LONDON Ė The European Investment Ban k (EIB) has signed a 350 million euro (about $470 million) loan contract with STMicroelectronics NV in support of the company's industrial and R&D concerning next-generation semiconductor circuits.
The EIB is the bank of the European Union. Its remit is to provide mainly long-term loans to support viable private or public investment projects that realise the objectives of EU integration, cohesion and development.
The loan to STMicroelectronics represents a new stage in the financing of Europeís competitiveness, the EIB said in statement.
The EIB expects ST to use the loan to create competitive technologies for the digital economy including mobile convergence of multimedia, communications and computing, which it calls digital nomadism. Another priority is the reduction of power consumption and improvement of energy efficiency within IT and telecommunications equipment.
The loan is intended to cover a full development cycle from research to design that will be conducted at ST's sites in Rousset, Crolles, Grenoble and Tours (France). The earmarked research includes developing mobile applications based on the use of autonomous fuel cells. As well as IT and telecoms, the industrial and automotive sectors are expected to be major beneficiaries.
In 2009 the EIB handed out nearly 1.4 billion euro (about $1.9 billion) in loans to try and foster a knowledge-based economy in France. In 2009, in the wake of the economic crisis, the EIB granted loans totaling 79 billion euro (about $100 billion) to businesses and local authorities within and outside the European Union.
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