AMSTERDAM, July 03, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Eleven climate innovation projects across Europe tackling COVID-19 related challenges have been selected to receive funding as part of the "Pandemic Response Projects", one of the two instruments of the EIT Crisis Response Initiative. The EIT Climate-KIC team chose the projects with the highest potential for job creation and economic regeneration to contribute to the European Union’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Selected from among 137 applicants, the 11 successful proposals from nine countries respond to emergence from the pandemic’s impact and propose climate solutions in line with the need for green regeneration. They are innovation activities in circular economy, built environment and the financial system, three areas that were prioritised due to their high potential impact on economic growth, job creation and wellbeing. They also align with EIT Climate-KIC's systemic approach to innovation and have clear objectives to support a just and people-centered transition towards a net-zero-carbon, circular economy.
The range of innovation projects receiving support include:
• a financing mechanism led by “Politecnico Di Milano” in Italy that aims to stimulate a green economic recovery and promote a people-centered transition in the city of Milan, with the potential for wider scalability beyond the region,
• a proposal by “Citizens’ Association SMART AP – Laboratory for Social Innovation Skopje” in North Macedonia to design a solution to finance the sustainable transformations of five cities in five Balkan countries (Križevci, Maribor, Niš, Sarajevo, and Skopje) and help them achieve carbon neutrality by 2030 by catalysing the funding of climate mitigation projects,
• a project by the “European Technology Platform For The Future Of Textiles And Clothing” in Belgium that aims to generate new circular and resilient business models for the clothing industry by providing designers, brands and manufacturers with recommendations to advance circularity, increase transparency and reduce carbon emissions.
Kirsten Dunlop, CEO of EIT Climate-KIC said: “We learned from this crisis that we cannot afford to go back to business-as-usual. That’s why climate action through innovation is at the heart of the European recovery plan. I was very impressed by the quality of the submissions we received and I am convinced that the successful projects have a great potential to not only mitigate the socio-economic impact of COVID-19 by supporting job creation, but also to unlock opportunities to help create systems resilience in the European Union and advance the green recovery”.
The Post-COVID-19 Regeneration Call 2020 was designed to attract the most ambitious and innovative climate solutions to support European economic recovery. It is part of the EIT Crisis Response Initiative, a €60 million initiative launched on 14 May 2020 with two main tracks of activities to be implemented by the EIT’s Knowledge and Innovation Communities. EIT Climate-KIC will receive a total of €8.4 million, which will be split between the ‘Pandemic Response Projects’ described above and ‘The Venture Support’ instrument which will back climate innovation start-ups, scale-ups and SMEs that have been enormously impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. The successful companies for this second call will be announced on 7 August.
What is EIT Climate-KIC?
EIT Climate-KIC is Europe’s leading Knowledge and Innovation Community (KIC) working to accelerate the transition to a zero-carbon economy. Headquartered in Amsterdam, it was established in 2010 and is funded by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), a body of the European Union.
EIT Climate-KIC uses systems innovation to effect change in whole places and value chains. It runs programmes in entrepreneurship, education and research and in 2019 launched a programme of ‘deep demonstrations’ as a test bed environment for large-scale, orchestrated change.
EIT Climate-KIC has in recent years enabled more than 2000 climate-friendly business ideas to get off the ground. In the coming years, EIT Climate-KIC will offer a strong framework and community for implementing the European Green Deal by accelerating the transition not just of individual organisations, but of entire systems including cities, countries, regions and whole value chains.
What is the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT)?
The EIT strengthens Europe’s ability to innovate by powering solutions to pressing global challenges and by nurturing entrepreneurial talent to create sustainable growth and skilled jobs across Europe. The EIT is an EU body and an integral part of Horizon2020, the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation. The Institute supports the development of dynamic pan-European partnerships - EIT Knowledge and Innovation Communities - among leading companies, research labs and universities.
What is the EIT Crisis Response Initiative?
The €60 million EIT initiative launched in May 2020 consists of two main tracks of activities to be implemented by the EIT’s eight Knowledge and Innovation Communities across Europe:
• “Venture Support Instrument”: Start-ups, scale-ups and SMEs have been enormously impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. Additional EIT support (financing, technical assistance, and network) will help highly innovative ventures weather the crisis and accelerate their growth.
• “Pandemic Response Projects”: More than ever, innovations and new solutions are needed to tackle the current crisis and prevent its resurgence. The EIT ecosystem is agile and will mobilise innovators to address the COVID-19 crisis, both in terms of the immediate health concerns and the wider response needed.
Media Relations at EIT Climate-KIC