Tag Archives: Jyrki Katainen

EU Industry Day

After a first successful edition last year, EU Industry Day is coming back with an extended edition. On 22 and 23 February, 600 participants representing key industrial, finance, research and innovation players as well as high-level EU policymakers will gather in Brussels.

They will take stock of the ambitious strategic approach to industrial policy presented by President Juncker last autumn and debate the future of European industry on the “Road to 2030”. President Juncker will deliver a video message, and the Commission will be prominently represented by Vice-Presidents Maroš Šefčovič and Jyrki Katainen as well as Commissioners Elżbieta Bieńkowska and Carlos Moedas. The High-Level Industrial Roundtable ‘Industry 2030’, chaired by Vice-President Katainen, will meet for the first time, as an important advisory instrument for the implementation of the Commission’s renewed industrial policy. EU leadership in the transition to clean and sustainable energy is a big priority to the Commission and this is demonstrated by the launch of the first edition of the Clean Energy Industrial Forum, centred around three industry-led initiatives: batteries, renewables and construction. Industrial actors will present 20 priority actions as part of the new European Battery Alliance. The Commission will launch a €10 million EIC Horizon Prize for the development of a reliable, safe, low-cost battery for e-vehicles, and sign a €52.6 million InnovFin loan for the start-up Northvolt to build a gigafactory for battery cells in Europe. The role of key enabling technologies, such as micro and nanoelectronics, to modernise European industry, boost innovation and solve societal challenges will also be discussed. The Commission’s High Level Strategy Group for Industrial Technologies chaired by Jürgen Rüttgers will present preliminary results on its work and propose to include artificial intelligence as well as security and connectivity as part of these key transformative technologies in the next framework programme for research and innovation. Four dedicated factsheets on the key pillars and announcements of the EU Industry Day are available: batteries production, renewable energies, skills development and the construction sector.

EU reinforce trust on safe products

“The Single Market of 500 million consumers is a great EU success story. Today we are removing obstacles, reinforcing trust and allowing our businesses and consumers to make the most of it.” Said Vice-President Jyrki Katainen, responsible for Jobs, Growth Investment and Competitiveness.

The Commission tabled two legislative proposals to make it easier for companies, especially SMEs, to sell their products across Europe, and to strengthen controls by national authorities and customs officers to prevent unsafe products from being sold to European consumers. Internal Market Commissioner Elżbieta Bieńkowska added: “The Single Market is built on trust. Consumers must be able to trust that the products they use are of the same standard wherever they come from; and public authorities must be able to trust that the products on their national markets are safe for their citizens. The breast implant and ‘dieselgate’ scandals undermined this trust and we must rebuild it with stricter controls across the board. Faulty products have absolutely no place in the EU.” Trade in goods accounts for 75% of intra-EU trade and around 25% of the EU’s GDP. Reducing internal trade barriers further could lead to an increase of intra-EU trade by more than €100 billion per year. Today’s initiatives were designed to improve the free flow of goods in the EU, namely through a better application of the principle of ‘mutual recognition’ and strengthened controls by national authorities.

Eu enforce intellectual property rights

Today we boost our collective ability to catch the ‘big fish’ behind fake goods and pirated content which harm our companies, our jobs, our health and safety. We are also placing Europe as a global leader with a patent licensing system conducive to the roll-out of the Internet of Things from smartphones to connected cars.” Said Commissioner Elżbieta Bieńkowska, responsible for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs.

The Commission today presents measures to ensure that intellectual property rights (IPR) are well protected, thereby encouraging European companies, in particular SMEs and start-ups, to invest in innovation and creativity. Vice-President Jyrki Katainen, responsible for Jobs, Growth Investment and Competitiveness, added: “Europe’s economic growth and competitiveness largely depends on our many entrepreneurs investing in new ideas and knowledge. This package improves the application and enforcement of intellectual property rights and encourages investment in technology and product development in Europe.” Today’s initiatives will make it easier to act efficiently against breaches of IPR, facilitate cross-border litigation, and tackle the fact that 5% of goods imported into the EU (worth €85 billion) are counterfeited or pirated. When it comes to Standard Essential Patents (SEPs), the Commission encourages fair and balanced licensing negotiations which ensure that companies are rewarded for their innovation while allowing also others to build on this technology to generate new innovative products and services.

European Education Area 2025

“As we look to Europe’s future education is key, because it is education that equips us with the skills we need to become active members of our increasingly complex societies. It is education that helps us adapt to a rapidly changing world, to develop a European identity, to understand other cultures and to gain the new skills one needs in a society that is mobile, multicultural and increasingly digital.” Said Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, Tibor Navracsics.

With the debate on the future of Europe in full swing, the European Commission is today setting out its vision for how we can create a European Education Area by 2025. The ideas formulated are intended as a contribution to the EU Leaders’ meeting on 17 November 2017 in Gothenburg, where they will discuss the future of education and culture. Vice-President for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, Jyrki Katainen said: “A collective effort would enable Europe as a whole to shape its future, deal better with the challenges it is facing and to become more resilient. One of Europe’s greatest achievements was to build bridges across our continent with the creation of an area of free movement for workers and citizens. But there are still obstacles to mobility in the area of education. By 2025 we should live in a Europe in which learning, studying and doing research is not hampered by borders but where spending time in another Member State to study, learn or work is the norm.”

EIB -Volvo EUR 245 million for electric cars

“The Investment Plan for Europe is boosting innovation throughout Europe, and today’s announcement is yet another example. This research and development project by Volvo will push the boundaries of automotive technology in Europe and take us another step closer to a low carbon economy.” Said European Commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen, responsible for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness.

The EIB and Volvo Car Corporation have signed a EUR 245 million loan agreement backing research and development activities in connectivity, efficient petrol hybrid engines, longer-range electric cars and advanced driving assistance systems. The EIB transaction with Volvo Cars was made possible by the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), which is the central pillar of the Investment Plan for Europe. It was founded by the EIB Group and the European Commission to boost the competitiveness of the European economy.

“We are happy to support a European car maker in addressing the disruptive technology shifts towards e-mobility and autonomous driving. Volvo Cars’ research and development projects will contribute to making their cars safer, cleaner and greener, which benefits us all,” said EIB Vice-President Alexander Stubb, responsible for EIB operations in Northern European countries.

The automotive industry is facing a number of challenges, as high investments are required in new technologies. At the same time, competition from other players outside the traditional industry is increasing.

The EIB loan will help to finance four research and development projects addressing these challenges. The first concerns the development of new energy-efficient engines and is related to petrol-operated engines only. The second project focuses on active safety systems and functions such as collision avoidance and improved driver assistance features. The third encompasses the development of a new connectivity and infotainment platform, which will introduce a new emergency call feature, and improved navigation. The last project aims at the development and production of a new “Battery Electric Vehicle” by 2019.

The research projects are located in Volvo Cars’ technical centres in Sweden and will be developed for autonomous or semi-autonomous vehicles. The EIB-supported R&D programme will assist Volvo Cars in complying with CO2 requirements and regulations beyond 2020.

EU support innovative medical research with €75 million loan to Evotec

The development of innovative treatments is a process which requires sustained investment. This is where the Investment Plan can play a role. I am glad that, with today’s agreement, the Plan is supporting research which aims to tackle serious illnesses and diseases.” Commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen, responsible for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness said. The Investment Plan for Europe continues to support innovative projects in the health sector.

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is providing €75 million to Evotec to invest in research and development of treatments for serious illnesses. The loan is guaranteed by the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the central element of the Investment Plan for Europe, the so-called Juncker Plan. Evotec will use this long-term financing boost to finance drug discovery and the development of new treatments for serious illnesses and diseases. The type of financing is also novel: it is the first large equity-type investment under EFSI in any industry anywhere in Europe. It also EFSI’s first contingent investment, meaning the bank shares the risk of Evotec’s research & development (R&D) success. This agreement with Evotec comes days after agreements were finalised with MagForce to develop new treatments for brain cancer as well as Apeiron which also develops cancer treatment, particularly a rare type affecting children. Also today the European Investment Fund signed a deal with ACT Ventures to provide €20 million in financing to small tech businesses in Ireland.

#EFSI supports medical research, digital innovation and small businesses

“These transactions demonstrate the diversity, quality and impact of the investments made possible by the European Fund for Strategic Investments. Whether it is through supporting medical research projects or helping small businesses access the finance they need to expand and create jobs, the Investment Plan is delivering real results across the EU. A final agreement on the extension and reinforcement of the EFSI will allow it to do even more. Therefore we look forward to a swift conclusion to the negotiations by the co-legislators.”  Said European Commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen, responsible for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness.

The Investment Plan continues to deliver. Over the last week, the Plan’s European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) has backed finance for digital innovation in Sweden, access to finance for small businesses in Poland and medical research in Austria. The European Investment Bank (EIB) is providing Swedish software developer inRiver with €8 million in financing to invest in research and development, expand its market reach and grow its customer base. The European Investment Fund (EIF) and national promotional bank Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego (BGK) are doubling the size of their loans to Polish SMEs to PLN 2 billion (ca. €500 million). The loans are expected to reach close to 10,600 small businesses and entrepreneurs across Poland.

The EIB is providing €25 million of financing to Austrian biotech company Apeiron Biologics to support the development of new pharmaceutical products to treat cancer, particularly a rare type affecting children. This is the second medical research project to be signed in recent weeks, after the EIB agreed a €35 million loan to German medical device company MagForce to support the development of a new approach to treating brain tumours. This new approach makes it possible to combat the tumour from within, while sparing surrounding healthy tissue. All of these agreements were made possible through the support of the Investment Plan for Europe, the so-called Juncker Plan.  The Investment Plan is now expected to trigger over €225 billion across Europe.

EIB, €35 million to support brain cancer treatment

Patients who suffer from the most aggressive type of brain cancer, glioblastoma, will soon have broader access to a new form of treatment thanks to financing by the European Investment Bank (EIB).

“More than 20 million people worldwide are expected to live with cancer in the year 2030 – a 50% increase from the levels of 2012,” said Ambroise Fayolle, Vice-President of the EIB and responsible for operations in Germany. “The therapy developed by MagForce has the potential to considerably ease the burden for some of those patients, and I am proud that EIB backing will actually help save people’s lives. The EU bank provides long-term and stable capital support to the company’s R&D which will enable MagForce to accelerate the market launch of new treatments. It’s this type of support for innovative companies that is crucial to strengthening Europe’s competitiveness.”

The EIB and German medical device company MagForce signed a financing agreement which will allow the company to borrow up to €35 million over the coming three years, subject to achieving a set of agreed performance criteria.

The transaction with MagForce was made possible by the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI). EFSI is the central pillar of the Investment Plan for Europe, in which the EIB Group and the European Commission as strategic partners aim to boost the competitiveness of the European economy.

MagForce has developed NanoTherm therapy, a new approach to the local treatment of solid tumours. The method is based on the principle of introducing magnetic nanoparticles directly into a tumour and then heating them in an alternating magnetic field. Depending on the duration of treatment and the temperatures achieved within the tumour, the tumour cells are either irreparably damaged or sensitised for additional chemo or radiotherapy.

This approach makes it possible to combat the tumour from within, while sparing surrounding healthy tissue. The side effects of the treatment are significantly lower than those in the standard methods currently used. In addition, the NanoTherm therapy displays a high degree of efficacy proven in clinical studies. It received regulatory approval for brain cancer in Europe, and patients are already successfully treated in Germany.

EIB financing will support NanoTherm’s Europe-wide roll-out for brain cancer treatment. Furthermore, the facility will support European and global approval for prostate cancer – another oncological condition, which can be treated with NanoTherm therapy. In addition, MagForce is working on next generation nanoparticles, which will not only be able to generate heat but can also be used as drug transport mechanisms.

Ben Lipps, Chief Executive Officer of MagForce, commented: “We are honored that MagForce is backed by the European Fund for Strategic Investments. The loan will significantly enhance our financial standing and help us to roll-out MagForce’s NanoTherm therapy across Europe. It will also support the development and global commercialisation of prostate cancer solutions and MagForce’s next generation NanoTherm.”

European Commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen, responsible for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, said: “The European Commission is committed to promoting investment in research and innovation. I am delighted that, with today’s agreement, the Plan is contributing to the development of sophisticated new treatments for cancer patients. This is a very tangible example of the powerful impact EU support for investments can bring about.”

EIB finances better healthcare in the Veneto Region

The European Investment Bank (EIB) signed a loan of EUR 29 million with Ospedal Grando S.p.A., to support the design, construction and operation of the new Cittadella della Salute within the Ca’ Foncello Hospital in Treviso.

“The construction of modern, state of the art medical facilities and hospitals requires significant investment. The European Fund for Strategic Investments is playing an important and growing role in facilitating investments in the social sector. This agreement proves that the Investment Plan can deliver a social dividend, directly benefiting the citizens of Treviso, whilst also providing a boost for jobs and growth across Europe.” Said European Commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen, responsible for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness.

 

Ospedal Grando will operate under a 41-year concession agreed with the local health authority, Azienda Unità Locale Socio Sanitaria (AULSS) n. 2 Marca Trevigiana.

This agreement was made possible by the support of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI). The EFSI is the central pillar of the European Commission’s Investment Plan for Europe, the so-called “Juncker Plan”.

The loan agreement will finance the refurbishment of some existing buildings and the construction of new facilities. These will include an enhanced medical centre with almost 1,000 beds and new research and logistical centres. The new and refurbished buildings will comply with the latest safety and anti-seismic structural regulations, as well as higher energy standards allowing for savings and CO2 emissions reduction.

The loan signed today will be complemented by a second loan of EUR 39m in favour of the AULSS, aimed at funding a portion of public grants assigned to this project, which is expected to be signedtomorrow. This brings the total EIB support to the new Cittadella della Saluteproject to EUR 68 million. Moreover, it is the first time that the financial benefits deriving from EIB’s lower cost of funding compared to other financers are allocated in favour of social impact initiatives.

EIB Vice-President Dario Scannapieco said: “The loan we signed today shows the EIB’s and the Investment Plan for Europe’s strong commitment to improving social infrastructure across Italy. Thousands of people in the Veneto region will benefit from state-of-the-art medical treatments and facilities, as well as less waiting time.”

EU promote sustainable finance for sustainable investment

The Commission is hosting a major event to explore how best to use finance to promote sustainable investments and facilitate the transition to a low-carbon economy within the context of the Capital Markets Union.

This is part of the European Union’s efforts to turn climate change, environmental and sustainable policy goals into tangible results. The EU is taking the lead in this area and needs to develop an overarching strategy to better align capital flows with a pathway to sustainable development and growth. That is why the European Commission established at the end of 2016 the High-Level Expert Group on Sustainable Finance as part of its commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement and its work on Capital Markets Union. After six months of intensive work, the Expert Group summarised its first results and policy options in an interim report.  Today’s public hearing will give a wide range of participants the occasion to share their views on barriers to and possible solutions to ensure an increased uptake of sustainable finance.  Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis, responsible for Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union, opened the event in Brussels and Vice-President Jyrki Katainen, responsible for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, will give a keynote speech. The public hearing will be accompanied by the launch of a questionnaire by the High Level Expert Group.