As an EIC-funded SME, you probably already had the chance to pitch your solution in multiple matchmaking initiatives to attract the attention of investors or potential customers. But did you ever try to build win-win synergies and co-create solutions with Business Partners? The EIC Greenhouse Gas Programme aims to leverage unique collaborative experiences between EIC companies and large European organisations and offer EIC companies the chance to co-create products and services. In this light, the European Innovation Council and Western Macedonia invite you to apply to our joint EIC GHG Co-creation initiative.


The manifesto for environmental stewardship and action has shown how dependant we are on each other to achieve sustainable development and collective wellbeing. With this in mind, multiple European corporates, regions and industrial organisations are taking action to reduce their climate impacts while building innovative collaborations to drive common progress and achieve mutual goals. But to do so, they need you.

To make sustainable living a commonplace, the Region of Western Macedonia – and more specifically the Cluster of Bioeconomy and Environment of Western Macedonia (CLuBE) – seeks to develop synergies between local and regional participants and businesses in the bioenergy and environment sectors. Their goal? Introduce and develop innovation and increase its added value. So, save the date: this co-creation journey with Western Macedonia kicks off with an event on the 2nd and 3rd of November 2021. You can find more info on the co-creation process and timeline below.



Let us know why you’re the right co-creator here and join this collaborative moment.

Applications are open until the 1st of October 2021.



1. Why should you join the EIC GHG Co-creation programme? 

+    Explore how your solutions and capabilities can be sustainable
+    Network and collaborate with Western Macedonia and like-minded innovators 
+    Build a roadmap of market entry with Western Macedonia
+    Closely work with partners on solutions that can best fit the market 
+    Find potential partners and customers in the industry
+    Get access to experts from the EIC


2. Your co-creation journey 

The EIC GHG Co-creation with Western Macedonia will be an entirely virtual service for six months, following the co-creation journey below. 



Step 1: Applications and Info webinar 

To apply to the EIC GHG Co-creation with Western Macedonia, you will have to fill the application form available here by the 1st of October 2021. 

During the application process, an info webinar (16th of September 2021, 11:00 CET) will be organised to provide more information about the co-creation initiative, the application requirements, and challenges. If you would like to attend this info-webinar, register here

*Please note that your registration to the info webinar does not imply that you will be selected for the co-creation initiative with Western Macedonia.


Step 2: Selection process 

As soon as we close the submission process, your application will be shared with Western Macedonia. Then, they'll proceed with the evaluation and selection of the final list of participants. You'll be conducted once the selection process is finalised. Also, please note that any feedback or recommendation to the companies that were not selected won't be foreseen.


 Step 3: Co-creation kick-off event – 2nd of November | Save the date! 

After the selection process, a two-day ideation event with Western Macedonia will take place on the 2nd and 3rd of November 2021. It will help you better understand the challenges and start co-developing your solutions with the business partners. During this meeting, you'll also have the chance to define a clear roadmap with your next steps.


Step 4: Iteration & Development 

You'll have 2 months to implement the roadmap that you'll define with Western Macedonia. Not to mention, have the opportunity to validate it regularly to ensure you are steering in the right direction.


Demo Day 

The Demo Day will showcase the final solutions and promote them to a bigger audience. Date TBD.


3. The challenges

Western Macedonia challenges are focused on adding photovoltaics to roads and highways, public buildings, adding wood to existing and new constructions, and decarbonising the Regional District Heating Systems


Challenge 1 - PVs on the top of roads/highways

Context: Application of PVs on existing infrastructure (e.g., national or provincial road)

Background: Reaching climate neutrality by 2050, as set out by the EC’s Green Deal, requires timely decarbonization of the energy sector, including a phase-out of coal.

This presents a huge challenge in terms of transforming the Region’s economy from its almost complete lignite dependency into other, diversified economic activities, whilst safeguarding the social cohesion and future prospects for local communities.

RES projects should be in line with the regional development planning and rationally placed throughout Western Macedonia’s territory under the projections of a robust regional spatial framework.

Specific challenge: We are looking for innovative RES solutions than can be applied/incorporated in already existing infrastructure and, most importantly, do not undermine other economic activities, as in the case of solar farms occupying valuable agricultural and grazing land.


Challenge 2 - Rooftop PVs or BIPVs in public buildings combined with energy storage infrastructure

Context: Implementation on public buildings as pilot projects and further extension of the application in private houses and business sector’s buildings, throughout the territory of Western Macedonia.

Background: The increasing concentration of inhabitants in cities around the world is changing local geomorphology and is strongly influencing the environment. Furthermore, energy poverty, especially for the case of our Region, is a huge social problem that has to be dealt with, as quickly and efficiently as possible.

In order to deal with these negative effects of buildings’ operation, various techniques and technologies are proposed and applied, including the integration of photovoltaic and energy storage systems.

Specific challenge: We would like to get acquainted with technological solutions that address the following challenges: 

  • Combining self-consumption and sale of the excess energy, employing smart meters. 
  • Overcoming the interconnected electrical network’s zero capacity of absorbing power form RES stations (Saturated Voltage Transformer Electrical Substations) in areas of our Region. 
  • Simultaneous utilisation of energy storage systems for the smooth injection of excess energy into the network. 


Challenge 3

Context: Application of wood in existing and new constructions.

Background: The demanding field of construction is a very traditional sector that needs to incorporate innovation, in order to achieve the climate neutrality goals.

This calls for a wider and extensive application of wood in the construction sector, in order to reduce the fossil based produced materials, such as concrete, steel, etc., but also increase the use of materials acting as long-term carbon - sink deposits. This is exactly the case of applying wood in all phases of the construction sector.

Specific challenge: We are looking for innovative solutions aiming to increase the use of wood in the construction sector, including, for instance: wood as modular construction element, wood as face-lift of buildings with thermal insulation capacities, technologies for building multi-story buildings, reinforcement and/or hybrid construction of wood with other materials, such as carbon fibres, etc.


Challenge 4

Context: Decarbonisation of the Regional District Heating Systems

Background: In the framework of decarbonizing all the activities in Western Macedonia, we are also looking at the district heating networks as well. For over 3 decades, DH has been based on the excess heat of lignite thermal power stations. There is an urgent need to replace the heat sources in these DH networks. One of them, the smaller (30MW) has already switched to biomass. However, the other two larger networks (170 and 120 MW respectively) still need to go through this transformation process and are open to suggestions for technological solutions, including or even focusing on hybrid systems, in order to differentiate from the current “single heat provider” model.

Although natural gas is planned to reach the Region, it is not certain to become a major fuel, not underestimate the dependencies on external fuels, geopolitical uncertainties, etc.

Specific challenge: We are looking for innovative solutions to provide heat for the DH networks, such namely hybrid RES D/H systems, including mainly RES such as solar heat, bioenergy, geothermal, heat from nearby lakes, etc.


About the EIC Business Acceleration Services   

This opportunity is brought to you by the EIC Business Acceleration Services. To explore other opportunities to connect with the largest corporates in Europe, keep an eye on our events page.    


About the EIC GHG programme   

With the EIC GHG programme, part of the Business Acceleration Services, the EIC offers its beneficiaries the support and expertise needed to assess, track and efficiently reduce their carbon footprint through the use of a dedicated GHG tool, monthly webinars and further resources.   

In addition, co-creation activities with corporates, industrial associations, regions in carbon transition and other EIC beneficiaries are taking place on a regular basis. More information on the EIC GHG programme can be found here.   


Need help?   

For additional information, please refer to our helpdesk (please choose 'EIC GHG: Co-creation with Western Macedonia’ as the subject).


Cancellation policy 

Cancellations will only be considered in duly documented cases of "force majeure". Unjustified cancellation can lead to exclusion in future Business Acceleration Services events. 

Should you have any questions regarding the event or your eligibility, please contact us through our contact page (please choose " EIC GHG: Co-creation with Western Macedonia " as the subject).


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