With the advent of connectivity, electrification, automated driving, and shared mobility, the global automotive industry has been changing at a rapid rate. Vehicles in the future will be software-based, connected to their environment and highly automated or even autonomous. Europe and its automotive ecosystem are ready to play a strong and leading role in this development. This has been demonstrated recently by the financing of 30 Mio EUR to TTTech Auto by the European Investment Bank.
Thomas Östros, Vice-President of the European Investment Bank (EIB), explains in this interview the financing strategy by the EIB for new technologies. Harald Triplat, CFO of TTTech Auto points out the advantage of targeted financing and the potential he sees for Europe in the field of autonomous vehicles.
What is the aim of EIB’s financing strategy?
Thomas Östros: The EIB aims to provide Austrian and European growth-stage companies with tailor-made financing that enables them to invest and scale up their business. This is a key product for strengthening competitiveness and an excellent example of how the EU bank, with the support of the Investment Plan for Europe, is promoting innovative and aspiring businesses in Europe.
How does the financing of TTTech Auto will bring Europe forward?
Harald Triplat: Today, carmakers and software companies are working on the best software for automated vehicles. In the area of automotive operating systems, only a few platforms will dominate the worldwide market and it is of utmost importance for Europe to be part of this league of global players. This financing will allow TTTech Auto to further develop it’s already series-proven software platform MotionWise that supports real-time control applications and acts as the safety mastermind for automated driving, showing that critical technology and software parts for this transformation are coming out of Europe.
Why was TTTech Auto selected for this funding?
Thomas Östros: By providing financing to TTTech Auto, we are supporting a thriving European company operating in a challenging technology segment. Innovation and determination are key to ensuring sustainable growth and to creating highly qualified jobs.
What will TTTech Auto use the financing for?
Harald Triplat: The funding will foster TTTech Auto’s continuous innovation and help grow its global footprint based on technological advances. These include the further development of its safety software platform MotionWise and the potential introduction of additional leading-edge software products. The EIB loan will support the diversification of the company’s financial resources by integrating public funding into the overall financing structure.
How can Europe keep up on key technological challenges from the perspective of a fast-growing company?
Harald Triplat: Europe has huge potential to drive innovation in key industrial technologies of global impact, like automated and autonomous driving. The European Fund for Strategic Investments and the EIB have recognized this and are helping to bring European high-tech enterprises like TTTech Auto forward in this direction.
Europe needs this long-term public funding strategy combined with a well-functioning capital market to build strategic technology clusters and global market leadership positions. This way we can more easily scale companies and technologies to global significance to shape mega-trends like safety and sustainability with automated driving. For Europe and TTTech Auto, it is key to lead this transition in the global mobility sector towards software-defined and more automated cars with the highest level of safety.
How is does this relate to the overall EU development strategy?
Thomas Östros: The EU bank financing is being provided under the Investment Plan for Europe. The European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) is the central pillar of the Investment Plan. Under its umbrella the EIB and the European Commission are working closely together as strategic partners in order to boost investment and to create jobs and growth by making smarter use of existing and new financial resources.