Investment Plan for Europe in Belgium: support for innovation, research and development activities of company in the textiles sector

  • Vandewiele obtains €100 million loan agreement with European Investment Bank, supported by the European Commission’s Investment Plan for Europe.
  • €100 million financing will be used to boost its research, development and innovation (RDI) to keep its competitive edge, as well as environmental sustainability investments.

The European Investment Bank (EIB) and Vandewiele (VDW) have agreed a €100 million loan to boost VDW’s investments in research, development and innovation, as well as for improving the company’s carbon footprint. The loan is backed by the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the main pillar of the Investment Plan for Europe that the European Commission launched in 2015.

The funds will support the ongoing digitalisation which VDW has been implementing in a traditional industry, as well as the development of innovative products. At the same time, the company aims to lower its environmental footprint by reducing its energy use, waste production and use of raw materials, which will also be part of the activities financed under this operation.

European Commissioner for the Economy, Paolo Gentiloni, said: “Thanks to support from the Investment Plan for Europe and the EIB, the Belgian Technology company Vandewiele will be able to boost its investments into innovation, digitalisation and production with a reduced environmental impact. This is a remarkable example of how the EU can help companies invest into future-proof technologies and make their green and digital transition a success.”

“The Support of EIB has meant a lot to Vandewiele, which was able to strongly increase its R&D spending in the last years. This has lead to a lot of new and innovative technologies which will power the growth of our company in the following years”. stated Vandewiele CEO Charles Beauduin

EIB Vice-President Kris Peeters added: “Vandewiele is one of Belgium’s first and foremost family companies, and a leader in its field. One of the goals of the Investment Plan for Europe was to boost research and innovation in the wake of the financial crisis, which is even more relevant now. The Bank is glad to support Vandewiele in its ongoing endeavours to stay at the forefront of the textile manufacturing business, and especially since the company actively implements ways to lower its carbon footprint while doing so.”

This is the second EIB-loan to Vandewiele, which borrowed €100 million in 2015 to support textile machinery RDI and fixed capital investment in advanced manufacturing technologies over the period 2015-2017.

Background information:

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is the long-term lending institution of the European Union owned by its Member States. It makes long-term finance available for sound investment in order to contribute towards EU policy goals. The EIB is the only bank owned by and representing the interests of the European Union Member States. We work closely with the other EU institutions to implement EU policy. In 2020 alone, the Bank made available nearly €1.3 billion in loans for Belgian projects in various sectors, including healthcare, water management, education and SMEs.

The European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) is the main pillar of the Investment Plan for Europe. It provides first loss guarantees enabling the EIB to invest in riskier projects. The projects and agreements approved for financing under EFSI have so far mobilised €546.5 billion in investment, benefiting more than 1.4 million SMEs.

Vandewiele imagine, build and integrate innovative textile systems for flooring qualities, home linen, fashion fabrics and technical textiles. Sharing inspiration and expertise with their customers worldwide, they shape the textile industry of the future. Creating success for them all, from yarn to finished product.