Annual meeting of the Knowledge Programme 2017

How do we assess a “Smart City” in the Mediterranean today? What policies to finance energy efficiency? How do we measure the impact of microfinance in the EU? Providing answers to those questions and many more is the task assigned to European university researchers through programmes funded by the EIB and channelled by the Institute.

Representatives from 15 universities attended this year’s annual meeting on 7 March which saw nine presentations on the topics listed below.

A panel discussion was also held on the topic “What research to be financed – The EIB Institute: building a bridge between academia and policy-making” with Gunnar Muent, Director for innovation and competitiveness (EIB), Prof Rolf Tarrach, President of the European University Association and former President of the University of Luxembourg, Prof Ludwig Neyses, Vice-President for Research, University of Luxembourg, Fulceri Bruni Roccia, Head of Knowledge Programme, EIB Institute.

Feel free to download to play the voice recordings, download the slides and watch the videos of the event.

Christian Masiak – University of Trier – Financing of European SMEs

Most empirical studies focus their investigations on the influence of one or a few factors on a single financing instrument (e.g. bank loans or venture capital). This is, however, unsatisfactory from a policy perspective aiming to design programs to promote the financing of SMEs. The different financing instruments and their determinants cannot be investigated in isolation from each other as various substitutive and complementary effects exist between them. Therefore, a more holistic and integrative perspective is needed. This research project aims to achieve this by combining multivariate data aggregation methods such as cluster and factor analysis with regression techniques. To date, this approach has been seldom used in SME financing research, where predominantly regressions are used to explain the use of a single financing instrument.

The slides of the presentations can be downloaded here.

Domingo Penyalver – Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya – Assessing the fairness of project financing on successive generations

Should intergenerational redistributive effects be considered in the decision making process of an infrastructure project? These effects, despite their importance, are not usually taken into account by public institutions. The present worry about the weight of public debt on future generations shows that there is an awareness of the problem. However, perhaps for lack of a theory and appropriate indicators, the intergenerational effects are not taken into account when assessing the viability of major projects.

The slides of the presentations can be downloaded here.

Luis Ramírez – Fundacíon Ingeniería Civil de Galicia – Impact of Preventive Maintenance on Flexible Pavement Service Life

This project will contribute to understand the importance of considering the dynamic load effects on the pavement lifetime. Its results can be used to define a set of recommendations on how to evaluate different maintenance strategies by road project promoters. The tool developed in this project can also be used as an evaluation tool for projects financed by the EIB.

The slides of the presentations can be downloaded here.

Irene Beccarini – IESE Business School – Impact Beyond Financial Return

Impact investing has emerged as a proactive investment strategy that seeks to generate a combination of financial and social return. On the supply (of capital) side, the development of impact investing is driven by the financial sector’s desire to contribute more positively to society as well as the desire of philanthropists and foundations to make their philanthropic capital “work harder”. On the demand side, impact investing caters to the growing needs for capital of innovative solutions to societal problems such as microfinance, social entrepreneurship and sustainability-focused business models – in developing as well as developed markets. Although impact has been monitored by the social sector for decades, it is only recently that measuring impact and realizing social “returns” have been considered with the same kind of rigour dedicated to defining and calculating financial returns. The overall aim of the research project is to explore ways of measuring and expressing the (social/environmental) impact generated by an investment activity and how to integrate impact objectives into the investment decision approach of impact investors.

The slides of the presentations can be downloaded here.

Andres Monzon – Universita Politécnica de Madrid – Applying European and international experience to the Mediterranean Region

Many initiatives, referred to as Smart City projects, are being developed. However there is a lack of standardised metrics and methodologies to assess, prioritize, finance, implement, manage and replicate these kind of projects. The overall goal of this project is to develop a comprehensive framework to help public and private stakeholders make informed decisions about Smart City investment strategies and to build skills to evaluate and prioritize these kinds of projects, including solving difficulties regarding deployment and transferability.

The slides of the presentations can be downloaded here.

Alberto Di Minin – Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna – How can larger organisations also be innovative?

The aim of this project is to enhance the knowledge of how large established enterprises can better enact more radical exploration opportunities by aiming for a more encompassing approach. It can be remarked that until now, different scholars have achieved (only partial) solutions by focusing on a limited number of ‘design parameters’ (unit grouping, job design, alliances…) mostly in isolation. Considering different ingredients simultaneously may result in more effective practices.

The slides of the presentations can be downloaded here.

Martin Karlsson – University of Duisburg-Essen – Demographic Change in the EU

The proposed research project aims at answering the following research questions addressing fundamental societal challenges related to Long Term Care (LTC): 1) What is the future demand for LTC and its associated costs within Europe likely to be? 2) What is the impact of LTC policy reforms that have been implemented in the recent past in various EU countries and what can other EU countries learn from them? 3) What are the determinants of the demand for formal and informal LTC and how will demographic ageing affect the provision of LTC? By answering these questions, the research project will provide new insights into how to keep long term care systems affordable, fair and efficient. This challenge plays an important role in the policy debate of most EU countries as increasing public health and social care expenditures put additional pressure on already strained public finances.

The slides of the presentations can be downloaded here.

Mario Veneziani – Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore & Università di Parma – Measuring Microfinance Impact in the EU

The MeMI project aims to provide academic insight on microfinance public policies currently enforced in the EU. The analysis will rely both on a microeconomic quantitative measurement of the social returns of such initiatives and an estimate of the externalities that come in their wake.

The slides of the presentations can be downloaded here.


Louis-Gaëtan Giraudet & Daire McCoy – London School of Economics – Policies to finance energy efficiency

The aim of the project is to evaluate the motivation for and the effective performance of energy efficiency subsidies and loan facilities, specifically looking at the housing sector in the UK, France and Germany. The research focuses on identifying the market failures that hamper the financing of energy efficiency projects and the policies that can address these, and assesses how loans and subsidies targeted at energy efficiency projects perform.

The slides of the presentations can be downloaded here.