As part of the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Programme, the European Innovation Council (EIC) wishes to invite EIC-funded beneficiaries to apply to our joint EIC GHG Co-creation initiative with the Helsinki-Uusimaa Region. To positively enable co-creation opportunities, the EIC aims to promote innovative collaborations to drive progress and achieve mutual goals while developing key partnerships.
Being one of the fastest-growing areas in Europe, Helsinki-Uusimaa is the driving force of Finland's economy. The region has set the objective to be carbon neutral by 2030 supported by the ambitious innovation strategy and R&D expenditure target of 5% of the GDP, as well as an entrepreneurial culture and a detailed action plan based on cross-cutting partnerships for example on sustainable mobility and circular economy. You can find out more about the region’s priorities here. The UN SDGs, ambitious climate targets and sustainable growth are the basis for the region’s research and innovation activities. This is highlighted with the theme of the regional smart specialisation strategy – resource wisdom.
Focused on accelerating a viable green and digital transition in the region, their future development relies on an innovative and entrepreneurial ecosystem and taking advantage of key business opportunities. In addition, Helsinki-Uusimaa has been selected European Entrepreneurial Region 2021-2022 projecting their green journey by creating an ideal environment for the sustainability-driven new generation of entrepreneurs (more about their challenges below). This co-creation journey with Helsinki-Uusimaa kicks off with an event on 21, 22 & 23 June 2022. Keep reading to find more information about the co-creation process and timeline.
Tell us why you are the right co-creator and join this collaborative journey.
Applications are open until 20 May 2022.
Why should you join the EIC GHG Co-creation initiative?
- Explore how your solutions and capabilities can be sustainable
- Network and collaborate with Helsinki-Uusimaa Region, and like-minded innovators
- Build a roadmap of market entry with Helsinki-Uusimaa Region
- 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
Helsinki-Uusimaa Region is interested in innovative technologies that can further cement their journey towards sustainability. More specifically, they are looking for solutions for the following areas:
Challenge 1 – Dynamic traffic management to reduce air pollution
Traffic counting is typically done only at certain points around the city and at traffic lights. In addition to the lack of more detailed coverage in the area, the information often lacks detail in terms of types of vehicles, speeds, stoppages etc. At the same time, traffic management and traffic light control can be limited to small areas and green wave sections rather than considering the broader network and especially dynamic changes, local disruptions and events, or priorities based on emissions, weather etc. They are looking for innovative traffic management solutions, which should consider the following aspects:
- Real-time traffic data production needs new easily scalable and cost-effective methods (as opposed to extensive sensor installations in the infrastructure), including cycling, walking and other modes.
- Traffic management needs dynamic and adaptive tools for adjusting priorities based on emissions, different modes, etc.
- New methods for analysing traffic, taking into account different factors are needed to simulate and recommend measures fitting specific contexts (e.g., low emission zones, soft measures and their impact for modal and behaviour change as well as use of urban space and accessibility of businesses).
Challenge 2 – Heavy Goods Vehicles electric conversion
Emissions from traffic must be decreased. In the urban context, the share of HGVs and different kinds of utility vehicles in producing local emissions is relatively high. At the national level, there were 9 registered heavy E-vehicles in use in Finland at the beginning of the year 2022. At the same time, there are thousands of registered regular combustion engine heavy road vehicles in use in the country. All major cities in Finland have ambitious CO2 emission reduction programmes. In order to meet CO2 neutral goals, radical changes must be made to present heavy vehicle fleets. The City of Helsinki internal logistics and utility works (STARA) is looking for solutions to:
- Retrofit existing 2 to 15-years-old vehicles (trucks, lorries), i.e., converting combustion engines to electric. The solutions should consider also further sub-challenges i.e., electric drive replacement, structural issues, charging aspects.
Challenge 3 – Circular economy solutions for recyclable waste
Sub-challenge 3.1 – Efficient and automated municipal waste sorting technologies
Forum Virium Helsinki with Circular Economy related stakeholders are looking for innovative solutions to develop more efficient and automated sorting technologies through AI/robotics/industrial automation. They are looking for scalable technology solutions, that would provide more lean and cost-efficient ways to enable machine-based material identification and efficient recycling/reuse of CEAP-listed materials (textiles, plastics, electronics). The solutions could consider one or more of the following aspects:
- Cutting human workload
- Identifying different materials to determine how they are recycled/reused (with AI and machine vision etc.)
- Improving routine-based sorting processes (robotics etc.)
- Providing more accessible circular economy guidance to both citizens and companies (service robotics, platforms etc.)
- Improving energy efficiency of production and supply chain processes
Sub-challenge 3.2 – Market place for circular economy
Forum Virium Helsinki with Circular Economy related stakeholders are looking for innovative solutions to create new economic incentives in the “best practices” of circular economy (consumers, private/public sector). Technology solutions could consider:
- Platforms that enable marketplaces or sharing economies for certain materials that lack accessibility and/or have low utilization
- Blockchain-based ecosystems that enable exchange of value and clear incentives to all parties in promoting circular economy
Sub-challenge 3.3 – Value chain transparency and traceability
Forum Virium Helsinki with Circular Economy related stakeholders are looking for innovative solutions to improve transparency and traceability of material lifecycles throughout value and supply chains using technological solutions e.g., blockchain.
Your co-creation journey
The EIC GHG Co-creation with Helsinki-Uusimaa Region is an entirely virtual service following the journey below.
Step 1: Applications and info webinar
To apply to the EIC GHG Co-creation with Helsinki-Uusimaa Region, you are invited to fill out the application form available here by 20 May 2022.
During the application process, an info webinar (19 April 2022, from 10:00 to 12:00 CET) will be organised to provide more information about the co-creation initiative, the application requirements, and challenges. If you wish to attend this info webinar, please register here. In addition, you can check the agenda of the info webinar here.
*Please note that your registration to the info webinar does not imply that you will be selected for the co-creation initiative with Helsinki-Uusimaa Region.
Step 2: Selection process
As soon as we close the submission process, your application will be shared with Helsinki-Uusimaa Region. Then, we will proceed with the evaluation and selection of the final list of participants. You will be contacted once the selection process is completed. Also, please note that any feedback or recommendation to the companies that were not selected won't be foreseen.
Step 3: Co-creation training – 14th & 15th June I Save the date!
Successful and confirmed participants will be invited to join a co-creation training in which you will be briefed into more detail about the co-creation process and encouraged to undergo pitching training to prepare your pitches for the kick-off.
Step 4: Co-creation kick-off event – 21st, 22nd & 23rd June | Save the date!
After the selection process, a two-day ideation event with Helsinki-Uusimaa Region will take place on 22 & 23 June 2022. It will help you better understand the challenges and start co-developing your solutions with the business partner. During this meeting, you will also have the chance to define a clear roadmap with your next steps.
Step 5: Iteration & development
You will have four months to implement the roadmap defined with Helsinki-Uusimaa Region and can validate it regularly to ensure you are steering in the right direction. The business facilitators and experts will provide you with the necessary support along the way.
Step 6: GHG Summit | Autumn 2022
The GHG Summit will be a way of showcasing success stories developed in close collaboration among business partners and EIC beneficiaries.
About the Helsinki-Uusimaa Region
Helsinki-Uusimaa Region is one of the fastest-growing areas in Europe. It is the driving force of Finland's economy, and green and digital transition is considered a key business opportunity shaping the region’s future development. The region has set the ambitious goal to be climate neutral by 2030, to raise research and development expenditure to five per cent of the region’s gross domestic product and to raise the employment rate to 80%.
The Helsinki-Uusimaa Region has been selected European Entrepreneurial Region 2021-2022. Circular entrepreneurship, green transition and digitalisation are the main themes for this year. The region is praised for creating an ideal environment for the sustainability-driven new generation of entrepreneurs.
Helsinki-Uusimaa Regional Council is aiming to increase networked collaboration, build synergies and coordinate efforts in circularity to promote circular ecosystem development all throughout the Helsinki-Uusimaa region. The region invites innovators across Europe to join these networks and Helsinki-Uusimaa region as a forerunner in the circular economy, developing sustainable solutions to global challenges and building resilience.
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
In addition, co-creation activities with corporates, industrial associations, regions in carbon transition and other EIC beneficiaries are taking place on a regular basis.
For additional information, please refer to our helpdesk (please choose ‘EIC GHG: Co-creation with Helsinki-Uusimaa Region’ as the subject).
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 Helsinki-Uusimaa Region’ as the subject).