Resource-efficient cities and industries

The World Bank estimates the amount of municipal solid waste will increase from 1.3 to 2.2 billion tons per year by 2025, with most of this increase coming from cities in developing nations. According to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, in the consumer goods sector alone about 80 percent of the USD 3.2 trillion value is irrecoverably lost annually. The linear take-make-waste industrial model is no longer viable in the face of rapid population growth, resource constraints, climate change, urbanization, water insecurity and other trends. A more regenerative model offers a viable opportunity to successfully tackle environmental priorities through innovative business models stimulating competitiveness, and development. (Greenbiz)

New business models that foster repairing, reuse and sharing, are an essential part of the Circular Economy, specifically in European cities, where on the one hand most of the material- and energy throughout occurs and on the other, innovative solutions can be rolled out best due to the inherent characteristics of the urban form (i.e. large availability of materials, high population density and urban consumption patterns).

The main objective of this Prize will be to support new ideas for those business models to be implemented.

Raw Materials and Circular Societies Prize is a part of the Raw Materials and Circular Societies Lighthouse.

Submit your idea
This call is specifically focused on ideas for “new” business models supporting the efficient implementation of the Circular Economy in Europe; ideas in the following themes are expected:

  • Repair
  • Reuse
  • Sharing Economy/Sharing Platforms
  • Circular products, products designed for circularity (easy to repair, reuse or recycle)

The support scheme will be as follows:

  • Financial award of EUR 30.000 lump sum for the first prize
  • Financial award of EUR 20.000 lump sum for the second prize
  • Financial award of EUR 10.000 lump sum for the third prize

Additionally, prize laureates will receive support to access EIT RawMaterials Entrepreneurship programs.

The contest is open to any legal entity (including natural persons) or group of legal entities established in an EU Member State or in a country associated to Horizon 2020. Typically, the following entities may apply:

  • SMEs (according to the European Commission’s definitions) having innovation projects relevant to the Prize topics defined above;
  • Start-up or spin-off companies at least registered at the time of the application;
  • Natural persons or group of natural persons resident in an EU Member State.

In case of joint applications by a group of participants, the participants must appoint a ‘lead participant’ to represent them towards EIT RawMaterials. The participants will be jointly responsible and must all fulfil and respect the conditions set out in these Rules of the Prize. Applications must be submitted by the (lead) participant.

Each application will be scored on the criteria listed in the following table and with the score in relation to each criterion based on the following guidelines:

  • Circularity impact: The innovations should clearly demonstrate a connection to material circularity as well as how they contribute to increasing the share of secondary materials and reduce the use of virgin materials. A demonstration of emission reduction through the innovations is evaluated positively.
  • Technical excellence, IP status: The innovation should be relevant to the topics (mentioned in section 1.2 in Terms & Conditions). Strong IP protection/potential protection will be positively evaluated if relevant to the proposed idea.
  • Market needs & replicability/business models: Large market size and customers willingness to buy are positively evaluated (e.g. initial discussion with a potential customer(s)). The innovation should also be clearly able to be replicated in different European regions.
  • Quality of the team: The capability of the utmost importance since it all comes down to execution. Show relevant expertise and track records of the team members.
  • Quality of the development roadmap: Roadmap with clear milestones and estimate efforts will be evaluated.

The application procedure is the following:

  • Online application: Applicants must present by 31 May 2020 an online application form and a 2-page idea description where they should illustrate: the problems they address (market needs), technological solution, novelty, team composition and expertise, estimate time to market.
  • First screening phase performed by an expert panel composed by EIT RawMaterials, ICLEI, RREUSE and VEOLIA (POP Up Program) to assess the alignment of the application with the underlying objectives of the Prize: the 5 best applications passing this screening will be invited to pitch their idea to the Jury. Notification to shortlisted candidates will be sent during July 2020.
  • Pitching contest: shortlisted candidates will pitch to the Jury panel composed of experts from EIT RawMaterials, ICLEI, RREUSE and VEOLIA (POP UP Program). The jury panel will rank the pitched ideas according to the evaluation criteria described in the next section. The pitching ceremony will be held in October 2020.
  • For EIT RawMaterials, please contact your nearest Innovation Hub.
  • For support on this Prize application, please contact Lorena Jurado, Business Development Manager at EIT RawMaterials.


  • Application deadline: 31 May 2020
Raw Materials and Circular Societies Lighthouse