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KfW and L-Bank jointly finance investment by Baden-Württemberg's SMEs in digitalisation and innovation
Frankfurt am Main (ots) - On 1 August 2017, KfW Group and L-Bank, the promotional bank of the state of Baden-Württemberg, concluded a global loan agreement for EUR 200 million based on KfW's ERP digitalisation and innovation loan. KfW launched this programme on 1 July 2017 to support SMEs in financing a wide range of digitalisation and innovation projects. On the same day, L-Bank extended and improved its existing innovation promotion with its new "Innovation Finance 4.0". It will therefore be the first promotional institution of the federal state to leverage KfW's funds from the ERP digitalisation and innovation loan to provide small and medium enterprises in Baden-Württemberg with low-interest loans for investment in digitalisation and innovation.
The "Innovation Finance 4.0" programme is a perfect example of integrated Federal Government and state promotion. In addition to the interest reduction provided from funds of the ERP special fund, the loans are subsidised by the federal state of Baden-Württemberg and L-Bank.
"Innovation finance is evolving into Innovation Finance 4.0 - but it is not just the name that is new! In order to achieve the federal state government's goal of further expanding Baden-Württemberg's innovative strength, the scope of application of "Innovation Finance 4.0" has been extended. The new features we have added are particularly interesting. In addition to a focus on digitalisation, we have begun promoting projects as part of the mobility value chain. For example, we are promoting the development of new products, processes and services across all sectors which benefit future forms of mobility, such as electromobility," explained Dr Axel Nawrath, Chief Executive Officer of L-Bank.
Dr Ingrid Hengster, member of the KfW Executive Board, commented: "Digital transformation offers huge opportunities for companies: it can open up access to new markets and value chains both inside and outside Germany and shorten the distance to the customer. At the same time, it intensifies competition and increases the pressure to adapt. It requires companies to make courageous and far-sighted decisions, to be prepared to change and last but not least to make investments. KfW supports SMEs in this process with the new ERP digitalisation and innovation loan. Cooperation with the promotional institutions of the federal states is an important pillar in providing this support, which is once again underscored by the new global loan agreement with L-Bank as our long-term partner."