First EIB loan under InnovFin in Turkey: EUR 55 million for TOFAŞ’s RDI activities

The European Investment Bank (EIB) has signed a EUR 55 million agreement for RDI activities with Türk Otomobil Fabrikası A.Ş. (TOFAŞ). This is the first EIB transaction in Turkey supported by “InnovFin – EU Finance for Innovators”, with the financial backing of the European Union under Horizon 2020 Financial Instruments. “InnovFin Large Projects” is specifically dedicated to improving access to risk finance for research and innovation projects in the European Union.

The loan to TOFAŞ, one of Turkey’s main car manufacturers, will finance the development and implementation of technologies designed to enhance the fuel efficiency and safety characteristics of motor vehicles. The RDI activities will take place mainly at TOFAŞ’s specialised centre in Bursa, The project is strategic for TOFAŞ, as it will help to further increase its technological and organisational capacities, thus making it possible to undertake a wider range of R&D projects within the Fiat-Chrysler Group R&D network, and not exclusively targeting local vehicle production. Additionally, it will strengthen the cooperation between TOFAŞ and European and local suppliers, universities and research institutes, and will contribute to increasing the competitiveness and value added of Turkish manufacturing goods.

Pim van Ballekom, Vice-President of the EIB declared: “We are pleased to be partnering with TOFAS in this breakthrough operation. Promoting research is one of the EIB’s key activities across all productive sectors. We are particularly proud of this operation as it enables the EU bank to support the work of scientists whose concrete applications improve quality of life and environment. The operation showcases the direct intervention of the EIB and its role in supporting key R&D activities. We are aiming to pave the way and demonstrate that innovative financial instruments such as ‘InnovFin – EU Finance for Innovators’ can make a difference in boosting research and innovation; and this is of the utmost importance for the future of Europe”.

The European Investment Bank (EIB) supports smart growth in Turkey through three different channels: the financing of academic research undertaken in different leading universities, cooperation with the banking sector to support the research and innovation efforts of SME, and direct financing of the RDI of larger companies.

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