The European Commission has launched a call for proposals of EUR 31.5 million for the best 45 eco-innovation projects. Businesses throughout Europe have until 5 September 2013 to put in their proposals for bringing novel environmental solutions to the market in the following 5 areas:
- material recycling
- sustainable building products
- green business
- the food and drink sector
European Commissioner for the Environment Janez Potočnik said: “Eco-innovation is not just about a niche of green businesses. Europe’s competitiveness in the next decades will depend on its ability to overcome resource constraints. Eco-innovative businesses are the enablers of that transformation for the whole economy. I especially encourage Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises to apply for funding and help Europe to build on its lead in sectors such as water and waste management.”
45 projects to be covered by call
The call is primarily targeted at private businesses, mainly SMEs that have developed an innovative green product, process or service, but are experiencing difficulties in launching it on the market. The call offers co-financing to cover up to 50% of the project cost and should support about 45 new projects this year.
185 projects currently running
Almost 50 projects are set to launch from last year’s call and over 185 projects are already underway. Examples of current schemes include: optimising technology to re-use old bricks in the construction industry; producing leather shoes that are free from harmful chemicals; using CO2 to harness a natural source of Omega-3; and a new technique for carpet manufacturing.
Eco-Innovation is funded via the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP) and has a budget of about €220 million for the period 2008 to 2013. It supports technologically-proven products that help make better use of Europe’s natural resources. Eco-Innovation is a green strand of the CIP and contributes to the Eco-Innovation Action Plan (EcoAP). The program is managed by the Executive Agency for Competitiveness and Innovation (EACI).
The 2013 call for proposals is open until 5 September. A European Eco-Innovation Info Day with detailed information about priorities and tips on how to apply for funding will take place on 27 May in the Charlemagne Building, in Brussels, Belgium.