>@EIB/To be defined

The European Investment Bank (EIB) today provided a EUR 15m loan to System Spa, an Italian firm specialised in machinery for the ceramics industry and in the packaging, logistics, intralogistics and electronics sectors. System Spa is the lead company in the System Group. The EIB loan will support the firm's investments in research and development projects in Italy until 2018, with a particular emphasis on new technological applications designed to identify innovative production processes.

System Spa's applied technologies for machinery and equipment for the ceramics industry concern specialised manufacturing systems for tile decoration and finishing, integrated lines, end-of-line packaging and handling.

“With this operation, the EIB confirms its commitment to supporting RDI activities and the midcaps sector. These goals are in line with the EU’s priority objectives under the Horizon 2020 programme and are key to broadening the technological base and boosting the competitiveness of the manufacturing industry, with positive knock-on effects for growth and employment”, remarked Miguel Morgado, EIB Director for operations in Italy, Malta and the Balkans.

“This loan is a very important sign of recognition and demonstrates the high quality standards of our firm's research projects”, said Franco Stefani, chairman and founder of the System Group. “We believe in the significance of innovation and in the development of knowledge as a key factor of distinction and growth. Opening up to the world, going beyond the sectoral boundaries connecting high technology and human heritage, these are the principles upon which we have built our value added and upon which we will continue to focus. Each year we invest around 5% of our benchmark turnover in research and development activities and we have more than 200 patents, confirming our strong commitment to innovation – a cornerstone of our manufacturing activity that has made us a major international player in industrial automation.”

System's RDI project is supported by the "InnovFin – EU Finance for Innovators" MidCap Growth Finance initiative, which is backed by the European Union via financial instruments under the Horizon 2020 programme.

The operation was initiated and structured with the assistance of Mittel Advisory Debt and Grant S.p.A.

Background information

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is the long-term lending institution of the European Union owned by its Member States. It makes long-term finance available for sound investment in order to contribute towards EU policy goals.

The System Group is an international leader in designing and implementing manufacturing process solutions for the ceramics industry and other industrial sectors such as packaging, logistics, electronics and intralogistics, with a multidisciplinary approach embracing precision mechanics, electronics, information technology, physics and chemistry. The Group, whose headquarters is located in Fiorano Modenese in Italy, is active in 25 countries via 38 subsidiaries, has a turnover of EUR 436m and over 1 700 employees worldwide.

InnovFin's financial products

Under Horizon 2020, the new EU research programme for 2014-20, the European Commission and the European Investment Bank Group (EIB and EIF) launched a new generation of financial instruments and advisory services in 2014 to help innovative firms obtain credit more easily. Available until 2020, InnovFin (InnovFin – EU Finance for Innovators) will enable small, medium-sized and large companies and the promoters of research infrastructure projects to invest more than EUR 24bn in research and innovation (R&I) and to access a range of tailored financing products. This finance is expected to mobilise some EUR 48bn worth of investment in R&I.

Backed by funds set aside under Horizon 2020 and by the EIB Group, InnovFin guarantees and loans support R&I investments, which by their nature are riskier and harder to assess than traditional investments, and therefore often face difficulties in obtaining finance. All are demand-driven instruments, with no prior allocations to sectors, countries or regions. Firms and other entities located in EU Member States and Horizon 2020 Associated Countries are eligible as final beneficiaries.

InnovFin MidCap Growth Finance offers senior, subordinated and mezzanine loans designed to facilitate access to financing, especially for innovative and larger midcaps (up to 3 000 employees), but also SMEs and small midcaps. Loans from EUR 7.5m to EUR 25m to such entities will be disbursed directly by the EIB.