Lilyana Pavlova, EIB Vice-President responsible for advisory activities.
“ With a strong commitment to climate action in the crucial decade ahead, advisory services will continue to play a vital role at the Bank. Our advisory work identifies the best path forwards to create a greener future. ”
We recognise the value of providing services locally, helping cities and regions build their own advisory teams and boosting sustainable investments on the ground. The Advisory Hub is making funding and technical support available to our national promotional banks and institutional partners. Using this support, Banque des Territoires, one of the five arms of the Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations, launched a programme called S’GREEN+ to provide 25 French municipalities with hands-on support for climate-change adaptation projects. Similarly, Slovakia’s national promotional institution—Slovak Investment Holdings—received help from the Advisory Hub to enhance its own advisory work by recruiting experts in sustainable investments and energy efficiency to renovate more buildings and reduce pollution.
With an increasing number of national promotional banks and institutions’ advisory programmes now being funded by the Advisory Hub, we will be able to help even more sustainable projects over the remainder of the Hub’s mandate, as we transition towards InvestEU.
Simon Barnes, Head of Advisory Services.
“ A digital recovery has moved towards the top of the agenda of many countries and businesses. The Hub’s advisory services seek to help Europe’s entrepreneurs overcome barriers to invest in new technologies and reach their maximum potential. ”
THRIVING THROUGH DIGITALISATION AND INNOVATION
Digital technology has become increasingly important as businesses strive to recover from the pandemic. In this area, small businesses are at a distinct disadvantage. Already greatly hurt by the lockdowns, small and medium businesses often lack the digital tools necessary to get back on track. Businesses that adopt digital technologies tend to invest more money, innovate more and grow faster. They often enjoy first-mover advantages. The Advisory Hub is making it easier for small and medium businesses to take advantage of digital technologies and be better prepared for challenges such as the coronavirus crisis.
Giving people the right skills and research facilities is fundamental for innovation. Recognising the importance of education, the Advisory Hub devised business plans and financing models to help two Romanian universities modernise teaching facilities and services.
THE ADVISORY HUB LOOKS TO THE FUTURE
Building upon the success of the European Fund for Strategic Investments, the European Commission’s new InvestEU programme will bring together many previously separated financial instruments and make funding for projects simpler and more flexible.
The future InvestEU Advisory Hub will also be the entry point for project promoters and intermediaries seeking advice and technical assistance for their initiatives, investment platforms and projects. The new structure, to be led by the European Commission, will offer an integrated package of advisory support, with an increased focus on project-related advice to underpin investment and related financing opportunities.
The EIB will remain the European Commission’s main advisory partner under InvestEU, helping to support the climate, digital and social objectives of the European Union over the coming years and building on the experience and success of the European Investment Advisory Hub.
We provide support in three key ways: we offer comprehensive information and guidance via our website; we give tailored assistance to develop and implement projects and investment platforms; and we offer light advisory support when projects just need that little extra push to move forward. Additionally, we build clients’ and partners’ knowledge by hosting events, workshops, training and coaching across a breadth of topics.
NOT ONLY A POWERFUL COMMUNICATION TOOL
Our website not only guides the requests for advisory support, but it also encourages our clients to explore a range of advisory alternatives and funding programmes offered across the European Union.
We had almost 30 000 visits to our website in 2020, more than double that of the previous year. Our online feedback form showed that more than 90% of users were satisfied with the information they received. This gives us a clear indication that we are on the right track and providing the information they need.
LIGHT STRATEGIC ADVISORY SUPPORT
Though we tend to concentrate our resources and efforts in support of larger assignments, in some cases clients only require a couple days of advice to get their projects on the right track. We call this light strategic advice. The Advisory Hub has provided such support to more than 1 400 project promoters in the transport, energy, innovation, and circular economy sectors.
Since its launch, the Advisory Hub has received almost 2 000 direct requests for more in-depth support. In 2020, cohesion countries continued to submit the highest number of requests, seeking assistance to identify, prepare and implement many innovative investment projects.
When a request is received at the Advisory Hub, we work closely with the client to design a tailor-made support package. An expert will be delegated to establish the details of the assignment, including the sector, scope, development stage and nature of the underlying investment. Achieving a clear overview of the project and determining the advisory needs are vital for an assignment to be impactful. This background allows us to customise each advisory package to the needs of the requesters and reach out to EIB experts, local consultants and partner organisations to deliver.
The graphs below show the breakdown of those assignment requests that have received specific EIB and/or partner in-depth support.
BREAKDOWN BY SECTOR
The European Investment Bank and the European Commission join forces to support investments in transport safety with special focus on roads.
Apart from direct support for project promoters, the Advisory Hub also engages in more “horizontal” initiatives, often in collaboration with the European Commission. It also supports other sector-specific mandates by providing complementary or reinforcing assistance. We also work with local partners to strengthen our local presence and ability to help smaller promoters and their projects. What follows is an example of some of these.
In spite of great progress in the reduction of road deaths and injuries, there are still too many accidents, causing not only human suffering but also negatively impacting the economy. The Advisory Hub was approached by the Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport of the European Commission (DG Move) to establish a one-stop shop for road safety investment advisory, called the Safer Transport Platform.
The Safer Transport Platform—Road Safety Advisory offers guidance to the public and private sectors. We help promoters identify sources of funding for their projects, such as grants