Italy: EIB lends EUR 100 million to Prysmian Group for research and development in Europe
The European Investment Bank (EIB) and Prysmian Group announce the signature of a EUR 100 million loan in support of research and development (R&D) programmes in Europe over the period 2013-2016 by the world leader in cables and systems for energy and telecommunications. The loan represents around 50% of the group’s planned investment in Europe over that period. The Prysmian Group’s global budget for R&D over the four-year period is around EUR 300 million.
In particular, the EIB loan is intended to support future projects in R&D centres in six countries: France, the UK, the Netherlands, Spain, Germany and Italy. The group’s R&D headquarters and centres of excellence for optical fibres and submarine power transmission cables and systems are located in Italy where a substantial share of the funding will go. The Prysmian Group has 17 R&D centres around the world, located in Europe, North and South America and Asia, with 550 researchers and technicians and a portfolio of more than 5 600 patents.
“Lending for R&D is one of the EU bank’s pillars of activity”, remarked EIB Vice-President Dario Scannapieco. “We are therefore delighted about this operation with Prysmian, a company that has a long tradition in Italy but also a strong European and international outlook. The group makes investment in innovation central to staying highly competitive even in economic times when the initial signs of recovery are less visible.”
“Commitment to R&D is key to developing our strategy of focusing on high value-added and high-tech businesses and products”, explained Prysmian Group’s CEO Valerio Battista. “Developing more efficient, environmentally sustainable electricity networks and extending broadband connections are now recognised as priority action areas by all political and economic institutions. Our commitment, now even stronger thanks to the EIB’s backing, is to continue to support our utilities, grid manager and telecoms operator customers via innovative products, services and technologies.”
The EIB loan will be used in particular for:
- Industrial research: research into innovative materials using nanotechnologies, network monitoring and management systems, optimisation of cable design to reduce electrical losses and optical cables for use in power distribution networks.
- Innovation and experimentation: focusing on using alternative materials for cable design and optimising product projects.- Development of new products: underground and submarine systems for energy transmission, high power laser cables, cables for the renewable energy sector, high-performance optical fibres, cables for fibre-to-the-home and fibre-to-the-antenna applications, connectivity and development of smart cables and systems for monitoring and management.