New bonanza for research and development

New bonanza for research and developmentResearch and development projects in Spain are set to receive an injection of 1,200 million euros of finance from the European Investment Bank.

Among the areas to benefit from this will be maths, astronomy, biology, engineering and technology, and farming, as well as health sciences.

This news has come from the Minister of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness, Román Escolano, and was announced on his first visit to the Higher Council for Research. Set to be the biggest project the EIB has undertaken in the field of scientific development, it will double the amount of investment previously granted to the concept in Spain.

Making history

Escalano said, ‘[This is the] largest project in the history of the European Investment Bank in the field of science and innovation.’ He added that it would allow research and development to operate ‘under very advantageous financial conditions.’

Indeed, the 1,200 million is only part of the backing the scientific community can expect to enjoy from the programme; the total investment from all sources will be 2,468 million euros. This means that the EIB portion makes up 48% of the whole.

The project is part of the InnovFin programme, an initiative which was launched by the EIB group in cooperation with the European Commission for funding research.

Leveling the playing field

Taking the form of a loan, the EIB money will be aimed at projects that intend to improve the competitiveness of the Spanish economy. It is hoped that the project will facilitate investment in programmes that contribute to the scientific innovation aspirations of the EU as a whole.

The funds will be directed towards intangible research and development activities carried out by the State Research Agency, public research bodies, and singular scientific and technical infrastructures.

With the agreement approved and signed by the board of directors of the EIB, it will be ensured that research and development will receive significant financing from the Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness until 2020.

The EIB has previously launched two operations in the field of research and development in Spain. In 2012 it granted a loan of 625 million euros to finance similar investments. This was to cover a two year period from 2012 to 2014. Then last year, it granted a loan of 515 million euros to finance research and development projects included in the state plan for scientific, technical and innovative research. This covered the years 2013 to 2016.

For more information, please contact corporate law firm Argali Abogados

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