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The Spanish multinational Gestamp, which specialises in the development and manufacture of metal components for the automotive industry, is receiving a EUR 200 million loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB) to develop new research lines

enabling the production of safer, lighter and therefore more environmentally friendly cars.

The agreement signed represents fresh support for RDI investment by the automotive industry in Europe, a sector which employs around 14 million people and is currently struggling to cope with the impact of the COVID-19 crisis.

Gestamp's EIB-financed innovation strategy will centre on the development of new metal processing technologies for application to the production of vehicle components such as chassis and bodywork. The project aims to facilitate the design of lighter and safer vehicles. The new components will also boost the development of electric vehicles, helping to cut emissions.

The EIB funding will enable Gestamp to invest in innovation, research and development in its factories in Spain, Germany, France and Sweden. A large part of these investments will take place in Spain, where Gestamp has its headquarters.

The loan is backed by the Investment Plan for Europe, which enables the EIB to finance projects that present particular value added owing to their structure or nature. The project will be implemented over a period of four years and will help to safeguard highly skilled jobs. Gestamp currently has 43 000 employees, 1 600 of which work in the RDI area.

Financing RDI and climate action.   Innovation and skills development are essential ingredients in bringing about sustainable growth and the creation of highly skilled jobs. Both play a key role in achieving long-term competitiveness. This is why financing innovation is one of the EIB's top priorities. In 2019, the EU bank provided €14.44 billion to finance different RDI projects. In Spain alone, last year the EIB made available over €1.32 billion in support of the innovation projects of Spanish companies.

The EIB is among the world's largest multilateral providers of climate finance. Its goal is to be a leader in mobilising the finance needed to limit the average global temperature increase to 1.5°C compared to preindustrial levels in order to meet the Paris Agreement objectives. On 14 November 2019, the EIB Board of Directors approved its new climate objectives and the new energy lending policy. The Bank will gradually increase its financing for climate and environmental objectives up to 50% by 2025, with the goal of ensuring that the EIB Group mobilises at least €1 trillion in the critical decade between 2021 and 2030 to promote investments helping to meet these objectives. It also announced its intention to align all EIB Group activities with the Paris Agreement. To this end, the EIB will cease financing fossil fuel-based projects from late 2021.