One thousand companies that are up in the fight against climate change will find it easier to access suitable financing for their ideas thanks to an extended cooperation signed by the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the Solar Impulse Foundation (SIF) today. The cooperation builds on an Advisory Services Agreement signed in March this year by the EIB’s InnovFin Advisory and the Foundation. It commits to providing financial advice to SIF-labelled companies, and will, from now on, also include advisory on non-EIB products and external investor outreach. This larger approach will benefit a number of earlier-stage companies.

EIB Vice-President in charge of climate action and environment, Emma Navarro, and SIF-founder and balloonist Bertrand Piccard signed the agreement in the margins of the Climate Change Conference in Madrid after a public chat, in which they discussed how to best motivate investors to join the climate movement. “Our partnership with the Solar Impulse Foundation has started off very strongly and we will be cooperating even closer in the future,” said Emma Navarro. “With the EIB’s increased ambition to be Europe’s climate bank, we need to diversify the types of projects we are financing. Innovative small and medium-sized companies like the ones the Solar Impulse Foundation is looking at are important, as they bring in new ideas and new thinking. To us they are also challenging as we need to identify the best ways to finance them.”

Since the signature of the original agreement earlier this year, EIB and SIF advisors jointly reviewed the Solar Impulse Foundation portfolio of hundreds of companies – identifying those that were most suitable for EIB support in terms of maturity, size, and EIB eligibility criteria. As a next step, the EIB will expand its collaboration beyond individual case studies, to also include the wider investor community, e.g. venture capital or business angels to mobilise financing for those companies that are too small for EIB direct financing.