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The European Investment Bank (EIB) has approved €3.4 billion ($3.7 billion) in funding for research and development of sustainable energy and transportation projects. The funding will also help businesses to improve their resilience against COVID-19.

Of the total funding, €880 million ($958 million) will be directed towards COVID-19 business resilience and public health whilst €1.2 billion ($1.3 billion) will be invested to accelerate research and development of artificial intelligence technologies and other corporate innovation projects.

The funding will also help accelerate the adoption of renewable energy projects across the bloc. For instance, it will be used to fund the deployment of a 487MW wind energy farm in Spain. In order to increase the number of electric vehicles charging systems in Italy, €200 million ($217 million) has been set aside.

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Higher education at Institutes of Technology across Ireland will be strengthened under a new Public-Private Partnership investment programme and students at schools in Serbia are set to benefit from €70 million ($76 million) EIB support for a new digital education programme .

Werner Hoyer, the president of EIB, said: “The economic damage caused by the COVID-19 crisis is becoming more and more evident. The EIB has moved quickly to provide finance for regions and companies most hit by the pandemic, while continuing long-term investment into research and development, renewable energy and sustainable growth.

Hoyer: “Today we agreed on financing for public and private sector projects across Europe and around the world that will create jobs, allow companies to overcome the challenges brought by the crisis, and improve public health and education.”