Startup Europe Awards

The green transformation of cities and the future of public services the main topics during the webinar “Greencities 4 Fighting Against Climate Change” organised by FYCMA and Finnova

The green transformation of cities and the future of public services the main topics during the webinar “Greencities 4 Fighting Against Climate Change” organised by FYCMA and Finnova

The event promoted the generation of business, opportunities and alliances for a greener approach to the cities of the future

The online event took place on Thursday 13th May on the occasion of International Day of Light

This webinar is the prelude to the Greencities Forum, which will be held in Malaga on 29th and 30th September 2021

Banner of “Greencities 4 Fighting Against Climate Change”, an online event developed within the EU Green Week framework


Brussels, 14.05.2021 – Last Thursday 13th May 2021, on the occasion of International Day of Light, the Trade Fair and Convention Centre of Malaga (FYCMA), organised with the support of Finnova Foundation the webinar Greencities 4 Fighting Against Climate Change, which aligns with one of the 17 SGD of the United Nations, in particular with SDG 11: Sustainable cities and communities.

The main objectives of this meeting, celebrated within the framework of the European Green Week 2021 #EUGreenWeek, were to present the latest developments in the development of smart, sustainable and efficient territories, to provide a space to generate business, to establish alliances promoting innovative ecosystems for the promotion of new industries. Thus, the meeting called for a management model based on green local development supported by sustainable and inclusive aspects and exchanged points of view on the redesign of the municipalities of the future based on the improvement of local public services.

With these challenges on the table, this webinar was attended by Katerina Fortun, policy analyst for adaptation to climate change at the European Commission, Yolanda Benito, director of the environment department of the Centre for Energy, Environmental and Technological Research (CIEMAT), Julio Andrade, director of the National Centre for the Training of Leading Authorities (CIFAL Málaga UNITAR), José Javier García Padernilla, manager of Ditecpesa and Elena Velázquez, technical director of UNEF and technical secretary of Fotoplat.

The CEO of the Finnova Foundation Juan Manuel Revuelta, opened the day by presenting the European project LIFE ECOdigestión 2.0, a system for dosing organic waste in WWTP digesters in order to maximize the production of biogas in the form of renewable energy.

Then, Katerina Fortun highlighted the importance of involving citizens in change through mechanisms such as the European Green Deal: “all together we are “co-creating” a new Europe where the important thing is prosperity, happiness and protecting what we love” .

Juan Viesca encouraged regional and local entities to use a financing service from the European Union to promote sustainable recovery in towns and cities: “A world of possibilities opens up for us to use these resources. Take advantage of them, do not leave a penny that is in Brussels that can help our municipalities to implement these actions ”.

For his part, Julio Andrade appealed to the role of those who have to lead this change: “throughout Europe, managers and leaders must take up this challenge because it will really be the only way to reach the year 2030 by fulfilling those commitments.”

José Javier García Padernilla focused his speech on the importance of reducing consumption as a cornerstone of green recovery: “The value and price of things do not reflect the impact we have on the natural environment.” Also, in his speech, he spoke of the CD-Clean project: Covid-19, a new disinfectant formulationin partnership with the Finnova Foundation, an aqueous and long-acting biocide solution that disinfects public surfaces to counteract the coronavirus.

The variant of self-consumption articulated a large part of Elena Velázquez‘s intervention, who argued that the regulatory changes that have occurred in Spain in recent years, a nearby school or a sports center”.

Also taking part in the discussion were Eugenio Martí, CEO of Graphene Solutions,, Xavier Jorge Cerdá, councillor for personnel, communication, innovation and tourism of Vilamarxant, Regina Monsalve, president of the College of Agricultural Technical Engineers and Graduates of Valencia and Castellón (COITAVC) and María del Carmen García-Peña, managing director of the CIEDES Foundation.

Eugenio Martí, winner of the Waste2Energy Accelerathon, highlighted numerous projects that are being carried out and that can transform cities after the pandemic, such as a COVID-19 detector in the air launched by a university and in whose commercialization they are still working or the regeneration and reuse of air conditioning water in public buildings or bioprotected fabrics for the citizens most exposed to the coronavirus.

From the municipality of Vilamarxant in the Valencian Community, Xavier Jorge Cerdá, councillor for innovation who led the Waste2Energy Startup Europe Accelerathon in this village, assured that Vilamarxant “wants to become the first city council with zero energy expenditure”. With the support of Finnova, Vilamarxant launched the Túria Entrepreneurship and Innovation Centre (CEI Túria) to encourage entrepreneurs and the use of technologies.

In her presentation, Regina Monsalve emphasized the concept of bioprotection and COITAVC’s commitment to using natural infrastructure as a green solution for cities, as is the case with agricultural roads in Valencia: “For us, their use as livestock is absurd, but they would represent a perfect radial system so that all the nearby population centres could reach the capital and the centre through green routes ”.

From Andalusia, María del Carmen García-Peña pointed out that planning and ordering a “roadmap” for green cities is essential for the success of the implementation of lasting actions: “Without that, we can do many projects, but in the end, it will be one way in which we will “patch” the problem and we will not be transforming our development model “.

For her part, Yolanda Benito, although she could not attend the appointment, did not want to miss the opportunity to participate in this session through a video in which she highlighted that one of the challenges of the European Missions is to convert 100 cities in climate neutral. “The European Commission needs to give an approach in which entire systems are modified, and for that it is necessary to involve the majority of actors, people, entities and administrations.”

At the end of the presentations, the attendees had the possibility of interacting in the event through a multiple-choice questionnaire that they answered with the knowledge acquired throughout the webinar.

The webinar “Greencities 4 Fighting Against Climate Change” serves as an online precedent for the urban intelligence and sustainability forum Greencities, an event that will take place at the Trade Fair and Convention Centre of Malaga on 29th and 30th September 2021 with all the necessary anti-COVID security measures.

Did you miss the webinar? You can watch it here.

About Finnova Foundation

Hispano Belga Foundation for the financing of innovation, whose main objectives are to promote public-private cooperation through innovation to address social challenges such as employment, training, entrepreneurship, the United Nations SDGs, the circular economy, etc. In its commitment to innovation, Finnova has organized the Startup Europe Awards since 2016, an initiative of the DG Connect of the European Commission.

Finnova, headquartered in Belgium and Spain, has its own branches in Chile and Panama. In Spain, it is present in the Valencian Community, the Basque Country, Andalusia, the Community of Madrid and the Canary Islands.

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FYCMA (Trade Fair and Convention Centre of Malaga) has established itself as one of the most active trade fair organisers in Southern Europe, specialising in the conceptualisation and development of professional events linked to the field of innovation, digital transformation and knowledge generation. These forums, highly specialised and with an international vocation, share the common goal of attracting talent and investment, while seeking convergence between the capabilities of the Spanish productive and research fabric and providing physical and virtual spaces for generating business, launching disruptive projects, new opportunities and establishing alliances. The venue contributes with them to the positioning of Malaga and Andalusia among the key prescribers of advanced sectors, as well as strengthening the Spain brand in an increasingly digital and connected world.

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About Greencities y S-MOVING

Greencities, Intelligence and Urban Sustainability and S-MOVING, Movilidad Inteligente y Sostenible, Intelligent and Sustainable Mobility, will hold their next editions on 29th and 30th September in person at FYCMA (Trade Fair and Congress Centre of Malaga) converging in a single business and knowledge space, and also providing a comprehensive view of the challenges of the territories and their management through a global concept of sustainability. Thus, positioned as the main national platform on tools, solutions and ideas for the development of smart, sustainable and connected territories, they will address in depth topics such as technology and connectivity as tools against depopulation -smart rural-, the opportunities of smart tourist destinations, collective transport as the axis for sustainable mobility, 5G and connected and autonomous mobility, or the potential of green hydrogen, among others.

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About Startup Europe Awards

It is a methodology of the European Commission’s DG CONNECT, implemented by the Finnova Foundation since 2016. The SEUAs are an open innovation tool for identifying disruptive startups that promotes public-private collaboration and raises awareness of the importance of self-entrepreneurship as a driver of employment. In addition to generating alliances that help to meet the SDGs of the United Nations and the actions of the European Green Deal, thus contributing to the circular economy, the fight against climate change and sustainable tourism.

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About Startup Europe Accelerathon

Startup Europe Accelerathon aims to identify innovative ideas that can be funded by the European Union, such as the LIFE programme, Green Deal, Horizon 2020 or NextGenerationEU. Startup Europe Accelerathon follows the indications of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, contributing from each challenge to the proposed SDGs; in the framework of the Startup Europe Awards methodology of the European Commission’s DG CONNECT, which was born from the DG Research and Development in 2020 with the pan-European campaign Hackthevirus. It has been successfully carried out with governments such as that of the Valencian Community with the challenge of industrial polluting waters or the Andalusian Regional Government with the challenge of the fight against climate change, forest management and innovation in the prevention, fight against fires and regeneration of burnt areas.

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