France: Nord-Pas de Calais Region set to support the third industrial revolution
23 October 2015
Following the launch of the savings account which has already served to collect over EUR 8.5 million from the general public, the Nord-Pas de Calais Regional Council and CCI Nord de France have undertaken to create a dedicated investment fund.
With an initial financing capacity of EUR 50 million, the fund is designed to bring together a variety of players keen to participate in the third industrial revolution.
This fund is the fruit of the joint initiative between the Nord-Pas de Calais Regional Council and CCI Nord de France following on from the work of the Masterplan aimed at achieving a carbon-free economy in Nord-Pas de Calais by 2050.
Thanks to the financial involvement of the ERDF (European Regional Development Fund), it will initially comprise the Caisse des Dépôts Group, the European Investment Bank and Crédit Agricole Nord de France.
This theme-based fund will serve to finance businesses and SPVs in the region that have projects linked with all or part of the eight pillars of the third industrial revolution: energy efficiency, the transition to renewable energy, energy-producing buildings, energy storage, the energy Internet, sustainable mobility of people and goods, the circular economy, and the economy of functionality.
Financial players involved
Since the major challenges tackled by the third industrial revolution concern businesses and citizens alike and because new economic and consumption models are possible, financial players are getting involved.
The creation of this fund forms part of the strategy developed by the Nord-Pas de Calais Region in its 2014-2020 operational programme for credit management in Europe (European development fund, ERDF, and European Social Fund, ESF), one of the main planks of which involves "driving energy transition in the Nord-Pas de Calais Region". The contribution of EU funds will be vital to support breakthrough technological projects requiring financial assistance over periods of more than five years. Thanks to the ERDF, it will also be possible to provide technical assistance to project promoters to help them enhance the content of their activities in order to take greater account of the environmental, social and economic criteria associated with the third industrial revolution.
As a key partner, the European Investment Bank (EIB) is injecting an initial loan of EUR 15 million into this investment fund dedicated to the "third industrial revolution in Nord-Pas de Calais". The leverage effect of the EIB's contribution, combined with the use of EU Structural Funds, helps to optimise the financing capacity of project promoters whilst at the same time attracting co-investors.
The Caisse des Dépôts Group is supporting the success of the environmental and energy transition. For this reason it is involved in setting up the investment fund dedicated to the "third industrial revolution in Nord-Pas de Calais".
Crédit Agricole Nord de France, a committed player in financing energy transition projects which since 2008 has backed a number of investments and set up a dedicated team in this field, has undertaken to provide finance towards the creation of this fund.
The first projects will be ready in the first quarter of 2016 for examination by the management company selected – Nord Capital Partenaires (a joint subsidiary of Turenne Capital and Crédit Agricole Nord de France) and its service provider Finorpa.
The EIB is granting two credit lines totalling €600 million that will enable Crédit Mutuel Alliance Fédérale to lend over €1.2 billion to French SMEs and mid-caps. It is the first French bank to benefit from the EIB’s post-COVID-19 programme, reaffirming its position as a key player in the financing of SMEs and mid-caps.
The EIB is providing a €200 million loan to the Amadeus IT Group, the world’s leading global distribution system (GDS) and IT solutions provider for the travel industry, based in Madrid. This financing concerns R&D activities, with a focus on France (Nice Sophia Antipolis) and is aimed at the development of a wide variety of technologies and features that will be used in different software products by airlines, airports, travel agencies and railway operators. The new developments include software frameworks, cloud migration tools, and customer experience and loyalty management applications.
The EIB is providing a €200 million loan to KWS SAAT SE & Co. KGaA, a leading international seed producer based in Germany. KWS uses cutting-edge plant breeding and seed production methods to maximise yields and improve the resilience of plants to diseases, pests and abiotic stresses, such as extreme weather caused by climate change. It has one of the broadest seed portfolios in the industry, comprising 11 of the 13 most important crops, including maize, sugar beet, wheat, rye, rapeseed and vegetables.