With a EUR 25 million loan to Bologna group Marposs, the European Investment Bank (EIB) is launching a new pilot financing scheme for midcaps in Italy – the Growth Finance Initiative (GFI), a joint initiative of the EIB and the European Commission to promote investment in innovation, research and development by European midcaps (with between 250 and 3 000 employees).

Aimed at countering the effects of the credit crunch, the GFI is designed to simplify the procedures for European midcaps to apply for finance of between EUR 7.5 and 25 million, with processing times of around three months. A key condition is that the application for finance must concern programmes for investment in research, development and innovation.

That is certainly the case with Marposs, the world leader in precision equipment for measurement and control in the production environment – gauges and compensation systems for grinders and other machine tools, hand-held gauges, sensors, automatic measurement systems; hardware and software for data collection and process analysis; and equipment for non-destructive testing.

Founded in 1952, Marposs is now present in 32 countries (Europe, Asia and Oceania, United States, Central and South America) and has over 2 700 employees. The group’s total turnover is around EUR 400 million and its main customers are automobile and machine tool manufacturers although it deals increasingly with firms in the telecommunications, energy, biomedical, consumer electronics and aerospace sectors. Research and development has always been a strategic function for Marposs to maintain and consolidate its technological leadership. R&D expenditure in 2012, incorporating the criteria required by the GFI instrument, amounted to almost EUR 20 million.