The Energy Box technology incubator: new green energy products brought to market

Research and development centre helped start-ups and spin offs to commercialise environmentally-friendly innovations.

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Green technologies on display at The Energy Box © GreenBridge Green technologies on display at The Energy Box © GreenBridge

Starting in 2010, Belgium's ‘Energy Box’ project created a platform for demonstrating emerging clean energy technologies, focusing on products developed by start-up businesses and university academics which may not otherwise have reached the market.

The centre provided a demonstration hall and a team of professional consultants to provide financial, legal and managerial advice and to help promote innovative, market-ready concepts. Its work resulted in many new, clean technology products being brought to market, several of which achieved great commercial success.

Green innovations

For example, one company that showcased its product at Energy Box is EcoNation. It developed ‘smart’ skylights to spread natural daylight throughout buildings, thereby reducing the need for electric lights. The product has been widely praised and has won international awards.

Others include Energy Ball's silent wind turbines, and a product known as the ’ORC’ from E-Rational which takes heat waste – produced during industrial processes, for example – and turns it into electricity.

The Energy Box project was based at Greenbridge Science Park in Flanders and was run by energy-based research groups from the University of Ghent, who provided technical expertise.

Its work involved cooperation with major transnational companies with the aim of increasing the use of green energy products and improving energy efficiency.

Total investment and EU funding

Total investment for the project “The Energy Box” is EUR 1 500 000, of which the EU’s European Regional Development Fund is contributing EUR 599 813 from the Operational Programme “Flanders” for the 2007 to 2013 programming period, under priority axes “The knowledge economy and innovation” and “Entrepreneurship”.

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