Circular economy & urban mining

Veolia and EIT RawMaterials drive a new an unique incubation programme for circular economy startups.

The second U-START campaign, running until June 26, 2016 is organized in partnership with EIT RawMaterials. We want to support European startups with innovative and sustainable ideas in the fields of circular economy and urban mining. These new concepts could be not only geographically located at “end of pipe” (on existing waste sorting and treatment sites) but also within micro-loops in the urban and industrial environment, or decentralized on the sites of origin of the waste streams.

Cooperation is proposed for startups with innovative concepts in the following fields:
Recycling technologies for (complex) waste streams such as WEEE, multilayer materials, composite materials etc, with a focus on upcycling concepts leading to high value secondary materials with specific functionalities and innovative / sustainable products.
New organizations of industrial and municipal waste collection and recycling, incl. reverse logistics, remanufacturing and refurbishing, predictive maintenance, repair models, monitoring and traceability (product origin, quality and functionalities), modeling urban systems, IoT solutions, data analysis and processing, decision support tools, eco-design, etc. 
Innovative partnerships with market stakeholders, e.g. across production industries and supply chains, inclusion of public consumers and civil society, digital collaboration & management platforms, products as a service, hire and leasing based systems, gaming and reward systems etc.
The following themes are NOT addressed:
  • ideas with low rate valorization or downcycling concepts
  • technologies for solely thermal valorization and treatment processes without clear environmental or societal advantage in terms of resource management (e.g. treatment of toxic waste, nuclear waste etc)
  • handling and valorization concepts of organic waste and biomass streams

The candidates will have to demonstrate what the business relevance of their concept would be within 3-5 years, including the societal and environmental benefits.
The goal of this initiative is to start cooperation with up to five game changing startups. The ambition is to accelerate the time to market of the innovative concepts through the support of EIT RawMaterials and Veolia in a “co-creation” mode. In particular, the intention is to test the concepts on the industrial and commercial sites of Veolia in Germany, providing first references in a real environment.

Joint offer to startups

The three support packages depending on your level of maturity can be combined , if needed.

Joint offered support package for startups
  • Kick-start Funding: Proof-of-concept and feasibility study incl. laboratory tests and business case validation.
  • Startup Booster: Infrastructure or incubator services for getting support towards tests on industrial sites incl. protecting IP.  
  • Funding Instruments: Direct investment to boost your growth incl. large scale demo project and marketing concept.

Partner for this special initiative: 




U-Start Why
  • Up to two year mentoring program and cooperation with TWO leading institutions with strong market experiences
  • Veolia: world leader in environmental solution deployment, as your industrial mentoring partner
  • The allocation of a seed funding (see above) to perform a field validation of your innovation
  • EIT RawMaterials: business development partner giving you support in business model & product development etc.
  • Taking advantage of Veolia and EIT RawMaterials’ expertise and client base to form your business ideas into a market solution
  • Up to two year office location on the EUREF-Campus, a very inspiring innovation campus in Germany
  • Networking with our other young and innovative startups

Who is eligible?  

We look for entrepreneurs, innovators and companies with a venture at a very early stage of its development (concept or proof of concept) to an early stage developed startup that can serve as the basis for a viable new business. Entrepreneurs should be full-time on their venture. Participants can commit to relocate key staff to the Veolia startup camp in Berlin during the program’s duration.

How to enter the competition?

Participants must submit an online entry (one pager) via [data privacy informationbefore June 26, 2016. There is no fee to enter the competition. After a first pre-selection of startups with a high likelihood of solving the challenge, a jury will assess the startups and invite the best of them to a pitch. Up to five startups are finally invited to participate in the incubation program.   




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