Belgium: EIB financing Puratos R-D-I programme aiming at healthier and more nutritious components in the food industry
EIB and Puratos, a leading company in its field in the food industry, signed a loan contract for EUR 45 million that will be dedicated to Puratos European research and development programme until 2015.
The Puratos Group is a Belgian-Spanish family-owned group active in the production and commercialisation of ingredients for the bakery, patisserie and chocolate sector for both artisans and industrial customers. Puratos which today counts some 6500 employees and is active in over 100 countries, has a proven track-records in R&D. With its new research programme, it is targeting to develop and deliver within the next few years new enzymes and food ingredients. More specifically, the project co-financed by the EIB will focus on developing new fermentation-based functionalities, yeast components and emulsifiers to the bakery sector. The objective is to decrease the amount of hard fats and cholesterol-raising ingredients in the food production process and to increase the part of healthy natural ingredients. Altogether it is aiming to make it possible for the food industry to produce healthier bakeries and confectionery products.
The R&D activities will be carried out in Puratos EU-based RDI and production facilities, primarily at its main research centre located in Groot-Bijgaarden near Brussels, Belgium.
Daniel Malcorps, CEO of Puratos said: “The EIB loan is an important element in the Group’s financing strategy, and will help ensure that Puratos continues to grow worldwide, supported by ever more important R&D activities, in particular in Europe. These activities centre on Puratos’ vision to offer innovative solutions to meet increasing consumer demands for more healthy food without compromising on taste”.
EIB Vice President Pim Van Ballekom: “We value Puratos commitment to innovation targeting food safety and health. Puratos has steadily engaged in research over the years to stay at the forefront of its sector. With its 40 innovation centers around the world, it is an example of an international company working for the future. We are happy to contribute to Puratos project and we join in this vision; it is essential to support European competitiveness and this is key to hold on growth and jobs in Europe.
The European Investment Bank – the bank of the European Union – is aligned with the EU strategic objective to establish a knowledge-based economy in the EU. It has allocated EUR 8.9 billion in 2012 to support projects within this frame within the EU; of which 3.4 billion for R&D programmes.
The R-D-I programme of Puratos is financed under the Risk Sharing Finance Facility (RSFF), set up jointly by the European Commission and the EIB to facilitate access to borrowing in the fields of research, technological development, demonstration and innovation and to create additional funding capacity in these areas.