The European Investment Bank (EIB) and Prysmian Group, world leader in the energy and telecom cable systems industry announce that they have finalized financing of €135 million intended to support the Group’s 2021-2024 R&D plans in Europe.
Specifically, the areas that will benefit from EIB financing are:
- Industrial research: research on innovative materials also involving the use of nanotechnologies, systems for the monitoring and management of land and submarine power grids and of low voltage power systems, new cables and materials for more sustainable solutions and hybrid energy and telecom cables.
- Innovation and experimentation: the use of alternative materials for cable design and product project optimisation, use of breakthrough technologies to execute cable jointing operations.
- New products development: submarine power transmission cable systems for installation at high depths; P-Laser Extra High Voltage land and submarine power transmission cable systems; dynamic cables for the offshore renewable energies sector; cable solutions for the e-mobility industry; high-performance optical fibres, cables for FTTH and FTTA applications, and connectivity; development of smart cable systems and sensing solutions for fault location, monitoring and management of power grids.
- Digital transformation and sustainability: development of machine learning and artificial intelligence solutions for enhanced quality in cable manufacturing process, and implementation of digital solutions for the management of operations from remote also through the use of IoT Industry 4.0 technologies and deployment of innovation data management software for a better on-going project portfolio management; development of data models for the continuous evaluation of sustainability impact of a Green IT Strategy and for the assessment of the sustainability of the product portfolio.
- The new projects fulfil the goals set within Prysmian Group’s innovation roadmap and strategy, strongly oriented towards the support and promotion of digitalization and the energy transition.
Cable technology is a key enabler for electrical power transmission and distribution and for the development of telecommunications in Europe. Innovative solutions in these areas are a critical component to promote digitalization and the energy transition, thanks also to the expansion of 5G networks and the surge in renewable power installations, that could be interconnected via sustainable and innovative cable links.The financing represents approximately 50% of the investments planned in Europe during the period concerned. Worldwide, Prysmian Group allocates approximately €100 million per year to Research & Development. This financing follows those already granted by the EIB to the Group in 2013 and in 2017, also in support of R&D in Europe, a sign of the trust that the company enjoys with the Bank.
The financing represents approximately 50% of the investments planned in Europe during the period concerned. Worldwide, Prysmian Group allocates approximately €100 million per year to Research & Development. This financing follows those already granted by the EIB to the Group in 2013 and in 2017, also in support of R&D in Europe, a sign of the trust that the company enjoys with the Bank.
The Vice President of the EIB, Gelsomina Vigliotti, comments: "The agreement signed with Prysmian aims at developing technological innovations via cable based on sustainability criteria in order to reduce the consumption of raw materials, the generation of waste and CO2 emissions. Supporting the cabling sector helps to strengthen economic, social and territorial cohesion and to promote the energy and digital transition in Europe".
“This loan strengthens our financial structure with a long-term duration, we are very satisfied with EIB’s continued support and renewed confidence”, commented Giovanni Zancan Prysmian Group Finance SVP.
The EIB financing is specifically intended to support projects to be developed at R&D centres in five European countries: France, the Netherlands, Spain, Germany and Italy. A significant share of the resources is intended for Italy, which is home to Prysmian Group’s headquarters, R&D offices and several plants that are centres of excellence in manufacturing optical fibres and submarine power transmission cable systems. Globally, Prysmian Group has 26 R&D centres located in Europe, North and South America and Asia, with a team of over 900 professional researchers, technicians and operators, and an extensive portfolio of more than 5,500 patents.
“Our Group’s growth strategy revolves around our commitment to R&D, an area where we intend to increase our investments further, also thanks to the funding from the EIB,” explains Srini Siripurapu, Chief R&D Officer and Chief Innovation Officer Prysmian Group. “In particular, cable technology is proving that it can contribute decisively to the challenge of digitalisation and the development of more efficient and environmentally sustainable power grids. Innovative optical fibres, cables with a reduced environmental impact and higher capacity and voltage rating, and technologies for monitoring network conditions are just a few of the areas on which we are focusing.
The Group’s strategy embraces the EIB's policies in terms of innovation, climate action and cohesion, classifying as Key Enabling Technologies (KETs). In addition, the research program is in line with the Paris Agreements, the European Green Deal and the Horizon Europe directives, to promote renewable and clean energies with the interconnection of integrated renewable resource systems through cable systems. Prysmian Group is also committed to integrating the Sustainable Development Goals defined by the United Nations into its activities.
The European Investment Bank (EIB) is the long-term financial institution of the European Union and is owned by its Member States. It provides long-term funding for worthwhile investments to contribute to the EU's strategic objectives. The Bank finances projects in four priority sectors: infrastructure, innovation, climate and environment, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Between 2019 and 2020, the EIB Group disbursed loans to projects in Italy amounting to € 23 billion.