OREANDA-NEWS. The European Investment Bank (EIB) has provided a EUR 75m loan to Chr. Hansen for the company’s research into and development of innovative solutions in the food, nutritional, pharmaceutical and agricultural industries. The EIB financing will boost the company’s efforts to develop food products with a reduced amount of sugar, salt and fat, as well as an extended shelf life.

The EIB loan will also be earmarked for Chr. Hansen’s development of natural solutions improving the stability of probiotic cultures, protecting agricultural crops and exploring bacterial applications to human health. The global bioscience company will develop new products for its historical businesses covering dairy ingredients for cheese and fermented milk, cultures for meat and wine, as well as probiotics for human and animal health. At the same time, Chr. Hansen is also increasingly focusing on human health applications, in particular gastrointestinal health, immune health and women’s health.

The project will be carried out at Chr. Hansen’s main research and development centre located in H?rsholm (Denmark) and in Saint-Germain-l?s-Arpajon (France). Over the project period until 2018, some 80 new research and development jobs are expected to be created.

Jan Vapaavuori, EIB Vice-President responsible for operations in Denmark, said: “Supporting research, development and innovation with an important health impact is a key priority for the European Investment Bank, so we are glad to be supporting Chr. Hansen’s development of high-value added food products. By enhancing Europe’s position as a major technology supplier and supporting skilled employment opportunities, this project is strengthening Europe`s global competitiveness in an area that makes a real difference in people’s daily life.”

Soeren Westh Lonning, CFO of Chr. Hansen, added: “We are pleased to have agreed on a loan from the EIB. The funding will help us to further develop Chr. Hansen by bringing new innovative solutions to our customers and the consumers”

Over last five years, the EIB has provided around EUR 10 billion for healthcare investment. Europe’s long-term lending institution is committed to promoting projects in this area both by supporting the modernisation and development of hospitals and medical centres and by boosting research, development and innovation in biotechnology, medical technology and the pharmaceutical industry. These projects improve health by increasing innovation and delivering better healthcare.