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President of the University of Strasbourg Michel Deneken, European Investment Bank (EIB) Vice-President Ambroise Fayolle and Caisse des dépôts Grand Est Regional Director Patrick François signed financing agreements totalling EUR 150m (EUR 90m from the EIB and EUR 60m from the Caisse des dépôts) as part of Operation Campus.

“This financing illustrates the priority we are giving to training and youth employment,” said Vice-President Ambroise Fayolle during the signing ceremony. “By providing Unistra with the opportunity to borrow cheaply, the EIB is supporting the development of a world-class and sustainable campus that is attractive for students, teachers and researchers, both nationally and internationally.”

An innovative finance plan for high-performance training and research infrastructure

These signatures will enable university projects to benefit from an innovative finance plan.

The University of Strasbourg has been a beneficiary of Operation Campus since 2009, and receives an allocation of EUR 15m a year through reserved funds totalling EUR 375m managed by the Government. This annual allocation will make it possible for the University of Strasbourg to finance the following without straining its budget:

  • the refurbishment and construction of new university buildings;
  • the maintenance and operation of the buildings for 25 years, guaranteeing the long-term reliability of university infrastructure.

This innovative finance plan has already helped make Operation Campus projects in Strasbourg a reality. So far:

  • eight operations have been completed including the renovation of the university complex (central campus), the creation of the International University House, the refurbishment of the Cavaillès amphitheatre and the rebuilding of the Paul Appell university canteen;
  • five will be completed in 2016: the Strasbourg Biomedical Research Centre, the restructuring of the department of economics and management, and the insectarium; and
  • eight in 2017: construction of the Studium, extension of the Supramolecular Science and Engineering Institute and creation of a data centre, and construction of the staff building.

This wide-ranging work programme will last until 2023.

Tailored financing for fast-track implementation of Operation Campus

The involvement of the EIB in this operation means that the University of Strasbourg will benefit from a EUR 90m loan with a long maturity and attractive financial terms thanks to the Bank's “AAA” rating. This will enable the University to optimise the use of the interest accrued by the Strasbourg Campus allocation. It is the fifth university campus after Saclay-Centrale, Grand Lille, Lyon and Paris Intramuros to receive EIB financing through Operation Campus, for which the EIB has provided a total of EUR 1.3bn nationally.

The Caisse des dépôts is granting the following two loans with tailored financial characteristics to the University of Strasbourg as part of the EUR 20bn local public sector loans from a savings funds envelope, which primarily targets long-term investment in public universities:

  • a 25-year loan with a five-year disbursement period, enabling the University to synchronise the disbursement of the loans with the advancement of the work;
  • a 20-year interest-free loan for energy efficiency retrofitting operations, planned for 2016 and 2017.