Pan European Networks - Horizon 2020 - page 19

The European Investment Plan brings multiple benefits to the public and
private sectors and the local economy, as well as helping to increase the
continent’s investment competitiveness. Combining the expertise of the
EIB and over €315bn of financing, the plan will offer major, higher risk
project proposals from across the continent the opportunity to take
advantage of a new European stream of funding.
investment in the academic and research
sectors: “There has clearly been a paradigm
shift in the financing provided; for example
there has been significant investment in the
university sector. Capital investment over a 25-
30 year financing period has been granted, for
instance, to help upgrade campus buildings.
Such investments benefit the local economy,
but there is invariably risk. That risk goes hand-
in-hand with universities as one of the best
sources of research funding. At Ireland’s Trinity
College Dublin, the EIB has supported the
development of buildings and infrastructures,
thus aiding research.
“In addition, a lot of the bank’s financing is
known as ‘combining funds’, whereby EIB
loans are used alongside investment from the
EU budget. This shift has led to the budget
becoming more effective in helping to leverage
other sources of financing.
“There has been a lot of talk about the EFSI as
a brand new tool with a brand new approach.
However, from the EIB’s point of view, the main
basis of the fund is something that 2,000
colleagues here have been accomplishing for
nearly 60 years. We have not only amassed
considerable understanding and experience of
financing projects but also accumulated
knowledge of different industries and sectors,”
Willis told Portal.
“This experience has been crucial over the
years, and we have a very strong track
record of supporting projects that bring clear
benefits in response to an economic crisis,
in addition to significantly increasing our
overall engagement. The EFSI brings about a
slightly new direction where, yet again, we
can demonstrate and utilise our expertise in
fields of risky investment, reacting quickly to
the market.
“The EIB has published a report on Europe’s
competitiveness compared to the rest of the
world. In contrast to Asia and the United States,
there is a clear need to increase investment in
research, development and infrastructure. We
also need to ensure that sectors in which
Europe is judged to be leading are not left
behind whilst also guaranteeing new sectors
are receiving adequate financing to help bring
new innovative products forward.”
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H O R I Z O N 2 0 2 0 P R O J E C T S : P O R TA L
S P E C I A L F E AT U R E : A N I N V E S T M E N T P L A N F O R E U R O P E ?
Pointing in the right direction
Earlier this year, the European Commission
and the European Investment Bank launched
fi-compass, a new advisory service on
financial instruments for the European
Structural and Investment Funds. This new
facility is part of the advisory hub which is to
be launched as part of the European
Investment Plan.
The platform is part of the plan’s second pillar and aims to provide
technical assistance as well as transparency to investors.
fi-compass will work alongside an advisory hub to provide all the
necessary financial and technical support to public and private
project proposers.
fi-compass was launched during a two-day conference in
Brussels in January. Speaking ahead of his address to delegates,
Jyrki Katainen (pictured), European Commission Vice-President
with responsibility for Jobs, Growth, Investment and
Competitiveness, said: “There is money out there, but investors
tell us that they need well-structured projects and access to clear
information to reconnect investment finance with a pipeline of
trusted projects. The launch of fi-compass is an important step in
the right direction.”
Adding his thoughts, EIB vice-president Wilhelm Molterer said: “The
EIB, with its technical, sectorial and country-specific expertise, has
the potential to encourage more widespread use of financial
instruments. This expertise has been widely acknowledged by the
Commission and the EU member states, and we will use it to help
recipients of EU funds target projects with high economic viability.”
The fi-compass advisory platform will be complemented later this
year with the launch of a ‘multiregional assistance’ initiative that
will bring together managing authorities and financial institutions.
This new scheme will encourage the use of financial instruments in
investment priority areas shared by regions from at least two
different EU member states.
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