>@Master Films - F. Lancelot/Airbus Group
©Master Films - F. Lancelot/ Airbus Group

The European Investment Bank (EIB) and Airbus Group have announced the signature of a € 500 million finance contract in support of Airbus Group's innovation and R&D programmes in Europe, of which € 400 million will go to research, development and innovation (RDI) activities in France.

This new agreement brings total EIB support for Airbus Group since 2011 to € 1.3 billion.

This project aims to promote the development of innovative products in order to reduce the aviation industry's environmental impact, particularly in terms of the energy efficiency of aircraft. It will serve to offer effective solutions that will directly impact aeronautical design and production, in particular by improving aircraft aerodynamics and optimising passenger comfort and safety.

Welcoming the signing of the loan, EIB Vice-President Philippe de Fontaine Vive said: "This loan is of symbolic importance, demonstrating our priority commitment to innovation
in Europe. The development of increasingly innovative technologies is crucial for the economy and for competitiveness. It will also generate jobs for young people."

Airbus Group Chief Financial Officer Harald Wilhelm said the new agreement underlines the company’s strong focus on innovation and research: “We highly appreciate this latest commitment from the EIB, which is one of Airbus Group’s key financing partners. Both the EIB and Airbus Group share a common goal when it comes to increasing innovation and improving efficiency in the European aerospace industry.”

This is one of the EIB's large-scale loans for financing innovation in Europe. This sector is one of the key priorities of the European Union's bank, which in 2014 alone provided nearly € 2 billion in support of projects of excellence in France.