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Funding excellence in eco-innovation



45 projects have been selected under the 2009 CIP Eco-innovation call. €32 million has been provided in funding to help turn these green projects into environmental solutions.

The European Union’s ‘Europe 2020’ strategy calls for bold and ambitious steps to secure a long-term sustainable future. If Europe is to drive its economy forward and create new jobs through smart, sustainable and inclusive growth, entrepreneurship and innovation must be supported. Europe 2020 sets out to stimulate green growth by supporting research and innovation, and by addressing the issues of climate change and energy. By making progress in these areas Europe can increase employment and deliver a resource efficient, green and competitive economy.

Developing a smart economy based on knowledge and innovation – which ensures the competitiveness of the region – is a priority of the Europe 2020 Strategy. Through eco-innovation Europe can develop a thriving economy that does not come at the expense of the environment.

In order to encourage the emergence of eco-innovation, the Environmental Technologies Action Plan (ETAP) has striven to improve market conditions for environmental technologies. Furthermore, ETAP aims to stimulate the wider uptake of proven eco-efficient technologies, by providing positive incentives such as regulatory frameworks, voluntary schemes, access to finance and green procurement.

To cultivate innovative environmental solutions, one fifth of the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme’s (CIP) budget has been earmarked for promoting eco-innovation (€430 million). Nearly €200 million of this total will be made available to fund eco-innovation projects between 2008 and 2013.

The 45 projects allocated €32 million under the 2009 CIP Eco-innovation initiative were selected from more than 200 proposals submitted in September 2009. In addition to receiving this funding, the selected projects are expected to directly mobilise the same amount from private undertakings in the project consortia, leading to a total investment of around €64 million.

Of the 45 selected projects, 33% deal with recycling, 29% with green business, 29% with food and drink, while the remaining 9% relate to buildings and other issues.

The selected projects have entered the contract negotiation phase, and the first projects are expected to begin in Spring 2010.

Support for SMEs

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are Europe’s creative source for entrepreneurship and innovation. To this end, the 2009 CIP Eco-Innovation call gave priority to SMEs. 70% of the selected projects are managed by SMEs.

The projects selected in the ‘Green Business: Clean Production' category cover a wide variety of topics ranging from the substitution of chrome in leather tannery plants to an environmentally-friendly process for cutting ceramic tiles.

One project, HI-REACH, aims to produce parts for motorcycle fabrication with less environmental impacts in terms of resource use, waste generation and pollution. Another, BISCOL, aims to develop new types of bio-dye for the textile industry.

The ‘Green Business: New services and advanced EMAS’ category includes a proposal to introduce web-based solutions for pallet trading and a project related to green supply chain management in mass tourism.

In this category, the PROSPEC project will create two advanced EMAS clusters in the printing industry in the UK and Greece; while the ECO-STEVEDORING project will develop a software tool to make freight loading as environmentally friendly as possible.

The NATURLISTA project, selected in the 'Recycling: New products from recycled material' category, aims to recycle shoes and waste from the footwear industry to produce new consumer products. In the same category, the PROWASTE project will promote an innovative industrial process for the production of green, high performance recycled plastic lumber.

There are two projects in the 'Recycling: New recycling services category. The first, EUROC2C CARPETCHAINS, is a carpet collection and recycling scheme in 6 European countries. The second, WACOIL, aims to improve the recycling of waste vegetable oil.

Projects in the 'Recycling: New recycling Processes/Technologies' involve a number of industries and issues. THE DIAPERS PROJECT will demonstrate the economic feasibility of an industrial-sized sorting and recycling plant for used nappies. This project will negate the need for used nappies to be incinerated or dumped in landfills.

In the same category, the BIG TYRE RECYCLING project aims to build a commercial plant for recycling end-of-life tyres. This plant will separate rubber and steel using Ultra High Pressure water jet cutting technology.

In the Food and Drink category, the OMIWAT project addresses important environmental issues related to the olive oil production process, particularly the treatment of pollution effluents. This system will produce a number of valuable by-products including fertilizer, polyphenols for the food and drink sector, timber and recycled water for irrigation.

The MINI AD project aims to replicate a system based on existing anaerobic digestion technology to treat animal by-products. This innovative system may be implemented in small scale plants and will produce digestate and biogas.

Finally, in the Building/Construction category, the BACOM project will develop a process for recycling bio-solid waste from water treatment plants into composite construction materials.

In the same category, the SANGUSS project will develop a method to fill installation walls using foam glass produced from waste. The waste used will not be recyclable, and, as a result, the process will increase resource efficiency.

50% increase in applications to the CIP Eco-Innovation call

The number of proposals submitted in 2009 represents a 50% increase compared to last year’s figures. In total, the 202 project proposals – from 32 countries – amounted to €150 million in funding requests.

The deadline for the next call for proposals is 9 September 2010. There will be €35 million made available for funding. To provide further information a number of European and National Eco-innovation Info Days will take place during 2010.

More information

Related information on the EcoAP Website