The European Investment Bank (“EIB”) and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (“FCA”) announced today that they have finalized a EUR 250 million loan for research and development (“R&D”) projects implemented by FCA. The three-year loan will support the automobile manufacturing group’s activities in its R&D centres in Italy and will consolidate the EU bank's collaboration with FCA, which has resulted in EUR 2.4bn worth of financing operations since 2009.
Specifically, FCA's three-year investment plan in R&D for the period 2017-2019 has a number of key objectives including greater efficiency, a reduction in CO2 emissions by petrol and alternative fuel engines, and the study of new hybrid architectures. Part of the loan will be for facilities located in southern Italy (Puglia) and owned by the subsidiary Magneti Marelli, which designs and produces advanced systems and components for the automotive industry.
This loan comes under the EIB's traditional financing sectors such as climate change action and energy efficiency.
The operation is being supported by the “InnovFin – EU Finance for Innovators” initiative for large projects in conjunction with the European Union via its financial instruments under the Horizon 2020 programme.
Under Horizon 2020, the EU research programme for 2014-20, the European Commission and the European Investment Bank Group (EIB and EIF) have launched a new generation of financial instruments and advisory services in 2014 to help innovative firms access finance more easily. Until 2020, "InnovFin – EU Finance for Innovators" offers a range of tailored products which will make available more than EUR 24bn of financing support for research and innovation (R&I) by small, medium-sized and large companies and the promoters of research infrastructures. This finance is expected to support up to EUR 48bn of final R&I investments.
Backed by funds set aside under Horizon 2020 and by the EIB Group, InnovFin financial products support R&I activities, which by their nature are riskier and harder to assess than traditional investments, and therefore often face difficulties in accessing finance. All are demand-driven instruments, with no prior allocations between sectors, countries or regions. Firms and other entities located in EU Member States and Horizon 2020 Associated Countries will be eligible as final beneficiaries.