EIT InnoEnergy, the innovation engine for sustainable energy supported by the European Institute of Innovation & Technology (EIT), a body of the European Union, signed a strategic long-term agreement with Banco Santander (Santander), the world’s leading provider of renewable energy project finance, to support innovation in green energy across the continent.
The aim of the strategic partnership is to help accelerate the development of the EIT InnoEnergy portfolio of start-ups by encouraging investment, reducing the industry skills gap, and driving the development of creative solutions to support sustainable innovations.
Santander offers the full suite of financial services required by such companies. The bank has identified six technologies in which it aims to become a world-class advisor and financier to drive the energy transition, including green hydrogen, energy storage, clean fuels and renewable energy. It also has proven corporate and retail banking expertise in the industrial and energy sectors, having mobilised €69 billion in green assets between 2019 and the first quarter of 2022.
EIT InnoEnergy portfolio of companies, which includes three industrial unicorns, have an aggregated need for €160bn in extra financing over the next five years. In fact, four of the 300 companies in EIT InnoEnergy’s portfolio have already worked successfully with Santander to accelerate their business cases by attracting strategic investors, and obtaining financial resources for accelerated growth.
José M. Linares, senior executive vice-president Banco Santander and global head of Santander Corporate & Investment Banking (Santander CIB), says: “We are delighted to collaborate with EIT InnoEnergy. Supporting innovation is critical if we are to meet our collective net zero targets, and Santander CIB is committed to playing our part. We’ve equipped ourselves to understand the technologies that will help us transition to net zero in order to deliver the advisory and capital markets solutions that energy transition companies need to grow and become industry leaders. In addition we’ve committed to mobilising €220bn in green finance by 2030 and this agreement is another step toward achieving that objective.”
Diego Pavia, CEO of EIT InnoEnergy notes: “This partnership is a win-win for all stakeholders. In just a few months of working together, the companies in our portfolio have been impressed by the simplicity and speed of execution by Santander, the resources mobilised, their understanding of the energy challenges, and the added value the bank brings beyond financial support. We anticipate this will continue as more of our portfolio experiences working with Santander.”
Furthermore, EIT InnoEnergy and Santander share a vision on the importance of supporting entrepreneurship and academic and professional education as part of the net zero transition and are exploring additional initiatives on those fronts to maximise impact.