Latest University News

EU Parliament approves Juncker-Plan, stimulating KENUP Consortium

07/03/2015 Strasbourg / Lüneburg. Last week, the European Parliament approved, by an overwhelming majority, the creation of a European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI). This clears the way for a multi-billion Euro investment initiative, called the Juncker Plan. The KENUP consortium, coordinated by Leuphana University of Lüneburg had advised the Parliament during the legislative process and presented first potential projects to the European Investment Bank (EIB). Now, KENUP members can look forward to a rapid implementation of the concept they submitted.

The investment package envisages the provision of €315bn Euros from public and private sources in order to jump-start the European economy. The heart of the plan is a new fund for strategic investment projects, for example in fields such as energy, transport, education and research, thereby multiplying itself thanks to private investment. The EU Commission estimates that the fund, which contains a total of €21bn Euros can trigger investments, which would reach 15 times that amount.

The EFSI is a guarantee fund and, as such, does not directly subsidize any projects. By increasing the risk-taking capacity of the EIB, it aims, rather, at encouraging investment in the Union and ensuring better access to finance for enterprises. The EIB grants the money in the form of long-term loans, guarantees, contributions, etc. to project promoters, which reduces risk and is expected to mobilize additional investors.

Early on, KENUP turned out to be a potentail platform for such investments. At a European Parliament hearing in March this year, Holm Keller, Leuphana’s Vice President and Chairperson of the Consortium presented its idea in great detail.  Then, the intervention system found much approval from the MEPs, who recently passed the vote. In the talks with the EIB, which followed, first concrete investment projects from the Consortium were presented and categorized as promising. First KENUP proposals may already be realized in the short term as pilot projects under Mr. Juncker’s Plan.

KENUP is a platform, which promotes fundamental innovations in the health sector. Life science applications in immunization for adults and personalized medicine constitute a special focus of the Consortium’s portfolio. The consortium is coordinated by Leuphana University of Lüneburg. It includes more than 70 partners from 19 European countries, the Middle East, the US and China. Its members include the governments of Malta and Croatia, the World Health Organization (WHO), Israel's National Innovation Program for personalized medicine, programs from Jordan and Palestine, some of the world's top universities and research institutions – among them the Program on Global Demography of Aging at Harvard University, the MIT Media Lab, the Weizmann Institute and the University of Zurich – as well as influential civil society institutions and 24 innovative enterprises.