18 December 2013 – The European Investment Bank (EIB) and Prysmian Group announce the finalisation of a €100 million loan to fund the European research and development (R&D) programmes of the group, world leader in the energy and telecom cables and systems industry, over the period 2013-2016. The loan represents about 50% of the planned investment expenditure in Europe during the period concerned. The Prysmian Group's global budget for R&D over the four-year period is some €300 million.
The EIB loan is particularly intended to support projects developed in the Group's R&D centres in six countries: France, Great Britain, Holland, Spain, Germany and Italy. Italy, which is due to receive a significant share of the funding, is home to the Group's R&D headquarters as well as to a number of centres of manufacturing excellence for optical fibre and power transmission cables and submarine systems. The Prysmian Group has 17 R&D centres around the world, located in Europe, North and South America and Asia, with 550 researchers and technicians and a portfolio of more than 5,600 patents.
"Lending for research and development is one of the pillars of the European Union's bank's business," said Dario Scannapieco, EIB Vice-President, "We are therefore very pleased about this operation with Prysmian, an Italian company with a long history but with an important European and international outlook, which places investment in innovation at the heart of staying highly competitive even in economic times when initial signs of recovery are less visible."
"Commitment to R&D is central to developing the strategy being pursued by our Group of focusing on high value-added and high-tech businesses and products," explained Valerio Battista, Prysmian Group CEO, "The development of more efficient, eco-sustainable electricity networks, like the spread of broadband connections in the telecoms sectors, are now recognised as priority areas for action by all the political and economic institutions. Our commitment, now even stronger thanks to the EIB's support, is to continue to assist our utilities, grid operator and telecom operator customers, with innovative products, services and technologies."
The EIB loan will be used in particular for:
Industrial Research: research into innovative materials using nanotechnology, network monitoring and management systems, optimisation of cable design to reduce electrical losses and optical cables for use in electricity distribution networks.
Innovation and Experimentation: the focus is on using alternative materials for cable design and on optimising product projects.
New Product Development: underground and submarine power transmission cables and systems, high voltage P-Laser cables, cables for the renewable energy sector, high-performance optical fibre, cables for Fibre-to-the-Home and Fibre-to-the-Antenna applications, connectivity and development of smart cables and systems for monitoring and management.
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