighting sector and also for special sectors such as the automotive industry.
"Whether for the LED lighting of Michelangelo's frescoes in the Sistine chapel or OLEDs for the rear lights of a car, OSRAM already plays a leading role in the new lighting technologies. Around 40% of our turnover is generated with LED-based products and solutions, and at the same this area accounts for well above half of our R&D expenditure. The EIB loan will help us to consolidate our technological lead even further", stated OSRAM's CFO Klaus Patzak.
From the EIB's perspective, this project is eligible for financing on the basis of its contribution to energy efficiency and the knowledge-based economy in Europe, both of which are priorities of the EU bank. OSRAM, on the other hand, will benefit from the attractive conditions of the long-term loan.