On 23 February 2015, the EIB group held its Annual Press Conference 2015. As an integral part of the European Union’s response to the crisis, the EIB Group significantly stepped up its financial support in 2013 to promote growth and jobs in Europe. The Group, comprising the European Investment Bank and the European Investment Fund, provided strong counter-cyclical support to the economy, with financing to the tune of EUR 75.1 billion, an increase of 37 per cent compared to 2012. The European Investment Bank signed loans worth EUR 18.5 billion for SMEs and mid-caps, while at the same time the European Investment Fund committed EUR 3.4 billion. In addition, the EIB Group had a clear focus on research and innovation, providing EUR 17.2 billion in financial support to increase the competitiveness of Europe´s economy.