• A memorandum of understanding between MUR and the EIB Group to further strengthen financial and strategic support for the university and research system was announced today in Rome.
  • The agreement aims to boost university investment to improve energy efficiency, foster the emergence of innovative startups, promote technology transfer and strengthen infrastructure, with the creation of new student housing.

The Italian Ministry of Universities and Research (MUR) and the EIB Group, which includes the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Investment Fund (EIF), have concluded a memorandum of understanding with the main goals of supporting the investment of universities in research and technology transfer, the creation of new student housing and the development of innovative startups.

The agreement is among the latest developments in EU policy and was presented by Minister Anna Maria Bernini, EIB Vice-President Gelsomina Vigliotti and EIB Director General of Operations Jean-Christophe Laloux. It addresses strategic issues for the future of Italy and of Europe, such as support for research and technology transfer, the promotion of innovative startups, the construction of new affordable student housing, and the refurbishment and modernisation of university infrastructure, with a particular focus on energy efficiency. Key points include the formation of a joint working group to plan financial and technical assistance, support for startups interested in accessing the resources of the European Innovation Council (EIC) and a reference to the possibility of promoting cooperation between the EIB Group and the Istituti dell'Alta Formazione Artistica, Musicale e Coreutica (AFAM) to support the Italian cultural and artistic sector.

The agreement will also enable the EIB Group to provide MUR and interested universities with technical assistance to facilitate access to the EU bank’s financial products.

“Today marks the start of a structured partnership under which MUR and the EIB Group have made a joint commitment to research, university education and high-level artistic, musical and dance training,” said Minister for Universities and Research Anna Maria Bernini. “We had a discussion with EIB Vice-President and EIF Chair Gelsomina Vigliotti on the launch of the partnership with MUR set out in the memorandum of understanding. We discussed joint activities to improve opportunities for Italy in connection with the European Innovation Council by supporting startups and innovation, and the possibility of transforming Italy’s major research capacity in research into European business success stories. We will therefore focus specifically on projects for university students and financing opportunities in university infrastructure and student housing.”

“Investing in research and innovation is key to improving competitiveness and sustainability in Italy and across the European Union,” said EIB Vice-President and EIF Chair Gelsomina Vigliotti. “The agreement between the EIB Group and MUR goes in exactly this direction, opening the door to new financing opportunities and bringing the best European practices to Italy. It consolidates the EIB’s strong commitment to Italian universities and schools, for which we have provided almost €3 billion in support over the last ten years.”

The European Investment Bank (EIB) finances projects in four priority areas: infrastructure, innovation, climate and environment, and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Between 2019 and 2022, the EIB Group provided €45 billion in financing for projects in Italy.