Metso Corporation and the European Investment Bank (EIB) have signed an EUR 135 million 10-year research and development loan agreement. The facility relates to Metso's ongoing R&D programs during the years 2003-2005. The funds are being used to the continuous improvement of Metso's offering to its customers' core processes in pulping, papermaking and process automation technologies. In line with Metso's strategy, the R&D activity is focusing on the operational efficiencies during the whole life cycle of the customers' installed machinery and systems base.
In all Metso's Business Areas research and development is carried out in close cooperation with the customers to enhance their competitiveness. Life cycle business approach is building on long-term partnerships. It includes new investments, rebuilds, modernizations, and aftermarket and expert services. Advanced solutions including integration of machinery, automation, and information and communication technologies are important competitive strengths for Metso and require investments of long-term nature.
In 2003 Metso's R&D expenditure amounted to EUR 141 million, and R&D employed more than 1200 R&D persons. Metso manages actively its intellectual property rights and have currently about 8900 patents and 3900 patent applications.
Under the loan facility funds may be drawn within 18 months from signing. The overall loan period will be 10 years with installments starting 3 years from each draw down.
Metso Corporation is a global supplier of process industry machinery and systems, as well as know-how and aftermarket services. The Corporation's core businesses are fiber and paper technology (Metso Paper), rock and mineral processing (Metso Minerals) and automation and control technology (Metso Automation). In 2003, the net sales of Metso Corporation were EUR 4.3 billion. Metso has approximately 26,000 employees in 50 countries. Metso Corporation is listed on the Helsinki and New York Stock Exchanges.