>@Anne-Cécile Auguin/EIB

SUNPARTNER Technologies, a pioneering company which develops and integrates photovoltaic glass for the building, consumer electronics and transportation markets, has announced the opening of a new production site in Rousset, near Aix-en-Provence. During the opening ceremony, the company and the European Investment Bank (EIB) represented by his Vice-President, Ambroise Fayolle, signed a EUR 15 million financing to boost the development and research programs of the company. The EIB financing is guaranteed under the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the heart of the Investment Plan for Europe commonly known as Juncker Plan.

The EFSI-backed financing will allow the company to establish its commercial infrastructure, invest in R&D and further expand its manufacturing capacity. SUNPARTNER Technologies previously raised EUR 55.0 million of capital investments and the EIB financing brings the total financing to EUR 70.0 million. The financing will allow SUNPARTNER Technologies to accelerate commercial development, notably on the back of its recently signed JV with Vinci Construction, and to propose their photovoltaic facades to the construction industry players (architects, engineers, facade makers, etc) in the European market.

“This is a key loan for innovation and climate action that comes at a crucial time for this firm with strong growth potential”, said Vice-President Ambroise Fayolle at the event. “The EIB is particularly proud to be financing this innovative project, which will enable SUNPARTNER Technologies to market its cutting-edge technology while developing its future production lines. By enabling every surface area to become a source of green energy, SUNPARTNER Technologies possesses all the necessary assets to be a leader in a rapidly growing market. Thanks to the EU guarantee under the Juncker Plan, we are able to step up our financing for innovative small firms. This operation also perfectly matches the priorities of the French government’s major new Investment Plan”.

Ludovic Deblois, CEO of Sunpartner: “The signature of the financing is a very good news for SUNPARTNER for three main reasons. Firstly, the support of the EBI is essential to accelerate our growth. Secondly, this financing also shows our determination to address the European market as a whole. Thirdly, this signature as well as the existing European Building Regulations show the strong involvement of the European Union to protect our planet. These are all steps in the right direction to fight climate change collectively today and tomorrow. The European countries are now coming together to face this challenge.”

The company plans to invest heavily in its commercial infrastructure, R&D and manufacturing capacity to continue its evolution from a pure R&D-focused business to a fully developed commercial production company. SUNPARTNER Technologies’ ambition is to become the first true Building Integrated Photovoltaic company in the world, based on their proven technologies.

SUNPARTNER’s innovative photovoltaic solutions - WYSIPS® (What You See is Photovoltaic Surface) – capture solar energy and convert it into electricity on aesthetic surfaces. The company signed last year a JV with Vinci Construction on the back of which it launched two ground-breaking products: a solar window (‘Horizon D’) and a solar glass curtain wall ('Horizon E') that produces electricity. Horizon D is a smart glass connected window that is off-the-grid thanks to the Wysips® semi-transparent photovoltaic glass. It also provides increased comfort (i.e., protecting occupants from glare and reducing overheating in interior spaces) and simpler use and control. Horizon E is a curtain wall with integrated photovoltaic glazing. Now, facades, with their vast available surface area, can produce electricity right where it’s needed.

With innovation one of its top priorities, in 2016 the EIB Group provided EUR 13.5bn in support of innovative projects in Europe, including the research programs of large corporate groups, specialized firms and companies. In France last year, 38% of the EIB Group's total investment of EUR 9.3bn was devoted to supporting businesses, innovation and research and development. The EU bank is also playing a key part in making the Paris agreement a reality. As the largest multilateral provider of climate finance worldwide, the Bank is committing at least 25% of its investments to climate change mitigation and adaptation, supporting low-carbon and climate-resilient growth. In France in 2016, 35% of the EIB investment was devoted to this top priority.

The Juncker Plan is therefore continuing to steam ahead in France with 99 operations approved by the EIB Group to date representing total financing of EUR 7,5 billion.