• EIB Group provides total financing of €1.62 billion in 2022.
  • Focus in Austria on financing renewable energy and affordable housing projects.
  • Multiple joint projects with banks secure financing for small and medium-sized enterprises.

The European Investment Bank (EIB) Group recorded stable business in Austria in 2022, with financing of €1.62 billion. Annual lending in the previous years was also in the region of €1.6 billion.

In 2022, project finance focused on renewable energy and affordable housing. After the pandemic, multiple joint projects with banks — both public and private — secured financing for small and medium-sized enterprises, the backbone of the Austrian economy.

The EIB supported the construction of additional wind turbines at the Pretul wind farm in Styria. In Vienna, it invested in public-private partnerships to build new schools that incorporate innovative educational concepts. The buildings also meet high environmental standards. In addition, the EIB Group, consisting of the EIB and the European Investment Fund (EIF), supported innovative life sciences startups such as Innovacell. This biotech firm has developed an effective therapy for incontinence to improve the quality of life of older people.

“In Austria, we are seeing a growing interest in projects that contribute to the green transformation of the economy,” says EIB Vice-President Thomas Östros, who oversees the Bank’s business in Austria. “We will continue to invest in climate action in the coming years too.”

In 2022, EIB Group financing in Austria mainly went to small and medium-sized enterprises (€675 million) and projects in the innovation, digital and human capital category (€518 million). Sustainable energy and natural resources accounted for €281 million, and sustainable cities and regions for €144 million. Many projects in the innovation category also had a strong focus on climate action.

EIB financing accounted for 0.36% of Austria’s gross domestic product (GDP).

Startup financing provided by the European Investment Fund was also successful in Austria. The EIF contributed around €250 million to total EIB Group financing of €1.62 billion.

Background information

The EIB’s key priorities are climate and the environment, development, innovation and skills, small and medium-sized enterprises, infrastructure and cohesion. It works closely with other EU institutions to foster European integration, promote the development of the European Union and support EU policies in more than 140 countries worldwide.

The European Investment Fund (EIF) is part of the European Investment Bank Group. Its central mission is to support Europe’s micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) by helping them to access finance. The EIF designs and develops venture and growth capital, guarantees and microfinance instruments that specifically target this market segment. In this role, the EIF contributes to the pursuit of key EU policy objectives such as competitiveness and growth, innovation and digitalisation, social impact, skills and human capital, and climate action and environmental sustainability.

The InvestEU programme provides the European Union with long-term funding by leveraging substantial private and public funds in support of a sustainable economy. It helps generate additional investments in line with EU policy priorities, such as the European Green Deal, the digital transition and support for small and medium-sized enterprises. InvestEU brings all EU financial instruments together under one roof, making funding for investment projects in Europe simpler, more efficient and more flexible. The programme consists of three components: the InvestEU Fund, the InvestEU Advisory Hub, and the InvestEU Portal. The InvestEU Fund is implemented through financial partners who invest in projects using the EU budget guarantee of €26.2 billion. This guarantee increases their risk-bearing capacity, thus mobilising at least €372 billion in additional investment.

EIB and energy security: Over the past decade, the European Investment Bank Group has channelled more than €100 billion into the European Union’s energy sector. These timely investments in energy efficiency, renewables, grids and storage are now helping Member States weather the crisis triggered by the abrupt cut in Russian gas supplies. In October 2022, the EIB’s Board of Directors decided to raise the Group’s clean energy financing volumes in support of the REPowerEU objective of ending Europe’s dependence on Russian fossil fuel imports. An additional €30 billion will be invested over the next five years, on top of the EIB’s already robust support for clean energy. It is estimated that the REPowerEU package will mobilise an additional €115 billion by 2027, thus making a substantial contribution to Europe’s energy independence and the EIB Group’s target to mobilise €1 trillion in climate finance this decade.