Innovation and skills

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The blog

Innovation and skills

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Innovation and skills are key ingredients for ensuring sustainable growth and creating high-value jobs. They play an important part in driving long-term competitiveness. For the EIB, this is a top priority. We are a major partner for projects that develop innovation and skills for a growing economy.

In 2018, we supported innovation and skills with EUR 13.5bn of EIB loans. Among other things, that enabled 29 million very high speed digital connections.


Europe is facing a major challenge in terms of competitiveness and innovation. This is why the EIB Group is partnering with others to help innovators turn good ideas into business realities.

We support innovative projects  from large-scale research to small, specialised spin-outs or digital networks. Supporting investment that is geared towards innovation, skills and greater competitiveness is part of our mission to foster sustainable growth and jobs in Europe. We can help secure such investments and maximise resources using our catalytic effect.

Investing for youth

Our Investing for youth initiative aims to address the jobs crisis facing the EU's young generation of 15-24 year olds. We build on our lengthy experience and expertise gained in financing both small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) and the education sector in Europe, with continuous efforts to stimulate job opportunities and skills training for Europe's youth.  

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Innovators are changing our world - from small tech start-ups to large research facilities and circular economy companies.


We have a wide range of products to support public and private investment offering flexibility, expertise and creativity to get projects off the ground. Our traditional financing products are medium and long-term loans. We finance large projects with direct loans and support smaller projects indirectly, via local banks or other intermediaries. The EIB offers the opportunity to combine its financing with EU grants, depending on the scope and definition of the project.