Startup Europe Awards

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The Oceanográfica project for the creation of green jobs, winner of the Women Startup Europe Awards

The Oceanográfica: Divulgación Educación y Ciencia S.L. project, led by Cristina Fernández Gil, has won the Women Startup Europe Awards, in a competition in which numerous innovation projects carried out by women were presented. The awards ceremony was held on 11 November at the closing ceremony of the Women Impact Summit, part of the Afrimac 2 project.

This project, inspired by the initiative of Wangari Mataii in Kenya, promotes the creation of green jobs favouring the rural economy. Its main objective is the implementation of pilot examples of green areas managed by citizens in some residential neighbourhoods of the Canary Islands, as an example of a change of model in municipal planning and management.

The aim is to promote a culture of care for nature and people by transforming abandoned and degraded spaces into green areas planted and managed by citizens, to support the social demand to live in an environment that is greener, more sustainable, healthier and more resilient to change.

Currently, as Fernandez Gil tells us, “The island and the municipality are facing great environmental and humanitarian challenges in which we must weave new social networks and recover environmental health to overcome the constant changes and crises that are coming and are expected to come. We need to strengthen the resilience of society and the environment for which we must work in coordination with administrations, technicians and citizens.”

For this, Oceanográfica aims to improve the governance of citizens by helping to change their immediate environment, promoting awareness and generating social fabric to improve the environmental and social resilience of neighbourhoods, and the creation of green spaces on an island that lacks them in urban and school environments.

Oceanográfica will be the project that will receive the prize worth €5,000, as well as all the training and dissemination of its project, promoting the development and further development of the project.

Congratulations Cristina!

Video of Oceanográfica’s presentation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J8bblKQ2DKM

About Woman Impact Summit (WIS)

Woman Impact Summit (www.womanimpactsummit.com) is an international initiative within the AFRIMAC 2 project to share different ways of addressing economic opportunities, visibility and access for women of all backgrounds, with participants, regional leaders, entrepreneurs and businesswomen working on special initiatives for women on both sides of the Atlantic.

About AFRIMAC 2

AFRIMAC 2 (www.afrimac.org) is a programme for business, technological, entrepreneurial and innovative exchange in areas of high economic impact between the Canary Islands and West Africa. The main objective is to improve the internationalisation of companies in the cooperation area through the creation of networks and the generation of a knowledge environment with a gender focus.

About Women For Tech

Women For Tech is the Finnova Foundation‘s initiative to support innovation, disruptive projects and public-private partnerships for women. They support different projects such as Finnova-Technovation Girls Challenges to promote STEAM careers in young people or projects to promote female entrepreneurship.

About Finnova Foundation

Finnova is a foundation working for the promotion and development of innovation and entrepreneurship at EU level. Based in Brussels, it operates through collaborations and partnerships in all EU countries. Finnova’s experience in leading European project communication and dissemination activities is combined with a strong proven track record in start-ups and business support programmes, such as accelerators, incubators and selection and award ceremonial events.

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Womenfortech participed in a roundtable meeting at the “Women Impact Summit” where the speakers talked about entrepreneurship and female leadership

  • Natalia Cediel, Sara Mba Costa and Lola Bordás were the participants in this roundtable.
  • The meeting focused on the current state of women’s leadership, entrepreneurship and the need for role models in the business sector.

Fuerteventura, 11.11.2022. From the 7th to 11th of November, the “Women Impact Summit” took place, with the participation of the Interreg Afrimac 2 project, which also participates in the “Women StartUp Europe Awards – Special Edition Fuerteventura”, an initiative organised by Finnova. The online event has hosted five days of presentations, lectures, training, panels and networking opportunities.

The conference aimed to share knowledge on how to address the economic opportunities and initiatives offered by government institutions, private organisations and regional leaders that focus on women. To this end, the conference organisers considered the need for women from all over the world to participate in the conference. Executives, businesswomen, companies and institutions have come together to seek new proposals and approaches to reduce the gap that still exists in business leadership and entrepreneurship.

Lola Bordás, CMO of Finnova Foundation and head of “Womenfortech in the area of entrepreneurship and female empowerment of Finnova, has been responsible for moderating one of the roundtables that have been organized”. Natalia Cediel and Sara Mba Costa participated in it. Bordás’s experience in the world of communication and entrepreneurship has allowed her to lead this meeting and contribute her experience to the participants. She decided to become involved and participate in women’s entrepreneurship projects following her decision to create her project. There she became aware of the latent need for women to be able to count on support and the necessary impulse to be able to materialise their business ideas, and that is how “Womenfortech” was born. In addition, Bordás also has an association called “Fundadoras”, from where she offers advice to women entrepreneurs.

The roundtable event focused on three main axes: the Gender Equality Strategy 2025, which aims to eliminate gender gaps and achieve equal participation in different jobs; the second axis was the current state of female entrepreneurship and the gap that still exists between genders; and finally, STEAM subjects were discussed and the differences that still exist in the sector and the existence of female referents in it.

The participants of the panel discussion were: Natalia Cediel, who has an international academic education with studies in different universities of different countries, and with work experience in the European Commission as a member of Josep Borrell’s office and in other European organisations such as Finnova, where she held the position of Communication and International Cooperation Officer; and the second participant was Sara Mba Costa, current Project Manager and Senior Key Account Manager at Grupo Martínez Abolafio, and with three university master’s degrees and her experience in the business and diplomatic world, she is currently in charge of managing the portfolio of suppliers in the retail, wholesale and tourism channels, executing strategic actions for the evolution of sales and creating action plans to acquire new market shares in Africa.

As Natalia affirmed, the European institutions are currently promoting numerous projects that focus on women, and female entrepreneurship is also one of the priorities for the European Union.

Always bearing in mind the “organic references”, which are family, friends and the closest environment, who often, even if they do not work in this field, can be a very important source of inspiration, the lack of women leaders must be highlighted. There are more and more of them, but there is still a long way to go.

Sara, for her part, wanted to be a leader in the supply chain sector. She could not find mentors, so she decided to become one herself, and went into the diplomatic world to create opportunities in the sector for other people like herself.

Sara said that “at the international level, there are now more women in leadership positions and from an African women’s perspective, the gap is closing, but there is still work to be done”.

It is very important to acquire the skills necessary to perform certain jobs. This is an aspect that the European Union considers indispensable, as the “European Year of Skills” will be celebrated in 2023. In terms of academic training, it is necessary to keep up with the constant retraining that is necessary in the sector. Interpersonal skills are also crucial. Women, as Sara said, “tend to have more submissive profiles due to the social structure in which we find ourselves, but in private they have brilliant ideas and solutions”, hence the need to acquire these skills from an early stage.

Natalia added the need for “self-knowledge” to reach positions of responsibility. She conducted research with women from different countries and concluded that it is important to know oneself and the environment around us, including the natural environment. Sustainability is fundamental in the international business arena. Women entrepreneurs are putting social and environmental issues first in their projects. However, this brings with it more obstacles: the unconventionality of their businesses and what this entails, such as the difficulty of finding funding.

In short, we must continue to make progress on the milestones achieved in women’s leadership, and continue to support women in the search for resources to carry out their projects because they are more inclusive, more empowered leaders with more empathetic relationships.

Event participants from left to right: Natalia Cediel, Sara Mba and Lola Bordás

About SEUA

The Startup Europe Awards (SEUA) is an initiative driven by the European Commission, supported by the Committee of the Regions and the European Parliament and implemented by the Finnova Foundation in collaboration with StartUp Europe. It is an open innovation tool that allows companies to identify talented startups capable of solving today’s challenges in multiple areas. Its mission is to help Startups and Scaleups become more efficient, smarter and more successful. These awards are a useful tool to promote knowledge sharing, add value to the entrepreneurial ecosystem and help startups to grow and position themselves in the market.

About AFRIMAC 2

AFRIMAC 2 (www.afrimac.org) is a program for business, technological, entrepreneurial and innovative exchange in areas of high economic impact between the Canary Islands and West Africa. The main objective is to improve the internationalisation of companies in the cooperation area through the creation of networks and the generation of a knowledge environment with a gender focus.

About Woman Impact Summit (WIS)

Woman Impact Summit (www.womanimpactsummit.com) is an international initiative that aims to exchange ideas to address economic opportunities generated by government institutions, private sectors and regional leaders working on women-focused initiatives.

Woman Impact Summit is possible thanks to the collaboration of the organisers and sponsors: PROEXCA, the Government of the Canary Islands, Africa’s house, Town hall of Fuerteventura, Heroikka, the US Embassy in Spain, and Afissio.

Sobre Womenfortech

Women For Tech is the Finnova Foundation’s initiative to support innovation, disruptive projects and public-private partnerships for women. They support different projects such as Finnova-Technovation Girls Challenges to promote STEAM careers in young people or projects to promote female entrepreneurship.

About Finnova

Finnova Foundation is a foundation working for the promotion and development of innovation and entrepreneurship at the EU level. Based in Brussels, it operates through collaborations and partnerships in all EU countries. Finnova’s expertise in leading European project communication and dissemination activities is combined with a strong proven track record in start-ups and business support programs, such as accelerators, incubators and selection and award ceremonial events.

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Woman Startup Europe Awards, Fuerteventura Special Edition

The days 8th, 9th and 11th of November, it is celebrating the event “Woman Startup Europe Awards, Fuerteventura Special Edition”. This awards which seeks to reward the best innovation projects in the field of female entrepreneurship are an initiative by the city council of Fuerteventura and Finnova Foundation, in the framework of the StartUp Europe Awards, endorsed by the European Commission.

In these days there will be two modalities in which interested women can participate in the event that is framed in AFRIMAC 2 (MAC/2.3d/296), co-financed by the Operational Programme for Territorial Cooperation INTERREG MAC 2014-2020. The first of the modalities, AFRIMAC – 100 Women, will be held on the 8th and 9th, with the collaboration of women for tech and the accelerator Startup Europe Accelerator.

In this modality, women participants of the Training Programme for Women Entrepreneurs from Senegal, Mauritania, Cape Verde and Fuerteventura will have the opportunity to present their project or innovative idea on leadership and business management. From them, one of the six finalists will be selected and will go on to the final that will take place on the 11th at the Women Impact Summit.

The second and last modality will take place on 11th of November: the Women Impact Summit. This modality is dedicated to women from all over Europe who want to participate and share their project, in any of its phases. In this final, the winner of the final AFRIMAC – 100 Women and the winner of the Women Startup Europe Awards will be announced.

There will be an international jury, composed by:

  • Ambassador Sena Siaw-Boateng, Ambassador of Ghana in Belgium and the Kingdom of Luxembourg.
  • Bouchra Al Mehraj, entrepreneur.
  • Katy Martínez, President of Martínez Hermanos Foundation.
  • Lina Gálvez, Member of the European Parliament.
  • Émilie Lubukayi, Strategic & Business manager of W.E.E Consulting.
  • Rosa Martín, from “Nos Movemos” Foundation.

This jury will evaluate each proposal, and will name a winner who will receive a prize valued at €5,000, with mentoring and training by experts in the field for the winning project, as well as publicity in different mass media.

About SEUA

The Startup Europe Awards (SEUA) is an initiative driven by the European Commission, supported by the Committee of the Regions and the European Parliament and implemented by the Finnova Foundation in collaboration with StartUp Europe. It is an open innovation tool that allows companies to identify talented startups capable of solving today’s challenges in multiple areas. Its mission is to help Startups and Scaleups become more efficient, smarter and more successful. These awards are a useful tool to promote knowledge sharing, add value to the entrepreneurial ecosystem and help startups to grow and position themselves in the market.

About AFRIMAC 2

AFRIMAC 2 (www.afrimac.org) is a programme for business, technological, entrepreneurial and innovative exchange in areas of high economic impact between the Canary Islands and West Africa. The main objective is to improve the internationalisation of companies in the cooperation area through the creation of networks and the generation of a knowledge environment with a gender focus.

About Woman Impact Summit (WIS)

The Woman Impact Summit (www.womanimpactsummit.com) is an international initiative within the AFRIMAC 2 project to share different ways of addressing economic opportunities, visibility and access for women of all backgrounds, with participants, regional leaders, entrepreneurs and businesswomen working on special initiatives for women on both sides of the Atlantic.

About Women for Tech

Women For Tech is the Finnova Foundation’s initiative to support innovation, disruptive projects and public-private partnerships for women. They support various projects such as Finnova-Technovation Girls Challenges to promote STEAM careers in young people or projects to promote female entrepreneurship.

About Finnova Foundation

Finnova is a foundation working for the promotion and development of innovation and entrepreneurship at EU level. Based in Brussels, it operates through collaborations and partnerships in all EU countries. Finnova’s expertise in leading European project communication and dissemination activities is combined with a strong proven track record in start-ups and business support programmes, such as accelerators, incubators and selection and award ceremonial events.

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CirCoAx by CircularInnoBooster, best practice example at the conference on Sustainability and Circular Economy in the textile sector held in Lithuania

  • The Lithuanian Minister of Environment Simonas Gentvilas, representatives of Eurotex and professors from the universities of Kaunas, Piedmont and Veneto presented the main barriers that the textile sector must face to combat climate change
  • Partner Finnova presented the CirCoAX by CircularInnoBooster and Adelante Ventana 2 projects and multiple European funding tools to develop sustainable innovations in the sector

The EU4Bussines textile consortium together with Eurochambres held a hybrid conference on Thursday 6 October in Kaunas, Lithuania, which was attended by leading experts in this area where they presented the main points to combat and proposals and projects to address these issues. Among the speakers, the presence of the partner Finnova Foundation and its general director, Juan Manuel Revuelta, who presented the CirCoAX by CircularInnoBooster project co-financed by the European Commission under the COSME programme, its extensions at European level with the Nextextilegeneration initiative and in Latin America with the Adelante Ventana 2 initiative.

CirCoAX by CircularInnoBooster was an example of good practice in this conference, which was celebrating its sixth edition. This year, the Lithuanian Minister of the Environment, Simonas Gentvilas, European entities active in the sector such as Eurotex, and professors from the universities of Kaunas, Piemonte and Veneto met to discuss sustainability and circular economy in the textile sector. The Spanish-Belgian foundation Finnova added value with the presentation of its initiatives Nextextilegeneration, a platform that gives visibility to the 4 COSME projects that share the same objective of transforming fashion and textiles, and Adelante Ventana 2, an initiative that, together with the Chamber of Commerce of Bogotá and the Sustainable Fashion Cluster of Peru, aims to promote sustainability in the fashion sector for its internationalisation, through a programme of cooperation activities.

In addition to sharing the good practices and vision of alliances created with this European fashion and textile project, Revuelta also highlighted the importance of the European Union’s financial tools to achieve the necessary transformation of this highly polluting sector. Among others, he mentioned the NextGenerationEU funds which, with 2,018 trillion euros, is the largest economic recovery plan in history, 12 times the Marshall Plan. He also highlighted the LIFE ENVIRONMENT programme, a tool aimed at innovation in climate change mitigation and adaptation with a total budget of 5.4 billion euros for this 2021-2027 framework.  

Revuelta’s intervention highlighted a holistic approach to European political and financial strategies. In this sense, the director of Finnova took up the New European Bauhaus to highlight that projects such as CirCoAX by CircularInnoBooster and its 30 accelerated entities will be supported under this programme. He therefore invited those present to take advantage of financial tools and create projects together. “Some, such as INTERREG, which allow the exchange of good practices and cooperation, or, in view of 2023, which will be the European year of skills and competences, the ERASMUS programme, can boost training in digitisation in the sector,” he concluded.

About COSME   

COSME is the Competitiveness of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises programme of the European Commission’s Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME).  

Through this programme, assistance is provided to SMEs to help them develop their business models, access finance, and internationalise. It also supports public administrations in improving the business environment and facilitating economic growth in the European Union. During the 2014-2020 funding period, this programme earmarked €2.3 billion to support SMEs. 

About Finnova  

Finnova is a foundation working for the promotion and development of innovation and entrepreneurship at EU level. Based in Brussels, it operates through collaborations and partnerships in all EU countries. Finnova’s expertise in leading European project communication and dissemination activities is combined with a strong proven track record in start-ups and business support programmes, such as accelerators, incubators and ceremonial event selection and awarding.  

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Cimico, URBIM DT, Scoobic Urban Mobility y Washa Logistics SL, winners of the Greencities & S-Moving StartUp Europe Awards

  • The startups provide innovative solutions to the challenges of the ecological transition in cities. Furthermore, they are committed to the sustainable and smart transformation of cities, innovative entrepreneurship in the field of the circular economy, energy efficiency and the fight against climate change.
  • The awards were given at an event held within the framework of             S-Moving and Greencities held at FYCMA.

The startups Cimico, URBIM DT, Scoobic Urban Mobility and Washa Logistics SL have won the “Greencities & S-Moving StartUp Europe Awards” in the Municipal Waste to Energy, Greencities & New Bauhaus, S-Moving and Last Mille and Digital S-Moving Startup categories, respectively. The winners will benefit, among others, from a mentoring programme to access European funds.

The prizes were awarded at the “Palacio de Ferias y Congresos de Málaga” (FYCMA) within the framework of the S-Moving and Greencities conference. In addition to the winners, the event was attended by some of the members of the jury, such as Carmen Alonso, Councilor for Mobility of the Fuerteventura Island Council together with Carlos David Gutiérrez (technical advisor), Massimiliano Dragoni, Senior Policy Officer at European Commission, Ainara Renteria Tazo, Head Automotive and Mobility sector at Gómez-Acebo & Pombo and Alberto Moreno, Managing Director of T-Box Delivery, 

The jury, made up of representatives from the European Institute of Innovation & Technology (EIT) of the European Commission; the Finnova Foundation; Málaga TechPark; Diario Sur; the European PropTech Association; the Junta de Andalucía; the Consejería de Transformación Económica, Industria, Conocimiento y Universidades (Regional Ministry of Economic Transformation, Industry, Knowledge and Universities); Andalucía Conectada; the University of Málaga; and the Málaga city council, has highly valued the applications received and has highlighted the difficulty in selecting the best projects presented in this edition. All of them come from startups and technologically advanced companies in the environmental sector. They also have innovative capacity at local, regional, national, and international level and are looking for pilot cities where they can apply their ingenuity. “We have evaluated the proposals submitted based on the social and environmental impact of the project, innovation and use of disruptive technologies, internationalisation and long-term objectives,” explained Dragoni. 

Winners

Inés Larrea Villanueva, CEO of CIMICO, received the award in the Municipal Waste to Energy category. Her project, Mapyfa, achieves a double objective, greatly facilitating the generation of biogas and drastically reducing (80%) the energy consumption of the biological process of wastewater treatment plants. In this way, it doubly reduces the impact on the environment and their operating costs.

In the Greencities & New Bauhaus category, María Pascual Sáez, General Manager Urbim DT, collected the award. The winning project aims to contribute to the understanding of data and its relationship with space as a means to design better buildings, infrastructures and communities for a sustainable and ethical planet. In short, to help asset managers make their communities more efficient and healthier.

José María Gómez Márquez, CEO of Scoobic Urban Mobility, received the award in the S-Moving category with a project for three-wheeled vehicles capable of transporting large loads, with zero emissions and helping logistics to become profitable again.  

Finally, in the Last Mile and Digital S-Moving Startup category, Edgar Chandre Armengol, CEO of Washa Logistics SL, received the award for his project of urban warehouses and light electric vehicles, which solve problems in deliveries to the Horeca and food retail channel. Thus, helping to reduce emissions and congestion in cities.

The four winning applications will benefit from a training and mentoring programme by Startup Europe Accelerator to access European funds (LIFE, EIT, among others), legal advice, networking and international communication, in particular.

Promoting sustainable entrepreneurship

The Startup Europe Awards are an initiative promoted by the European Commission and implemented by the Finnova Foundation in collaboration with Startup Europe Accelerator. Startup Europe Awards (SEUA) is the open innovation methodology of public-private collaboration that was created in 2016 and promotes the identification of innovative solutions by entrepreneurs to SDG and EU challenges. The process fosters collaboration between the different actors in the entrepreneurial ecosystem and aims to accelerate companies through the tools and mechanisms offered by the EU. These tools and mechanisms are networking and access to investors, training in EU legislation and funds, and mentoring to turn the idea into a real demonstration project such as Horizon Europe or Life, subsidised by the EU with up to €5 million per project.

The aim of the Greencities & S-Moving Startup Europe Awards is to promote sustainable entrepreneurship in the field of circular economy, sustainability, mobility and the fight against Climate Change in an urban environment. 

The Greencities & S-Moving Startup Europe Awards had 4 categories:

  • Municipal Waste To Energy: best startup with a project in waste management for energy production such as biogas, green hydrogen (pyrolysis, thermocracking, etc) excluding incineration.
  • Greencities and la Nueva Bauhaus: best startup with a project that responds to the phenomenon of heat islands in cities with disruptive solutions that redesign the green use of the fifth façade and verticals. 
  • S-Moving: best startup that addresses the challenges of decarbonised and more efficient mobility in cities. 
  • Last Mile and Digital S-Moving Startup: best startup with a digital project that helps the development of a smart city. 

About the Finnova Foundation Finnova is the European foundation, of Spanish-Belgian origin, that helps finance innovation and seeks to promote public-private cooperation through the transfer of the best available low-cost technological solutions. Its aim is to address social challenges such as employment, entrepreneurship, the UN SDGs, the circular economy, waste recovery, sustainable tourism, and the fight against climate change. It is present in Spain in the Valencian Community, the Basque Country, Andalusia, the Community of Madrid, Extremadura, and the Canary Islands, where it promotes green jobs, economic recovery, training, and youth employment.

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Malaga embraces a sustainable future with LIFE ECODIGESTION 2.0

  • Fycma hosts the event ‘Innovation for an energy transition in sustainable cities’ organized by Finnova in the framework of Greencities and S-Moving
  • The event was held during the European Sustainable Development Week and the European Sustainable Energy Week

On 21 September 2022, within the framework of Greencities and S-Moving, Fycma, Palacio de Ferias y Congresos de Málaga, hosted the event “Innovation for an energy transmission in sustainable cities”, organized by Finnova. The LIFE ECODIGESTION 2.0 project, led by the company Global Omnium and whose partners are Finnova and Águas do Centro Litoral, was the protagonist of this event in which key issues for the future of the European Union in terms of environment were discussed.

The event took place during the European Sustainable Development Week and the European Sustainable Energy Week, and featured two panels, one focused on the LIFE ECODIGESTION 2.0 project and the other on sustainable mobility and smart cities.

Natalia Cediel, Communication and Institutional Relations Officer at Finnova, was in charge of opening and moderating the event. Cediel focused her speech on the Sustainable Development Goals set by the UN. During her speech, she also explained the REPowerEU Plan, created by the European Commission in May 2022, to respond to the difficulties in the energy market caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. “In this way, the European Union seeks to find sustainable, safe and, above all, affordable energy for citizens,’ Cediel stressed.

Juanma Revuelta, CEO of Finnova, explained the main milestones of the LIFE ECODIGESTION 2.0 project whose main objective is the scaling up of the technology for on-demand biogas production with WWTP sludge, using agri-food waste and slurry as co-substrate. “The innovative biogas-on-demand technology contributes to energy efficiency. In this way, the smallest possible amount of energy resources is used,” Revuelta said.

Lola Bordás, Marketing Officer of Finnova and president of Fundadoras, was in charge of talking about digitalization, female entrepreneurship and energy transition. “Three keys to the energy transition that the European Union seeks to experience, aiming at the digitization of all services to make it easier and faster to access them and that cannot leave women behind during this change”, she concluded. For her part, Inés Larrea, manager of Cimico, discussed the technical development of her project in biotechnology and the innovative treatment of wastewater.

Sustainable mobility and smart cities

The second block was opened by Alberto Moreno, CEO of T-box Delivery&Solutions, who stressed that “entrepreneurship for a sustainable future means stopping obsessing about algorithms and dreaming of unicorns” in an attempt to bring entrepreneurs back to the real world and forget about their presence on the internet.

Carlos David Gutiérrez, coordinator of the Fuerteventura Smart Island, coordinator of AFRIMAC and professor at the National University of Distance Education (UNED) presented his Fuerteventura Smart Island project, which he described as a “case of success and good practice”. “This initiative, chosen within the 1st Call for Smart Islands, seeks to turn the island into a smarter territory thanks to new technologies,” he explained.

Thereafter, Jesús Cumplido, Technician of the Andalusian Entrepreneurship Centres (CADE) of Málaga, in charge of subsidizing women’s businesses, helping innovative companies and the creation of new products, among other incentives, took the floor. Carmen Alonso Saavedra, Councillor for Transport, Communications, Accessibility and Mobility of the Fuerteventura Island Council, was in charge of closing the event, highlighting the potential of her territory to capture innovation and implement projects in the field of sustainable mobility.

About Greencities and S-Moving

Greencities, Intelligence and Urban Sustainability, and S-Moving, Intelligent and Sustainable Mobility is a national and international reference forum on sustainability, urban management and intelligent mobility. It is a space for the dissemination of research, experiences, success stories and analysis. In the 2022 edition, more than 250 international experts, 200 companies from around thirty countries and 2,500 total attendees will participate to share knowledge and opportunities for a more sustainable and digitized urban management.

About LIFE ECODIGESTION 2.0

The LIFE ECOdigestion 2.0 project presents a digital automatic control system for the dosing of organic waste in anaerobic digesters of WWTP (Waste Water Treatment Plant) to maximize the production of biogas on demand as renewable energy. This project has a budget of more than 970,000 euros. The pilot project, which has a duration of four years (2020-2024), is led by Global Omnium Medioambiente (Spain) and has as partners the Finnovaregio Foundation (Belgium) and Águas do Centro Litoral (Portugal). The production of biogas to cover energy demand and reduce the amount of waste in landfill contributes to compliance with the European Landfill Directive.

About the Finnova Foundation

Finnova is the European foundation for financing innovation that seeks to promote public-private cooperation through the transfer of the best available low-cost technological solutions. It aims to address societal challenges such as employment, entrepreneurship, the UN SDGs, the circular economy, waste recovery, sustainable tourism and the fight against climate change. The Finnova Foundation promotes green jobs, economic recovery and training and youth employment.

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LIFE ECODIGESTION 2.0 will be presented at the FYCMA Greencities and S-Moving forum in Málaga

On next Wednesday 21st September at 11:00 CEST, the event “Innovación para una transición energética en ciudades sostenibles” (“Innovation for an energy transition in sustainable cities”) will take place in the framework of the European Sustainable Development Week and the European Sustainable Energy Week. The event will take place at the Greencities & S- moving in Fycma — Palacio de Ferias y Congresos de Málaga­ — and virtually to present projects, institutions and experts committed to the energy transition in sustainable cities.

Likewise, during this place, topics related to renewable energies generated by circular economy processes and the use of energy and biofuels in mobility will be discussed. As a success case, the European Project LIFE ECODIGESTION 2.0 will expound the importance of energy efficiency in this transition.

Every year the S-moving and Greencities forum brings together companies, professionals, institutions, cities and public administrations and all the agents involved in the construction of sustainable and smart cities and mobility. In 2022, more than 300 companies and organisations will be present, proposing and exposing the tools that will transform the territories of the present and future. In this sense, the partner of the European Project LIFE ECODIGESTION, 2.0 Finnova Foundation, is organising a parallel event in which it will highlight the fundamental role of an energy source, such as biogas, to achieve urban sustainability.

Speakers from the public and private sectors will meet with LIFE ECODIGESTION 2.0, reaffirming their commitment to innovation at a time when the REPowerEU strategy is urgently needed.  The LIFE ECODIGESTION 2.0 system for on-demand production of biogas from organic waste not only aims to save energy and accelerate the use of renewables, but also to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 24,343 tonnes.

To attend the event virtually and free of charge, those interested must register in the following form before the date of the event. Face-to-face attendance is for those participants who have access to the S-moving and Greencities forum.

About Greencities and S-moving

Greencities, Intelligence and Urban Sustainability, and S-moving, Intelligent and Sustainable Mobility is a national and international reference forum on sustainability, urban management, and intelligent mobility. It is a space for the dissemination of research, experiences, success cases and analysis. In the 2022 edition, more than 250 international experts, 200 companies from around thirty countries and 2,500 total attendees will participate to share knowledge and opportunities for a more sustainable and digitized urban management.

About LIFE ECODIGESTION 2.0

The LIFE ECOdigestion 2.0 project presents a digital automatic control system for the dosing of organic waste in anaerobic digesters of WWTP (Wastewater Treatment Plant) to maximise the production of biogas on demand as renewable energy. This project, which has a duration of four years (2020-2024), is led by Global OMnium Medioambiente (Spain) and has as partners Finnovariego Foundation (Belgium) and Águas do Centro Litoral (Portugal). The production of biogas to cover energy demand and reduce the amount of waste in landfill contributes to compliance with the European Landfill Directive.

About Finnova Foundation

Finnova is the European foundation for financing innovation that seeks to promote public-private cooperation through the transfer of the best available low-cost technological solutions. It aims to address societal challenges such as employment, entrepreneurship, the UN SDGs, the circular economy waste recovery, sustainable tourism, and the fight against climate change. Finnova Foundation promotes green jobs, economic recovery and training and youth employment.

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The Finnova Foundation and the Ghanaian Embassy in Belgium renew their commitment to collaborate on entrepreneurship, innovation and European funds

  • Finnova Foundation, ambassadors of the Afrimac 2 project, visits the Ghanaian Embassy in Belgium 
  • The Embassy of Ghana presents its priorities for the new term of office
  • EntreNaranjos International School was present at the meeting to reinforce the importance of encouraging STEM careers in girls
Maame Abena Gyamerah, First Secretary for Diaspora and Economic Affairs; Harriet Sena Siaw-Boateng, H.E. Ambassador of Ghana to Belgium; Juan Manuel Revuelta, CEO Finnova and Senior Advisor Next Generation EU Economic Diplomacy at the Diplomatic World Institute; Yasmine Horta Rodrigues, Junior International Cooperation in Africa at Finnova; Natalia Cediel Contreras, Coordinator of the International Cooperation Department at Finnova; Celia Arroyo, Junior International Cooperation and Female Entrepreneurship; and Rafael Arias Guardiola, Co-Director of Entrenaranjos International School.

In the framework of the Afrimac 2 project, of which the Finnova Foundation is ambassador from Brussels, and in view of the next Afrimac 3 call, the Finnova international cooperation team and the Ghanaian diplomatic corps met at the premises of the Ghanaian Embassy in Belgium. In addition to presenting the activities in which the embassy can participate in Afrimac to promote female entrepreneurship, the different projects of the foundation in the fields of energy, circular economy, agriculture, tourism, fire fighting and prevention, and the Girls4Tech and Women4Tech platforms have been put on the table.

“Innovation and the involvement of women and girls in this process are currently among the topics of greatest interest to the embassy,” said Ambassador Harriet Sena Siaw-Boateng. “The project launched by Finnova and Rafael Arias Guardiola, Co-director of Entrenaranjos International School, which promotes STEM education for girls is certainly of great interest to us” she said.

During the meeting, the Finnova Foundation expressed its commitment to the new generations in this European Year of Youth. In this sense, it made a commitment to the embassy to carry out international mobility programmes from which young people who want to learn about the world of European funds and projects can benefit. In the same line, Juan Manuel Revuelta, CEO of Finnova and Senior Advisor Next Generation EU Economic Diplomacy of the Diplomatic World Institute, offered his practical knowledge of European funding to the Ghanaian institution and entrepreneurs.

New projects

An important phase for the Finnova Foundation and its cooperation with Ghana has begun again in 2022. Last year, the Spanish-Belgian foundation launched the NextGhanaGeneration collaborative platform, and this year it aims to further strengthen the ties and affinities it has with the African country.

Thus, after this meeting, the Embassy of Ghana and Finnova are preparing to undertake new projects and collaborate on those they are currently working on. The future call for Interreg MAC 2023, events and initiatives within the current Afrimac 2, youth mobility programmes, the promotion of STEM careers in girls, European projects, open innovation initiatives such as Startup Europe Awards and communication on online platforms such as NextGhanaGeneration, are some of the topics that will be developed in the coming months. 

Yasmine Horta Rodrigues, Junior International Cooperation in Africa at Finnova; Maame Abena Gyamerah, First Secretary for Diaspora and Economic Affairs; Harriet Sena Siaw-Boateng, H.E. Ambassador of Ghana to Belgium; Juan Manuel Revuelta, CEO Finnova and Senior Advisor Next Generation EU Economic Diplomacy at the Diplomatic World Institute; Natalia Cediel Contreras, coordinator of the international cooperation department at Finnova; Celia Arroyo, junior international cooperation and female entrepreneurship; and Rafael Arias Guardiola, co-director of Entrenaranjos International School.

About the Embassy of Ghana in Belgium:

The Ghana Mission in Brussels is accredited to the Kingdom of Belgium, The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and the European Union and is responsible for the coordination, promotion and protection of the national interest of Ghana and Ghanaians in the host countries in a manner as to meaningfully contribute to the enhancement of the country’s security and socio-economic development. The Mission provides an efficient one-stop reference for general information on Ghana for the effective promotion of trade, investment and tourism.

About Finnova Foundation :

Finnova is the European foundation for financing innovation that seeks to promote public-private cooperation through the transfer of the best available low-cost technological solutions. It aims to address societal challenges such as employment, entrepreneurship, the UN SDGs, the circular economy, waste recovery, sustainable tourism and the fight against climate change. The Finnova Foundation promotes green jobs, economic revival and training and youth employment.

About Afrimac 2:

AFRIMAC 2 is a programme for business, technological, entrepreneurial and innovative exchange in matters of high economic impact between the Canary Islands and West Africa. The main objective is to improve the internationalisation of companies in the cooperation area through the creation of networks and the generation of a knowledge environment with a gender focus.

About Entrenaranjos International School:

Educational institution in Valencia (Spain) that focuses on the cultivation of universal values and the formation of autonomous learning based on study habits and cooperation.

About Diplomatic World Institute:

Sister organization of the Diplomatic World Group (Magazine). The Institute acts as an interface between industries, societies and administrations by creating sustainable partnerships and forums with specific focus on hot-topic global issues such as the development of Africa, creating cultural conditions conducive to understanding, innovation or global transition. The creation and maintaining of a special economic zone with strong free trade and direct investment connections, is of prime concern to the institute. All actions of the Institute have the ultimate goal making an active contribution to protecting worldwide peace and prosperity. The global exchange of cultural and economic goods prevents armed conflicts and increases personal and social wealth. Therefore, the Diplomatic World Institute – among others – acts in close cooperation with FEMOZA – The World Free & Special Economic Zones Federation.

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The Finnova Foundation and the Afrimac Project visit African institutions that promote female entrepreneurship on the continent

The search of alliances for the ongoing project and the third call in 2023 were the objectives of these visits made in commemoration of Africa’s Women’s Day.

  • AFRIMAC 2 has been spread among African organizations for the development of future activities
  • The Finnova Foundation, set to cooperate with other working entities on the Afrimac Project.

Brussels, 08.08.2022. Fuerteventura’s Government Representative and AFRIMAC 2 Project Coordinator, Carlos D. Gutiérrez, paid a visit to the European capital in order to scout potential alliances in upcoming activities and calls. This is a project 85% co-financed by the European Union through the Interreg MAC program (Madeira – Açores – Canarias) that aims to enhance the internationalization of companies within the frame of cooperation between the Canary Islands and Western Africa, relying on exchanges and knowledge generation with a gender approach. By the agency of the Finnova Foundation team in Brussels and its General Director, Juanma Revuelta, synergies have been built with the Ivory Coast Embassy and two organizations committed to female entrepreneurship.

The AFRIMAC 2 project puts the focus on activities aimed at female entrepreneurship in the Canary Islands, Cape Verde and Senegal, adding up a great interest to the collaboration with organizations committed to this cause. On the one hand, training and support for women has been the focus of discussions with Emilie Lubukay, head of Women Entrepreneur Excellence. On the other hand, the spaces that offer the necessary tools to empower women have been the reasons to meet with Bouchra Al Mehraj, entrepreneur and founder of the non-profit organization The Urban Women. Both entities have valued the importance of these projects and have stated their interest in taking part in the initiatives of AFRIMAC 2 and other future calls.

Carlos D. Gutierres, AFRIMAC 2 Project Coordinator and Fuerteventura’s Government Technician; Natalia Cediel, European Projects Communication Officer and Finnova’s International Relations Department Coordinator; Emilie Lubukay, head of Women Entrepreneur Excellence and Yasmin Horta Rodrigues, Junior Cooperation Projects Officer for Africa at Finnova;

Natalia Cediel, European Projects Communication Officer and  Finnova’s International Relations Department Coordinator; Yasmin Horta Rodrigues, Junior Cooperation Projects Officer for Africa at Finnova; Bouchra Al Mehraj, Founder of the non-profit organization The Urban Women and Carlos D. Gutierres, AFRIMAC 2 Project Coordinator and Fuerteventura’s Government Technician.

AFRIMAC 2 Awards and Iniciatives

Meetings with the various associations in Brussels have served to motivate by sharing experiences, messages on female entrepreneurship and knowledge covering this year’s second semester initiatives. The representatives of AFRIMAC 2, in collaboration with the Finnova Foundation, will launch the European contest Fuerteventura Women Startup Europe Awards within the framework of the Starup Europe Awards initiative implemented by the Finnova Foundation and promoted by the DG CONNECT of the European Commission.

Likewise, next October will be welcoming the 100 women to change West Africa event, to be held in a hybrid format in Fuerteventura in order to celebrate the semifinal of this European competition. The objective will be to promote the participation of women from the Canary Islands, Senegal and Cape Verde, giving acknowledgment and visibility to their ideas and projects. To close with a final flourish, the final ceremony of these awards will take place virtually in November within the framework of the Women Impact Summit, one of the largest international gatherings for women.

Upcoming Calls for AFRIMAC 2

To ensure the continuity of AFRIMAC, knowledge and plans have been shared with the diplomatic corps from the Ivory Coast Embassy in Brussels. It is important to highlight that this is one of the four countries that will benefit from the European funding program for next year’s call.

Officials Mr. Aka Ane, Chief of the Embassy of Ivory Coast’s Consular Section and Mr. Adingra Yao Kouman, First Secretary and Ivory Coast Embassy’s European Institutions Officer have expressed their interest and introduced some of the areas that this future edition should revolve around, in order to leave the best possible mark. Following this premise, the General Manager of the Finnova Foundation, Juanma Revuelta, also introduced the projects, funding lines, training programs and Finnova’s experience available to diplomats.

Carlos D. Gutierres, AFRIMAC 2 Project Coordinator and Fuerteventura’s Government Technician; Yasmin Horta Rodrigues, Junior Cooperation Projects Officer for Africa at Finnova; Embassy Management Crew; Aka Ane, Chief of the Embassy of Ivory Coast’s Consular Section; Natalia Cediel, European Projects Communication Officer and  Finnova’s International Relations Department Coordinator; Adingra Yao Kouman, First Secretary and Ivory Coast Embassy’s European Institutions Officer; Paula Anton Vergara, International Relations and Human Resources Officer at the Finnova Foundation and Juanma Revuelta, CEO of Finnova.

About the Finnova Foundation:

Finnova is the European foundation for the funding of innovation. Objectives include the promotion of public-private cooperation through the application of the best available low-budget technological solutions. It aims to address social challenges such as employment, entrepreneurship, the United Nations SDGs, circular economy, waste recovery, sustainable tourism and the fight against climate change. The Finnova Foundation promotes green employment, economic reactivation, training and youth employment.

About Cabildo Fuerteventura:

Insular scope Local Administrative Body in the island of Fuerteventura (Canary Islands-Spain).

About Afrimac 2

AFRIMAC 2 is a program for business, technological, entrepreneurial and innovative exchange regarding major economic impact matters between the Canary Islands and West Africa. The main objective embodies the enhancement of internationalization for companies in cooperative space, through the creation of networking and the generation of a knowledge environment with a gender approach.

About Ivory Coast Embassy:

It represents a bilateral mission in Brussels and promotes the interests of Côte d’Ivoire in Belgium. The Embassy also plays an important role in development, cultural issues and in press relations.

About Women Entrepreneur Excellence:

The consulting and strategy firm that supports entrepreneurs and companies through the development of their business.

About The Urban Women

The Urban Woman is a unique space that welcomes all people, regardless of race, religion, nationality, disability, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, or age. The Urban Woman is the first women’s center dedicated to giving you the tools and guidance to become the woman you’d really like to be.

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Finnova Foundation visits the Korean Cultural Centre in Brussels to explore cooperation

Bryan Eíto Millera, Asia Coordinator at Finnova; Javier Medina Padilla, Intern-Assistant Event Organiser; Chung Haetal, Head of Press and Communication; Massimiliano Luca Dragoni, Vice President of Finnova; Natalia Cediel, Communicator and Coordinator of International Relations and Entrepreneurship at Finnova; and Paula Antón Vega, Coordinator of Eastern Partnership and Youth Training at Finnova.

Brussels, 12 May – Finnova Foundation visited the Korean Cultural Centre in Brussels to explore lines and projects of cooperation with this associated entity of the Korean Embassy to the European Union and Belgium. Both the Korean Cultural Centre and the Hispanic-Belgian Foundation put on the table the importance of the cooperation between the European Union and South Korea, whose partnerships were established 59 years ago.

South Korea is a dynamic and attractive country, open to the values of the European Union. This is why the Finnova Foundation has expressed interest in joint projects to promote tourism, culture and entrepreneurship between the two regions. Mr Chung Haetal, Head of Press and Communication, welcomed the Foundation’s proposals in view of the anniversary of the EU-South Korea agreement in 2023.

During their visit to the centre, Finnova’s international cooperation team took the opportunity to discover the cultural richness of the country through the photo exhibition “Resonance of the trees” with artists such as Kim Jungman, Kim Sinwook, Kim Daesoo and Lee Jeonglok.

In various parts of the world, we are already seeing and breathing the “Hallyu wave” (the Korean pop culture movement) spreading among young people around the world. With this in mind, Finnova Foundation has emphasised its proximity to young Europeans in order to strengthen through them those links between the two regions that can provide mutually cultural feedback.

About the Finnova Foundation

Finnova is the European foundation that supports the financing of innovation in companies, regions and municipalities. Our areas of expertise include sustainable development, circular economy, water and waste management, employment and youth, ICT and tourism, among others.

About the Korean Cultural Centre Brussels

In the heart of Brussels, the capital of Europe, the Korean Cultural Centre has sought since its opening in November 2013 to promote cooperation and cultural exchange between Belgium and Korea, between the European Union and Korea, through various traditional and contemporary cultural activities.