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The European Investment Bank (EIB) is providing two loans amounting to EUR 970 million for research and development (R&D) activities in Polish research institutes, universities and business enterprises. With these loans, the EIB will assist Poland in improving its readiness to contribute to the common European Research Area by strengthening R&D infrastructure potential and the R&D capabilities of scientific institutions.

The first EIB loan of EUR 490 million will finance R&D project grants, which will be awarded by the National Science Centre and the National Centre for Research and Development through open calls to Ph.D. students, post-doctoral fellows and senior scientists. These projects will concern either basic or applied research and will be implemented at public research institutes, universities and business enterprises across Poland.

The EIB is lending a further EUR 480 million for the statutory research tasks performed by all categories of scientific and academic staff employed by Polish public universities, colleges and research institutes in the majority of scientific disciplines (except medical research performed at university hospitals and defence-related research). Through this loan, the EIB will also support capital investment of the Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education in public R&D infrastructure and scientific equipment.

“The EIB strongly promotes the European knowledge economy, especially increased R&D investment, downstream applied research and innovation, and the improvement of human capital. We therefore particularly welcome this agreement with Poland, as these projects will support the country's strategic science and innovation policy. They will strengthen basic research, promote efficiency and competition for grants, and leverage more private investment for applied development and innovation activities in Poland”, said EIB Vice-President Anton Rop at the signing ceremony.

Both projects will be carried out in 2013 and 2014 and will not only help to maintain current employment in the R&D sector in Poland during this period, but more importantly create a great number of new career opportunities, in particular for young researchers.

Thanks to the competitive EIB funding terms and a long loan tenor, Poland will benefit from lower financing costs for these projects, thus increase its financial flexibility and investment capacity in support of R&D investments.