Brussels, 13 April 2010
Commission launches €35 million call for projects that turn environmental challenges into business opportunities
The European Commission today launched a €35 million call for eco-innovation projects to be funded under the Competitiveness and Innovation Programme. Under the 2010 CIP Eco-innovation call for proposals, funds are available for new projects in the area of materials recycling, sustainable building products, the food and drink sector and green business practices. Applications are particularly welcome from small businesses with green products or services that need backing to penetrate markets. The call opens today and runs until 9 September 2010. Some 50 projects could end up being chosen for funding.
Janez Potočnik, European Commissioner for the Environment said: "This call for innovative projects is a tremendous opportunity for Europe's entrepreneurial talent to showcase new ideas to reduce our ecological footprint. The CIP Eco-Innovation programme shows that helping the environment makes good business sense, with numerous products and services now demonstrating how competitive growth and environmental protection can go hand in hand."
The call covers four main areas:
Up to 50% of project costs covered
The call is addressed particularly to SMEs that have developed a green product, process or service that is technically proven but is still struggling to find its place in the market. The call offers direct co-financing with grants that cover up to 50% of the total project cost. The €35 million funds available for the 2010 call are expected to bring to life between 45 and 50 new projects.
The projects are selected on the basis of their innovative approach, their market replication potential and their contribution to European environmental policies, especially in terms of resource efficiency.
Some 44 projects are currently running under the scheme, and another 45 are set to launch in the course of this year. Some examples include: converting used tyres into valuable insulation materials; using bamboo plantations to purify 'grey' water; and replacing conventional paper labels with innovative laser technologies.
The 2010 call for proposals will be presented today during the CIP Eco-innovation Info Day taking place in the Charlemagne building in Brussels. The deadline for submissions is 9 September.
Background: CIP Eco-innovation
With a total budget of around €200 million over the period 2008-2013, CIP Eco-innovation supports the first application and further market uptake of sustainable solutions that make better use of Europe's natural resources. CIP Eco-innovation is a green strand of the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP) and a dynamic contributor to the Environmental Technologies Action Plan (ETAP).
All relevant call documentation can be found at: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/eco-innovation/application_en.htm
Several national info days will take place around Europe. Key dates and locations are available on: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/eco-innovation/events_en.htm