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Innovation at the service of the EU Green Deal

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The original article can be found on the EASME website.

The European Innovation Council Accelerator pilot supports innovation that creates the markets of tomorrow and therefore has its part to play in bringing the European Green Deal to life. Here’s how the EIC supports innovators that deliver a climate-neutral circular economy on the ground, in a few numbers. 

The push towards a green economy has received new impetus under European Green Deal – the EU’s pledge to become the first climate-neutral continent in the world. This transition will largely be market-driven and will require many new technologies, processes, economic circuits to support the shift. From waste-sorting robots and more efficient production chains, to air-cleaning flower pots, cars that inhale their own fumes and smart energy devices, green innovations supported by the EIC Accelerator are making the transition towards a circular, low-carbon economy a reality. 

Young green companies at the forefront

The EIC supports over 1.100 green companies for over € 550 million in total. This represents almost 25% of all EIC-supported companies. Since the latest EIC Accelerator cut-off, companies can get equity in addition to their grant. So far, 14 green companies were offered equity for a preliminary total of € 36 million that will be negotiated on a case by case basis. 

Most green companies are young – almost half of them were founded between 2012 and 2017. A majority of 70% manufacture green technologies and products. 
Green innovators have attracted around € 730 million private investment after receiving their grant, which means that every 1€ invested in green companies by the EIC leveraged 1.72 € of private investment.

Most of the private investments were made in the energy, food and enterprise software industries. Five companies started floating on the stock market, mostly on Nasdaq First North, and eight companies were acquired by bigger players. 

Most of the funded companies are from Spain, Italy and the UK – as are most of the EIC-funded companies in general. However, most of the private investment rounds occurred in Germany, the UK and Croatia, which hosts a project that benefitted from a € 88 million investment in the clean tech electric car company Rimac Automobili by Huyndai and KIA. 

More support expected

More opportunities will soon be available for companies that support the European Green Deal through breakthrough innovations. 

one-off EIC Accelerator call for ‘green deal’ start-ups and SMEs is expected, whereby all applicants submitting for the 19 May 2020 cut-off will need to demonstrate how their innovation contributes to the goals of the European Green Deal. The 7 October 2020 cut-off for the EIC Accelerator Pilot will remain open to all innovations.
An advanced version of the amended EIC Work Programme is due to be released by the end of February, and the final version by the end of March, replacing plans for the year ahead in the current EIC Pilot Work Programme 2018 – 2020.

Discover all green innovations supported by the EIC Accelerator pilot in our datahub

From waste to circular economy – ecoBirdy: A European Toy Story

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Supported by the EU’s programme for the competitiveness of SMEs (COSME), ecoBirdy will unveil its first collection of design furniture for kids made of recycled plastic toys at the trade fair Maison & Objet in Paris from 19 January.

The launch follows an in-depth two-year study period exploring how to sustainably recycle plastic toys. ecoBirdy has created pieces that are 100% made of recycled plastic waste and can easily be recycled again.

The Antwerp-based designers, Joris Vanbriel and Vanessa Yuan, have not only created design pieces, but a whole system from the collection and recycling of old, unused plastic toys to the design and production of the furniture.

It was essential to the founders that each step be based on social and environmental responsibility. An accompanying storybook and school programme has been designed to introduce youngsters to the circular economy and inspire them to contribute to a more sustainable future. The design, recycling and production of ecoBirdy furniture is all done in Europe.

“We found that plastic toys use plastic more intensively than other consumer goods: 80% of plastic toys end up in landfills, incinerators or in the ocean. By giving old plastic a new life, our aim is to free our ecosystem from its pernicious impact. As we use innovative technologies, made for the reuse of plastic, there is no need to add any pigments or resin.”

For the first collection, the designers have aimed to create pieces that enable kids to experience creativity and at the same time raise awareness of sustainability. All items are made entirely out of recycled plastic from European waste. Due to accurate sorting, cleaning and grinding during the recycling process, the plastic of all products is absolutely free from harmful chemicals. It is clean, pure and 100% safe. The whole collection is produced in Italy and includes a chair, a table, a storage container and a lamp.

The furniture will be available on the market from the end of January and can be ordered from the ecoBirdy online shop. ecoBirdy is one of the 10 projects funded under the EU programme for the Competitiveness of SMEs (COSME) 2016 Design-based consumer goods call.

Read the original article here on the EASME website. To find out more about other European sustainability and green projects, read about past EEPA entries in the Supporting the development of green markets and resource efficiency category.

ECOSTAR – The custom built accelerator and entrepreneurship hub for nature based business

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What kind of support is out there for green and eco-entrepreneurs? How can you sell an idea that is innovative, eventually profitable but also green and sustainable? Entrepreneurs in this field may find it difficult to convince investors or find the right support systems for their offered products and services. This is where the newly launched ECOSTAR accelerator is there to help!

ECOSTAR is the research-enterprise impact hub and accelerator that promotes entrepreneurship and innovation for nature-based businesses. The initiative is promoted by a university-enterprise partnership between European and US-based institutions, and it is co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union, and other private investors. It’s an Impact Hub that promotes the start-up and acceleration of new business initiatives with a positive impact on environment and society. It’s a Research-Business alliance that links universities and companies, providing networking and market-oriented training. It focuses on business models that make profit by marketing, promoting and enhancing biodiversity, and ecosystem services. The initiative provides business opportunities and real benefits for the environment through the following main actions:

JOIN: Create a wide research-enterprise network at EU level, linking together entrepreneurs, scientific and business mentors, and investors, wanting to create value for nature through new business ideas.

LEARN: Deliver a series of specialised entrepreneurship and innovation trainings targeted to MEEB through multidisciplinary approaches to teaching and learning.

GROW: The ECOSTAR Nature-Accelerator selects and invests in early-stage impactful startups that are developing innovative and sustainable solutions for disrupting the agriculture, forestry and natural resource sectors.

E-learning technology, business model case studies, EU support networks, and free ad hoc MEEB business plan advice, are some of the methods that are delivered through a strong and committed partnership of businesses and universities at country and European level.

To find out more about this exciting initiative and to read some of the success stories from participating eco-ventures, visit their website: www.ecostarhub.com

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