It is time to discover another story and the secrets behind a prizewinning project from the European Enterprise Promotion Awards  (EEPA) 2018. The EEPA aim to find, promote and boost projects from across Europe that are working to strengthen and improve the European enterprise ecosystem across a number of categories. Today we travel to Portugal to meet the 2018 winner of the “Supporting the development of green markets and resource efficiency ” category. The “Carbon-zero Living Lab Matosinhos” project was the first to win in this category after it was temporarily suspended in 2017.
The “Carbon-zero Living Lab Matosinhos” tests sustainable and innovative solutions, products and services to foster a local carbon market in an industrial coastal municipality. Local residents and businesses are encouraged to develop and propose projects, which are then implemented and made available for municipal use. The local carbon market uses CO2 emissions credits gained through the adoption of sustainable solutions such as bike sharing, sustainable lighting or artificial intelligence applied to building management. The credits can be exchanged for goods and green services and are an incentive for sustainability in the municipality, which previously had a high carbon footprint.
How did you first hear about the national competition and why did you decide to enter?
The Municipality of Matosinhos was contacted by CEiiA – Centre for Engineering and Product Development, and jointly we decided to apply to the EEPA 2018 with the project “Carbon-zero Living Lab Matosinhos” due to the creative and innovative characteristics of the initiative. The information about the national competition was provided by IAPMEI by e-mail and through their website and social networks.
How did you prepare your application?
The application was prepared in collaboration between the Municipality of Matosinhos and CEiiA, with contributions from other project partners. IAPMEI gave us a lot of strong support throughout the process.
What was it like to win the award?
It was a great honour to win this award. It is perfectly aligned with our strategy to transform Matosinhos into an intelligent, sustainable and inclusive city. Winning is also a recognition of the work the Municipality of Matosinhos is doing to benefit its companies, organisations and citizens.
How did winning the award impact your work?
The European award was very important for both national and international visibility to the project. This recognition is a relevant tool to promote the attractiveness of the city of Matosinhos for talents, tourists and investments. Moreover, the “Carbon-zero Living Lab Matosinhos” focused on the development and testing of low-carbon solutions in a specific area of the city, with the final objective being the replication of these solutions in other parts of the territory, and even exporting them to other cities and regions in Portugal and abroad. The award represents an opportunity to disseminate the project and increase this replication potential.
Why should others enter EEPA 2019? What advice would you give them?
Participation in EEPA is a good opportunity to share experience and good practices with other European organisations, and to become aware of innovative and creative initiatives that are being implemented in Europe.
What are your plans for the future?
The “Carbon-zero Living Lab Matosinhos” is part of an integrated strategy to promote the decarbonisation of the municipality. We will continue the development of this project, enlarging its scope in terms of partners, solutions to be tested and users.
Read about Matosinhos in the EEPA 2018 compendium  and keep coming back to the News Portal for further EEPA updates!