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EEPA Category 5: Supporting the sustainable transition

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We have already introduced you to the first four categories in the European Enterprise Promotion Awards. This time it is the turn of Category 5 – Supporting the sustainable transition. Projects in this category have a strong sustainability focus and propose innovative approaches to help the European economy transition to a more sustainable path.

This category recognizes initiatives that promote a circular economy approach or that have specific environmental features such as encouraging the use of recycled materials or renewable energy. This Category was renamed in 2021; it previously went under the title “Supporting the Development of Green Markets and Resource Efficiency”.

The winner of the Supporting the sustainable transition category in 2021 was Green Penguin, an initiative that combines real data with smart digital technologies in a digital game for schoolchildren. Through the game, Green Penguin teaches schools and children environmental and digital literacy. It shows children how to achieve significant CO2 reductions, raises their awareness of environmental challenges and sustainable development and, importantly, creates future generations of environmental protectors, engaging them in the co-creation of solutions for the carbon-neutral cities of the future.

Next, to meet with the Category 5 winners in 2020, we travel to Germany to visit Greentech.Ruhr. Greentech.Ruhr is an environmental management network in the Ruhr region that aims to strengthen the region’s environmental economy, thereby supporting its transition from a mining region to a diversified economy with a high degree of specialisation in tackling ecological challenges. Greentech.Ruhr facilitates increased cooperation between all players in the Ruhr environmental economy by bringing together local companies, educational and research institutions, and public bodies to promote the Ruhr’s innovative potential in the field of environmental economics.

The Greentech.Ruhr team spoke about the positive public attention generated by their participation in EEPA. “We received many congratulations from our community. As a network for the environmental economy, it is very important for us to be known. Not only in our region but also all over the world. The EEPA will help us to enlarge our European network significantly. By winning the EEPA, we have provided further proof that the idea of a greentech network is worth sustaining and this will help us to acquire financial support later on.

The team highly recommends taking part in the competition to other potential participants: “Taking part in the competition and writing the application helps you to reflect on your project and your work. So, even if you don’t win, the time invested is not wasted. The positive effect when winning the award may differ from project to project, but it certainly brings a lot of attention and contacts. We definitely recommend taking part in EEPA.”

In 2019, the Category 5 winner was Tilos from Greece, which created an integrated energy solution with innovative features to help island regions transition to new models of production and management of electricity energy. The solution uses clean, renewable energy sources and the application of modern energy storage technologies to reduce dependency on cost-intensive and polluting oil.

SME Assembly 2019 Helsinki/ Kanizaj

Participation in the competition had a major positive impact on the initiative. “Winning this award served as motivation for the local municipality, employees and the broader Tilos community to continue their hard work and remain dedicated to the vision of energy autonomy for the island of Tilos. The EEPA 2019 award will contribute to our efforts to communicate the success stories of our island to a wider audience, making Tilos an attractive destination for all Europeans,” the team said.

The team has words of encouragement for any initiative that may be thinking about participating in EEPA. “The EEPA contest provides a unique platform for the promotion of entrepreneurship and especially SMEs. It is also an excellent opportunity to showcase the results of your work and agenda at the highest level, while getting to know the work of others in the field. Networking with policy makers, entrepreneurs, and experts from across the EU is a great way to accelerate the progress of your work, maximise your impact and start work towards replicating your results in other European markets of interest.”

Are you ready to join the European Enterprise Promotion Awards family? Since 2006, the EEPA has been recognising projects that promote entrepreneurship and small business at the national, regional and local level. This year it could be you! If you are interested in participating, check out your national EEPA factsheet with all the information you need here.

In our next blog, we will look at previous winners in the final EEPA Category 6 – Responsible and inclusive entrepreneurship, don’t miss it!

For more information, visit the the European Commission website and get the latest updates on the Promoting Enterprise News Portal, and make sure to follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts and don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter.

Launch of the European Enterprise Promotion Awards #EEPA2022

The time for a new edition of the European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA) has come! Annually, EEPA identify and recognize the most successful promoters of enterprise and entrepreneurship around Europe.

The competition rewards the most innovative initiatives from public bodies and public-private partnerships, which support entrepreneurship, and small and medium sized enterprises.

How will it work?

The participating countries invite projects or initiatives to apply for the national competitions for the 2022 edition. Each national competition will announce two national winners, who will proceed to compete at the European level prior to the European deadline of 25 July 2022. The prestigious EEPA jury of 2022 will then carefully review each of the national winners, where the top projects will make the European shortlist.

All shortlisted nominees from both the national and European competition levels will receive invitations to the Awards Ceremony at the annual SME Assembly co-hosted by the Czech Presidency of the Council and the European Commission in November.

Here are the six categories of this year:

Promoting the entrepreneurial spirit
Investing in skills
Improving the business environment and supporting the digital transition
Supporting the internationalisation of business
Supporting the sustainable transition
Responsible and inclusive entrepreneurship

Plus…

The Jury’s Grand Prize that can be from any category and will go to the entry considered the most creative and inspiring entrepreneurship initiative in Europe.

Want to participate? Find your national EEPA factsheet with all the information you need here.

Stay Updated #EEPA2022

For information about the European Enterprise Promotion Awards, visit the European Commission website, and for the latest updates, follow Promoting Enterprise News Portal as well as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

EEPA 2021 Shortlist – Supporting the Sustainable Transition

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We have already introduced you to the 2021 shortlist of finalists in the first four categories of the European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA). Today we will take a closer look at the projects shortlisted in Category 5: Supporting the Sustainable Transition.

The three projects shortlisted in the category come from Portugal, Slovakia and Slovenia. These projects provide novel ways to optimise water use in buildings, streamline urban waste management, and engage children as the climate protectors of the future. Let’s take a closer look at these innovative projects.

We will look at the shortlisted projects in alphabetical order, starting with….

AQUA+® Rating water at your household – Portugal

AQUA+ is an initiative of the Agency for Energy in Portugal (ADENE). Recognising that water is a scarce and indispensable resource, the project offers a simple, agile and voluntary way to evaluate and classify water use in buildings, identifying opportunities where people can improve their water use and save water. In addition to classifying a building’s water performance, AQUA+ provides guidance on good practices for renovations and the design of new buildings, offering a greater choice of equipment, systems and solutions that allow a more efficient use of water. A sample 50 audits conducted by the project estimated an annual potential reduction in water consumption of 30%. AQUA+ is currently available for residential properties and will soon be extended to other areas, such as hotels, businesses and services.

ELWIS – Household-level waste tracking – Slovakia

For towns and villages to make informed decisions on waste management they need hard data on actual waste production. This is where ELWIS comes in. The system monitors waste management at household level and provides municipalities or collection companies with an overview of the actual amounts of waste produced by households and other entities in the municipality. Municipalities can then use this information to decide on the distribution of waste containers and the scheduling of trucks. What’s more, through their MyELWIS waste account, citizens can see how their home performs, motivating them to adopt a more sustainable approach. The system has contributed to a significant reduction in the cost of municipal waste, enabled the introduction of fair charges and encouraged citizens to sort their waste.

Green Penguin – Slovenia

Cities are responsible for more than 70% of all GHG emissions and so it will be critical to engage cities in the fight against climate change, encouraging them to adopt innovative solutions to mitigate risks and achieve carbon neutrality. With this goal in mind, Green Penguin combines real data with smart digital technologies in a digital game for schoolchildren. Through the game, Green Penguin teaches schools and children environmental and digital literacy. It shows children how to achieve significant CO2 reductions, raises their awareness of environmental challenges and sustainable development and, importantly, creates future generations of environmental protectors, engaging them in the co-creation of solutions for the carbon-neutral cities of the future.

Be sure to read about the projects listed in previous categories, and don’t forget to come back every week to meet more EEPA 2021 finalists!

EEPA 2021 National Winners – Supporting the Sustainable Transition

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In our last EEPA 2021 national winners post on the Promoting Enterprise news portal, we presented the national winners supporting the Internationalisation of Business. Now it is the turn of the shortlisted projects in Category 5 – Supporting the Sustainable Transition.

Projects in this category have a strong sustainability focus and propose innovative approaches to help the European economy transition to a more sustainable path. This could happen by adopting a circular economy approach in terms of producing, consuming and distributing SME products and services. The category also recognises initiatives with specific environmental features such as encouraging the use of recycled materials and renewable energy.

 The shortlisted projects in Category 5 – Supporting the Sustainable Transition are:

These national projects were shortlisted by national EEPA coordinators to advance to the next phase of the awards. They will now be reviewed by the European jury, which will decide on the final shortlist. All of the shortlisted projects are deserving winners. We wish them the best of luck in the next stage of the competition.

Make sure to visit the News Portal each week to find out which projects have won their national competitions and are being considered for the European shortlist by our prestigious EEPA 2021 jury.

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