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PRESS RELEASE

BEI/10/37

Tunis, 12 March 2010

7th FEMIP Conference

Research & development and innovation – the key to sustained and sustainable development in the Mediterranean

“I am delighted that the 7th FEMIP Conference is being held in Tunis on the vitally important subject of research & development and innovation. The knowledge economy is key to fostering economic, social and human development and improving the prospects of new generations in both Tunisia and the other countries in the region. It is unquestionably a driver of growth that will strengthen the foundations of a natural, sustainable partnership for the Euro-Mediterranean region.”

Philippe de Fontaine Vive

EIB Vice-President, with responsibility for FEMIP

From 14-16 March 2010, the 7th FEMIP Conference will take place in Tunis on the subject of research & development and innovation, which are essential to sustainable development in Tunisia and the Mediterranean. Organised by FEMIP, the European Investment Bank’s financial arm for the Mediterranean, in close cooperation with the Tunisian Ministry for Development and International Cooperation, the conference will bring together representatives of the private and public sectors, civil society, academics and international experts. It will be chaired by Mr Mohammed Nouri Jouini, Tunisia’s Minister for Development and International Cooperation, and Mr Philippe de Fontaine-Vive, EIB Vice-President with responsibility for FEMIP.

More specifically, the discussions at the 7th FEMIP Conference will focus on the role played by research & development and innovation in boosting the competitiveness of the Mediterranean economies. This issue, which is the key to economic development and the future of the younger generation, is central to the European Investment Bank’s priorities in the Mediterranean. In Tunisia, FEMIP has provided financing of EUR 140m for the creation and development of five sector-specific technology parks. It has also facilitated the setting-up of innovative SMEs in Tunisia via credit lines and equity participations in investment funds.

This conference has two goals:

  • to raise awareness of the importance of research & development and innovation in Tunisia and all FEMIP countries, in terms of both economic, technical and industrial development and skills, training and jobs;

  • to formulate new guidelines that will help to increase the number of innovative companies and improve the competitiveness of existing businesses in the countries of the region.

The Conference’s findings will be presented to EU and Mediterranean Ministers at the FEMIP Ministerial Meeting to be held in Brussels on 18 May 2010.

A detailed programme of the 7th FEMIP Conference can be found at www.eib.org/femip/conferences.

Note to editors:

FEMIP, the key player in the financial partnership between Europe and the Mediterranean, with more than EUR 10bn of financing between October 2002 and December 2009.

The Facility for Euro-Mediterranean Investment and Partnership (FEMIP) brings together the whole range of instruments made available by the European Investment Bank (EIB) in the Mediterranean partner countries. Operational since October 2002, it is now the major player in the economic and financial partnership between Europe and the Mediterranean, providing more than EUR 10 billion in support of projects in the nine Mediterranean partner countries.

FEMIP places special emphasis on the knowledge economy as the key to sustainable development in the Mediterranean, via its financial and technical operations in support of the private sector, education, research & development and innovation (RDI) and innovative businesses. It focuses on supporting the development of entrepreneurship and the transfer of technologies vital to the advancement of RDI. FEMIP taps into the experience gained in Europe by the EIB in implementing the Lisbon strategy and the Innovation 2010 Initiative.

Press contact:

Anne-Cécile Auguin, Press Officer, Communication Department

Tel. (mobile): +352 621 36 1948; e-mail: a.auguin@eib.org; EIB website: www.eib.org


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