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Investment Plan for Europe (Juncker Plan) EIF and Bpifrance strengthen their partnership to support innovative businesses

    Date: 12 October 2017

The European Investment Fund (EIF) and Bpifrance have stepped up their efforts in support of innovation for French businesses. This third guarantee agreement in three years is backed by the Investment Plan for Europe (commonly known as the Juncker Plan). A new envelope worth EUR 600 million will be made available over the next two years in addition to the close to EUR 800 million that has already been granted since 2015.

The EIB Group is boosting its guarantee for two of Bpifrance’s key innovation financing tools: the “Innovation Loan” and the “Seed Capital Loan”.

  • The “Innovation Loan” (IL) has additional financing capacity of EUR 400m thanks to a 50% guarantee provided by EIF. It facilitates the industrial and market launches of SME and small midcap (up to 500 employees) innovative projects for amounts of up to EUR 5m.
  • The “Seed Capital Loan” (SCL) has a further EUR 200m available, which is also 50% guaranteed by the EIF. It serves to strengthen the financial structure of start-ups seeking funds from investors and to assist with their development by granting additional financing of up to EUR 1m.

The new financing agreement was signed at the Bpifrance Inno Génération event by EIB Vice-President Ambroise Fayolle, Bpifrance's CEO Nicolas Dufourcq, Deputy Head of European Commission Representation in France, Gaëtane Ricard-Nihoul, and Deputy Chief Executive of the EIF, Roger Havenith, in the presence of directors from two beneficiary companies, Invite1chef.com and BlueReg Pharma Consulting.

“The Juncker Plan has been a great success in France”, said Pierre Moscovici, EU Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs. “99 operations have already been approved, providing EUR 7.5bn in EIB Group financing set to mobilise EUR 35.4bn in additional investments in France. This agreement signed today between the EIF and Bpifrance will serve to unlock an additional EUR 600m for innovative businesses.”

“Through this strengthened partnership with Bpifrance, the EIB Group is accelerating its support for innovation in France. This new partnership will increase the number of innovative businesses financed by the EIF to more than 4 700”, said EIB Vice-President Ambroise Fayolle. “The EIB Group deploys a wide range of financing tools to assist innovative businesses with their development; support for innovation is at the heart of our activity, fully in line with the priorities of the EU and of the French Government's investment plan. This new commitment is a strong signal that the EU bank is sending to businesses to inspire them to take a chance and innovate with confidence.”

“This third guarantee agreement confirms the success of the ‘InnovFin – EU Finance for Innovators’ programme. We already consider it essential to extend this programme beyond 2020. We can be proud of our cooperation with the EIB Group and the European Commission. In total, under the Juncker Plan we have already mobilised more than EUR 2.5bn alongside the European Union in equity-type and short-term debt financing”, stated Bpifrance’s CEO Nicolas Dufourcq.


Press contacts:

David Yormesor, d.yormesor@eif.org, Tel.: +352 42 66 88 346

Anne-Cécile Auguin, a.auguin@eib.org, tel.: +352 43 79 83330; Mobile: +352 621 36 19 48
For more information, visit www.eib.org/press; Press Office: +352 4379 21000 – press@eib.org
Follow the EIB on Twitter @eib

Annelot Huijgen, tel.: +33 1 41 79 94 48, Mobile: +33 6 22 93 03 19, annelot.huijgen@bpifrance.fr
For more information, visit www.bpifrance.fr; Follow Bpifrance on Twitter: @bpifrance and @BpifrancePresse

European Commission:
Franck Gouery, tel.: + 33 1-40633863, Franck.GOUERY@ec.europa.eu
For more information on the Juncker Plan, visit http://europa.eu/!MM86uh
Follow the EC on Twitter @UEfrance #InvestEU

Background information:

About the EIB Group

Created by the Treaty of Rome in 1958, the EIB is the European Union's bank, which, together with its dedicated SME support subsidiary the European Investment Fund (EIF), forms the EIB Group.

On the strength of its expertise and the financial attraction of its AAA rating, the EIB Group has established itself as a key player in the recovery through investment in Europe – and especially in France where it provided just over EUR 8.7bn in new loans in 2015, with 46% of its activities dedicated to climate action. The EIB Group's exceptional effort in 2015 to support the real economy in France was conducted in concert with its public and private-sector partners.

With innovation as one of its key priorities, the EIB Group's activity in 2017 has focused on this sector, building on the achievements of 2016 when EUR 13.5bn was provided to innovative projects across Europe, supporting research programmes from large groups, midcaps and smaller companies. In France in 2016, 38% of the EIB Group's total investment of EUR 9.3bn was devoted to supporting businesses, innovation and R&D.

Since 2015, the EIB Group has been the operator of the Investment Plan for Europe. The projects financed by the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) have a higher risk profile, since the aim is to support investment in certain sectors of activity of vital importance for the future of the European economy, such as innovation and the industry of the future.

Further details are available at: www.eib.org and www.eif.org

About Bpifrance

Bpifrance finances businesses – at every stage of their development – with credit, guarantees and equity. Bpifrance supports them with their innovation projects and on international markets. Bpifrance now also assists them with their export business via a wide range of products. Advisory and university services, networking and an acceleration programme for start-ups, SMEs and midcaps are among the other options offered to businesses.

Thanks to Bpifrance and its 48 regional branches, businesses benefit from a single, efficient local player to meet their challenges.

For more information, visit: www.Bpifrance.fr; Follow us on Twitter: @bpifrance and @BpifrancePresse

About InnovFin

Under Horizon 2020, the EU research programme for 2014-20, the European Commission and the European Investment Bank Group (EIB and EIF) launched a new generation of financial instruments and advisory services in 2014 to help innovative firms access finance more easily. Until 2020, "InnovFin – EU Finance for Innovators" is offering a range of customised products which will make available more than EUR 30bn of financing support for research and innovation (R&I) by small, medium-sized and large companies and promoters of research infrastructure. Overall, this finance is expected to mobilise more than EUR 60bn of investment in research and innovation.

Backed by funds set aside under Horizon 2020 and by the EIB Group, InnovFin financial products are used to support R&I activities, which by their nature are riskier and harder to assess than traditional investments, and therefore often face difficulties in accessing finance. All are demand-driven instruments, with no prior allocations between sectors, countries or regions. Firms and other entities located in EU Member States and Horizon 2020 Associated Countries will be eligible as final beneficiaries.

About the Investment Plan for Europe

The Investment Plan for Europe, the so-called “Juncker Plan”, is one of Jean-Claude Juncker's top priorities. It focuses on boosting investments in Europe to create jobs and growth by making smarter use of new and existing financial resources, removing obstacles to investment and providing greater visibility and technical assistance to investment projects.

The European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) is the central pillar of the Juncker Plan. It enables the EIB to invest in more, often riskier, projects with high added value. EFSI is already showing concrete results. The projects and agreements approved for financing under EFSI so far are expected to mobilise more than EUR 225bn in investments and support around 445 000 SMEs across all 28 Member States.

About Invite1chef.com

Established in 2012 by Julien Nguyen Ngoc and his wife Selda, Invite1chef.com provides private and professional customers across France with an in-home chef service offering various types of cuisine (French, Indian, vegetarian, etc.).

About BlueReg Pharma Consulting

Founded in Sophia Antipolis in 2011 by Corinne Schmitz, BlueReg is a consultancy firm that provides upstream assistance to its clients to obtain marketing licences for drugs, and downstream assistance at the commercialisation stage in respect of regulatory, quality and pharmacovigilance aspects.

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