Germany: Brandenburg science centre: EIB advances EUR 385m to ILB for research and development
- Release date: 25 November 2013
- Reference: 2013-193-EN
Universities, university colleges and research institutes in the Federal State of Brandenburg will in the future be able to obtain additional funding from the European Investment Bank (EIB) through the State’s investment bank, Investitionsbank des Landes Brandenburg (ILB). A corresponding loan contract was signed today by the EIB and ILB in Potsdam.
The loan for EUR 385m will be disbursed to the ILB as the intermediary institution and made available to the relevant establishments through the Ministry of Science, Research and Culture (MWFK), It will help to finance the public research and science facilities of the Federal State of Brandenburg, with a view to improving the quality and efficiency of research and development (R&D) activities. The funds will be used by the Federal State of Brandenburg to invest, for example in R&D infrastructure and research equipment and also to expand and modernise universities and university colleges of applied sciences. Moreover, they can also be deployed directly for scientific work. The investment projects will be completed by end-2015
Together with Berlin, the Brandenburg region has one of the highest concentrations of research activities in Europe. The large German research foundations are represented with their own facilities on several sites in Brandenburg: Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft and Hermann von Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft Deutscher Forschungszentren each have four centres, Leibniz-Gemeinschaft has nine and Max-Planck-Gesellschaft three institutes. In the scientific area, the Federal State of Brandenburg has three universities and four university colleges of applied sciences and also a university college for film and television.
Following earlier projects in 2006 and 2010, the contract signed today concerns a third EIB/ILB financing operation in the science and research sector in Brandenburg. In the current EU funding period 2007-2013, Brandenburg is classified as a convergence region, i.e. its gross domestic product per capita is less than 75% of the EU average. The aim of the convergence policy is to speed up the development process in these regions, backed by investment in innovation and the knowledge economy to strengthen regional competitiveness. This is particularly well illustrated by the Brandenburg example, where application-oriented research centres have specialised in areas with a high growth potential, such as optical and nano-technology, which in turn increases the attractiveness of the location from a business perspective.
At the signing of the contract, Wilhelm Molterer, Vice-President of the EIB whose responsibilities include the Bank's activities in Germany, stated, “With this new financing operation, the EIB is helping to continue the successful development of Brandenburg as a science centre. The Federal State has already demonstrated in the past how economic potential can be generated through targeted reinforcement of research infrastructure and scientific expertise.”
Tillmann Stenger, Chairman of ILB’s Management Board commented, “We are pleased to be able to contribute, for the third time with the EIB's support, to the development of Brandenburg as a research and science centre, as this loan will lay crucial foundations for the continued development of the knowledge economy in our State.”
Helmuth Markov, Brandenburg’s Finance Minister and Chairman of ILB's Board of Directors said, “I congratulate our State’s investment bank on the conclusion of this first-class contract. I also congratulate the universities, university colleges and research institutes of Brandenburg on the opportunities created by this EIB loan package. The Federal State Government decided at the beginning of its term of office to consolidate the budget and at the same time to concentrate Brandenburg’s resources - which as you know are not unlimited - on the priorities of education, science, research and technology as well as social equity. This EIB loan will provide excellent support for our efforts. These resources will give science and research in Brandenburg a substantial additional boost, which we are extremely pleased about.”
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