The European Investment Bank (EIB) and One Tech announced today that they have concluded a EUR 21m financing agreement.
This key financing operation will support investments in the company’s fixed assets aimed primarily at strengthening and modernising its cable and mechatronic product manufacturing capacity. One Tech also intends to invest in research, development and innovation in these fields.
By contributing to the creation of more than 720 permanent jobs in Tunisia, the EIB’s financial support for this project will not only stimulate innovation, but also economic growth in a region falling under the EU’s cohesion objective. These investments will also help to disseminate knowledge in the area of advanced manufacturing technology. The project will be carried out between 2017 and 2020 in the promoter's existing facilities on different sites in Tunisia, and to a lesser degree on a site in Morocco.
The Tunisian company specialises in the production of printed circuits, electronic and mechanical assemblies, connectors and cabling. These products are used for automotive applications and in the energy, telecommunications and information and communication technologies (ICT) sectors. The mechatronic products, such as electronic components and mechatronic modules, are designed for automotive, aerospace and industrial applications.
EIB Vice-President Román Escolano said: "Supporting innovation and companies is one of the priorities of the European Union's bank. It is our responsibility to create optimum conditions for financing modernisation and research in the energy, automobile and information and communication technologies sectors."
The EIB’s backing for One Tech’s development forms part of the “InnovFin - EU Finance for Innovators” programme, which provides customised products for financing innovation projects.
An EU-wide database that pulls together all available information on financing for European tech companies; that is one of the recommendations of a new report prepared by the joint European Commission–EIB InnovFin Advisory Hub. It is also suggested to create a tool that helps investors to better understand the technical and economic viability of highly innovative technology ventures. Both tools can help to support European deep tech start-ups and smaller companies in obtaining financing when they need it most.
The project financed covers the full product development cycle from technology platform research to design. It will be carried out over three years at ST’s sites in Rousset, Crolles, Grenoble and Tours (France). The research is particularly aimed at developing new mobile applications using powerful autonomous fuel cells. As well as IT and telecoms, the industrial and automotive sectors are expected to be major beneficiaries.
The EIB has signed a EUR 10 million agreement with Danobat S. Coop. for its RDI activities in the field of machine tools. EIB Vice-President Román Escolano and DanobatGroup’s CEO Iñigo Ucín Azcue signed the finance contract on the occasion of the “Supporting Innovation in Spain” event organised by the EIB Group in Bilbao.