EIT Climate-KIC brings the focus on sustainability and Climate Change to Forinvest

Sustainability has been the main focus of the thirteenth edition of the Forinvest event, the largest financial-business networking space in the country, which has turned Valencia into financial capital with nearly 200 financial presentations.

A majority of these presentations, which have covered a multitude of topics related to investors and entrepreneurs, have focused on sustainability as one of the main drivers of investment. The main conclusion reached in all of these talks is that the success of companies will undoubtedly depend on their commitment to sustainability. Sustainability as a need. It is a safer, and safer and more solidarity-based long-term commitment.

The director of the EIT Climate-KIC’s Spanish branch, José Luis Muñoz, said that “the great challenge of our society is to face climate change because it influences our habits, consumption, economy and the global of our daily life“.

The EIT Climate-KIC has generated more than 1,400 projects, has managed more than 4 billion Euros and has created more than 2,000 new jobs. “And yet it is not enough. We need a new strategy that promotes innovation, capable of co-creating, identifying challenges and achieving results in a systemic way“, said Muñoz.

Deep Demonstrations

The Spanish director announced the new strategy of EIT Climate-KIC to achieve the decarbonization of the society, in time. Under the name “Transformation, in time” this strategy is mainly based on the Deep Demonstrations. These test beds are an initiative led by EIT Climate-KIC to promote all those changes we need and to achieve a net zero in the next 20-30 years.

These start with a demand- led approach, working with city authorities, regional bodies, governments or industry leaders who are committed to fundamental transformation to a net-zero emissions, resilient future.

Through a systems innovation approach, we match this demand with supply, bringing the full force of our innovation community to tackle multiple levers of change simultaneously through the rapid testing of options. We orchestrate this as a portfolio approach, concentrating on learning together about what creates the fastest pathways to change.

We think innovation at a systems level – ‘systems innovation’ as a shorthand – is the way to prompt such transformations. By systems innovation we mean integrated and coordinated interventions in economic, political and social systems and along whole value chains through a portfolio of deliberate and connected innovation experiments (i.e. a portfolio approach). Such an approach is designed to generate viable pathways to change through identification of options, social and behavioural inflexion points, and scaling of transformative solutions.

To perform these great demonstrations EIT Climate-KIC has divided them into 8 thematic verticals: (1) Healthy, Clean Cities, (2) Just Transformations, (3) Circular, Regenerative Economy, (4) Resilient Food Systems and Diets, (5) Net-Zero-Emissions Resilient Maritime Hubs, (6) Resilience Regions, (7) Long-termism, (8) Landscapes as Carbon Sinks.

During his talk José Luis Muñoz highlighted two of them: the first one due to its high implementation level. The Slovenian Government has decided to support the EIT Climate-KIc strategy on Circular Economy and this support has made this Deep Demonstration a model of success.

On the other hand, Muñoz highlighted the Net-Zero-Emissions Resilient Maritime Hubs, supported by Valenciport, joining the EIT Climate-KIC strategy with the commitment of having carbon neutral emissions in 2030.

In this sense, the President of the Port Authority of Valencia, Aurelio Martinez, explained during his speech the environmental policy of Valenciaport since the first measurements began in the 90s and the first certificates were obtained. Since then, Valenciaport has become a European reference in environmental management in the port area. Aurelio Martínez has set out the “Valenciaport 20-30 Plan”; the roadmap up to 2030, focused on the objective of becoming a “zero emissions” port and supported by pillars such as research (through entities such as the Valenciaport Foundation, Ports 4.0 etc.) and infrastructure.

Antonio Torregrosa, director of the Valenciaport Foundation, highlighted the research work carried out by the Valenciaport Foundation “which allows for the implementation of large-scale projects that contribute to positioning Valenciaport as a benchmark in sustainability”.

As a result of the collaboration with EIT Climate-KIC, #SuperLabPorts has been created, a space located in the facilities of Valenciaport designed and thought for innovation and entrepreneurship in the maritime and port sector on climate change. Through this space and in a staggered manner, EIT Climate-KIC will demonstrate how maritime centres can reverse the rapid growth of emissions from shipping and international trade.

Accelerator 2020

In an event like Forinvest, specialized in investment, a space dedicated to startups could not be missing. For this reason, EIT Climate-KIC has led a panel in which the new call for its climate innovation business acceleration programme has been announced. The largest accelerator programme of climate impact companies in Europe offers in Spain a financial support of up to 50,000 euros, training, mentoring and access to a global network of investors, to innovative and high impact projects related to climate change and the circular economy. The deadline for applications is 25 March.

In this space dedicated to the importance of supporting entrepreneurship as a strategy to develop innovation so that we can meet the challenges of society, such as climate change, EIT Climate-KIC wanted to give visibility to 3 companies that have run their program and have become a benchmark of success in their sector.

They are Zeleros, a company working on the development of Hyperloop. According to its CEO, David Pistoni, the creation of this transport system that connects the main European capitals could achieve a reduction of 30 million tons of CO2 emissions per year. Navlandis is the company that has developed Zbox, a folding container that, according to its CEO, Miguel Navalón, reduces the cost of operations by 50%, storage space by 80% and CO2 emissions by 20% in sea transport.

Finally, Adrian Bautista, CEO of Fundeen had the opportunity to present his project in Forinvest, a FinTech platform that allows to invest in environmentally sustainable projects and receive benefits from their investments starting from 500 Euros.

EIT Cross-KIC Spain

Finally, the panel designed by EIT Climate-KIC ended with a round table discussion by EIT Cross-KIC Spain, the Spanish group of Knowledge and Innovation Communities formed by the director in Spain of EIT Digital, Jesús Contreras, the director of EIT Food South Europe, Begoña Pérez, the director of Raw Materials, Lorena Jurado, the director of EIT Manufacturing, Antoni Pijoan and the head of Education at EIT Health Spain, Montse Delgado, under the moderation of the director in Spain of EIT Climate-KIC, José Luis Muñoz.

During the debate, the creation of the community and the transversal work through this pioneer group in Europe to address the challenges of society and bring innovation to the market were highlighted. For those responsible for KICs in Spain, these communities are the seed of what could be the European Silicon Valley.

 
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