Fast-track your business with the EIT RawMaterials Accelerator Program

This is a call for Start-ups that consider they already have an innovative offering (at TRL4-6) and see the opportunity in rapidly developing this offering to the exploration, mining, mineral processing, metal, mineral and steel making and recycling industries as well as their suppliers of equipment and tools. The call is to apply for Phase 1 Invent of the EIT RawMaterials Accelerator Programme.

The Accelerator program comprises 3 Phases. There are stage gates between each of the Phases, where Start-ups need to be approved for entering the next Phase. Each phase has specific objectives, process, funding and timeline. The support provided in each phase follows a clear process, which consists of both group work, individual coaching as well as anchoring Start-ups in their local and national ecosystems while at the same time opening up introductions on a pan-European level to partners in the EIT RawMaterials consortium. This process is coordinated by Business Developers at EIT RawMaterials. The combination of local anchoring and Pan-European opportunities is envisaged to increase the success rate and market opportunities of the selected Start-ups.

The EIT RawMaterials Accelerator Programme is novel because it can make an introduction to customers in the EIT RawMaterials partner network who are willing to adopt innovations; and, it connects local and national ecosystems to the Pan-European network of a pilot and test infrastructure facilities as well as potential customers. We also supply grant funding to enable your team to participate in the Accelerator Programme.

The EIT RawMaterials Accelerator Programme aims to develop Start-ups so that they can rapidly become suppliers to, and perhaps future partners of, the EIT RawMaterials network.

Application for Accelerator Program Phase 1 Invent

Phase 1 is about building proof of concept for the business model in the targeted raw materials market segments. It starts with ideas at TRL 4-6 and aims to find a market niche, to develop a financial model, and to build a business model. Selected Start-ups will receive €15K as a funding to cover their costs for participating in Phase 1 of the EIT RawMaterials Accelerator Program.

Objectives for Phase 1 Invent

  • Identify beachhead market, market size, customer pain
  • Identify key value drivers, good margin/product and margin/year, estimate financial needs
  • Compose a founding team, identify roles and coming needs for the team

Phase 1 has a 3-months duration. It starts with a workshop, followed by bi-weekly calls with experts. It ends with a Graduation Day, where the Start-ups pitch their idea. Graduation Day is also the stage gate to Phase 2 in the Accelerator Program.

Target group and criteria

  • Start-ups with an innovative idea/solution
  • Stage of solution ready for acceleration (TRL 4-6)
  • Start-ups do not need to be a legal entity for starting Phase 1 Invent
  • Start-ups need to have a Team of more than one entrepreneur
  • Start-ups need to be prepared to work fulltime with a dedicated team

Program for Phase 1 Invent

Phase 1 will start with a workshop for three days, gathering all 12 teams with two participants from each selected Start-ups. The workshop is planned to be held during week 37 or 38. The location and date will be provided along with the announcement of selected companies. At this workshop, the selected Start-ups will be provided with more details about the process for the Accelerator Programme, including expectations for Phase 1 as well as a personal introduction to your appointed Business Coach, who will also attend the workshop as well as support your team actively to your progress.

Five bi-weekly calls will be the next tool for individual coaching in the acceleration process and will support the progress in development in concept building from the stage where the Start-ups stands. The bi-weekly calls will be held by a Process leader and your Coach and run by video conference. The format will be discussion based with action plans forward and “home lessons” to next call.

Graduation Day will be held in the beginning of December and it will be a 2-day workshop starting with pitch training day one and day 2 followed by the final pitching session. The Pitching is mandatory and one part of the evaluation for stage gate to Phase 2 which is next step in the Accelerator.

In order to integrate and link new innovation to the EIT RawMaterials consortium, we will invite our partners directly to be active in selected activities, all to create a bigger impact and supporting progress.

How to apply

For Phase 1-Invent 2018, interested candidates apply via the link provided below. Candidates are asked to file an Application form (5-pager template) describing their Start-ups, their innovation and application towards EIT RawMaterials. All applications, pitching and reporting shall be done in English.

More information about the EIT RawMaterials Accelerator Program Phase 1 Invent can be found here.

Application

Application deadline is Monday, 30 July 2018 at midnight CET.

Europe is home to world-leading manufacturing industries, game-changing innovative technologies and an entrepreneurial infrastructure that can enable the transition to a resource efficient, sustainable, society as envisioned in the EU 2020 agenda. A sustainable supply of mineral resources (metals, construction material) is vital for the development of these core industrial activities and their long-term economic success. However, Europe has become highly dependent on imports of these mineral resources, particularly critical raw materials, which is a key threat to future business in Europe.

EIT RawMaterials activities in the area of Business creation and Support seeks to boost innovative Start-ups and SMEs in the following themes:

1. Exploration and raw materials resources assessment

Technologies and solutions for improved and new mineral exploration. As an example, solutions could include:

  • New and improved geological models, better exploration model understanding and techniques for going 3D/4D, drones, etc.
  • New instrumentation, methods and technologies for more reliable, cheaper, faster and safer mineral exploration, including technologies and services for innovative data acquisition, big data analysis/handling and utilize existing/historical dataset for exploration and mining
  • Application of new innovations, new geological models and rethinking/re-evaluations of geological settings/prospects to provide new exploration prospects and mining targets

2. Mining in challenging environments

Technologies and solutions for more efficient, safer and sustainable modern mining. As an example, solutions could include:

  • Application of new technologies/services for more efficient production, better safety, better utilization of equipment and employees for mining. Virtual reality, UAVs/ robotics, automation, real-time data that will improve planning, scheduling of operations and delivering better efficiencies and cost savings
  • Innovative services, approaches and products in order to ensure public understanding and awareness about the need for raw materials, exploration and mining, ensure cooperate social responsibility and social license to operate as well as added values of mining including remediation

3. Increased resource efficiency in mineral and metallurgical processes

Technologies and solutions for mineral and metal processing and for improved material production. As an example, solutions could include:

  • Optimized extraction and production processes for metals and alloys, improving the efficiency of the process, using less energy and water, reducing cost and the production of waste

4. Recycling and material chain optimisation for End-of-Life products

Technologies and solutions for materials supply from secondary sources and recycling. As an example, solutions could include:

  • Solutions for recycling of end-of-life products, extraction from industrial residues, tailings, urban and landfill mining, demolition of buildings (e.g. WEEE, batteries, magnets, solar cells etc.)
  • Cost efficient and clever collection, dismantling and sorting of waste

5. Substitution of critical and toxic materials in products and for optimised performance

New technologies or services that make it possible to substitute or use less critical or toxic materials in key industries. Examples:

  • Substitution of critical and toxic metals in specific energy materials, like Pt in fuel cells, Co in lithium-ion batteries, Nd and Dy in Nd-Fe-B permanent magnets
  • Substitution of critical and toxic metals like Co and W in carbides, speciality metals in high strength steels and superalloys, incl. the design and manufacturing
  • New material systems that contain no or less critical and toxic materials, for instance, for the use in batteries, permanent magnets, solar cells, and thermoelectric and magnetocaloric applications
  • New/optimized materials for additive manufacturing, for instance, in the field of printable electronics
  • New lightweight composites and designs as substitutes for critical materials containing high strength steels and for optimized performance
  • Solutions that integrate new materials into a Circular Economy, for instance, technology and business that enables and builds upon the reuse and recycling of newly developed, high-performance materials
  • New products, systems, and services for an optimised raw materials use, particularly with respect to mobility and energy technologies

6. Design of products and services for the circular economy

Solutions and business models for the implementation of a circular economy approach. Examples:

  • New business models for resource recovery, product Life Extension (repairing, re-manufacturing, etc.), product as a service, sharing platforms

In particular, the supply of a range of ores and metals is the main target of the EIT RawMaterials innovation community. Bio-based and polymer materials will be considered only in view of their substitution potential of critical and toxic materials and for optimized performance or for multi-material product recycling. Petrochemical raw materials, food/agricultural raw materials and construction materials are excluded.

Phase 1: Invent

Phase 1 is about building proof of concept for the business model in the targeted raw materials market segments. It starts with ideas at TRL 4-6 and aims to find a market niche, to develop a financial model, and to build a business model. Selected Start-ups will receive €15K as a funding to cover their costs for participating in Phase 1 of the EIT RawMaterials Accelerator program.

Objectives for Phase 1:

  • Identify beachhead market, market size, customer pain
  • Identify key value drivers, good margin/product and margin/year, estimate financial needs
  • Compose a founding team, identify roles and coming needs for the team.

Phase 1 has a 3-months duration.  It starts with a workshop, followed by bi-weekly calls with experts. It ends with a Graduation Day, where the Start-ups pitch their idea. Graduation Day is also the stage gate to Phase 2 in the Accelerator program.

Phase 2: Build

The purpose of Phase 2 is to validate customer needs and verify business assumptions. The offering provided by the selected Start-ups should be at TRL 6-7.

Selected Start-ups receives up to €30K funding to cover their costs of participating in Phase 2.

Objectives for Phase 2:

  • Validate customer needs, market size and beachhead market, identify regulations and other specific criteria for technical and market entrance.
  • Validate key value drivers, build a 5 years financial forecast supporting /financing needs and strategy.
  • Complete a team supporting the next step

Phase 2 has a program duration of 3-6 months depending on individual Start-ups development, acceleration, constraints and opportunities. It starts with a 2-day workshop, continues with bi-weekly calls and monthly P2P sessions/experts talks. The progress of the Start-ups will be evaluated by a mid-assessment day and after 3 months followed by individual assessment for the Start-ups to fulfil criteria and stage gate for continuing to Phase 3.

Phase 3: Grow

Phase 3 aims to get the business ready for launch. The offering of the Start-ups should at start be at a TRL 7-9 and heading for market entrance. Selected Start-ups will receive up to €45K as a funding to support their participation Phase3.

Objectives for Phase 3:

  • Move from early adopters to early majority market, start exploring follow up markets
  • Significant sales or financing deals.
  • Expand the team

Phase 3 starts with a 1- day Workshop aiming to set tailored project plan for each Start-up, which comprises goals and support actions, in order to develop the Start-up’s activities in the next 6-9 months. In addition to the continued support of a business developer from the local Innovation Hub, other support actions could be a user of the infrastructure of our partners for tests and pilot studies as well as further linking and introduction to EIT RawMaterials Industry Partners as validation partners and potential customers. These and similar types of activities are envisaged as a means to prepare the Start-up for future investment rounds as well as providing the basis to scale their business.