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PRESS RELEASE

BEI/12/157

Luxembourg, 9 November 2012

EUR 175 million in new EIB finance for knowledge economy in Turkey

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is providing EUR 175 million in support of the knowledge economy in Turkey. The purpose of the project is to strengthen the science system and improve research and innovation capacity in the Republic of Turkey. The facility is financing two of the largest national R&D support programmes implemented by TÜBITAK:

- the Academic Research Funding Programme, providing project-based grants for fundamental research carried out by universities and by public as well as private research centres and

- the Industrial R&D and Innovation Programme, facilitating collaboration between industry and universities in order to boost the global competitiveness of Turkish private companies and further support the development of an entrepreneurship culture.

The Turkish business community and society at large will also benefit because they will be able to make use of the outputs of the R&D programmes to improve innovation and increase productivity and economic growth.

EIB Vice-President Pim van Ballekom commented on this occasion at the EIB’s headquarters in Luxembourg: “I am delighted that after the successful implementation of the two projects that we financed in 2010, we are now renewing our support for TUBITAK. In this way, we are reaffirming our commitment to smart growth by promoting leading-edge research and educational excellence in Turkey. This project is a good vehicle to reach this goal, as it will not only benefit future generations, but develop specialist skills, drive innovation and enhance economic growth in the country.”

The project is consistent with the Turkish Government’s strategy of supporting R&D infrastructure as a foundation of smart growth. It is also fully in line with EU priorities concerning the strengthening of the common European Research Area and the integration of Turkey into this area. Since 2008, the Bank has financed 5 projects fostering the knowledge economy and R&D, providing some EUR 1.4 billion for smart growth in Turkey.

Note to editors:

The European Investment Bank is the EU bank owned by its Member States. It makes long-term finance available for sound investment in order to contribute towards EU policy goals. In 2011, total EIB lending reached EUR 61 billion.

As the European Union’s bank, the EIB is Turkey’s long-standing, financial partner (with almost 50 years of operations) offering broad experience with public and private investments in all key sectors. The EIB has made a significant contribution to Turkey’s economy and to the country’s EU pre-accession process by financing emblematic infrastructure at the national level and municipal investments in sustainable transport, water and wastewater, and by lending to SMEs (in partnership with public and private sector partner banks) and to corporates.

In 2011, the EIB provided total lending of EUR 2 billion for projects across all of the country’s key economic sectors. As a result, Turkey continued ranking first among recipient countries outside the EU in that year.

Press contact:

Helen Kavvadia, email: kavvadia@eib.org; tel.: +30 210 6824517

Website: www.eib.org/press - Press office: +352 4379 21000 – press@eib.org


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