Business Idea Competition in Raw Materials 2016


The mission of the EIT RawMaterials is to foster innovation and entrepreneurship by driving and promoting projects all along the raw materials value chain. The philosophy of the Business Idea competition is to help future potential entrepreneurs in creating technologies and business models with a high growth potential within the raw materials sector and in all related fields.

The topics that should underline the proposed business ideas are the following:

  • Exploration and raw materials resource assessment
  • Mining in challenging environments
  • Increased resource efficiency in mineral and metallurgical processes
  • Recycling and materials chain optimization for end-of-life products
  • Substitution of critical and toxic materials in products and substitutions for optimized performance
  • Design of products and services for the circular economy

Winners of the Business Plan Competition 2016

1st place
STARS. The team led by the Slovakian company, Velaworks, and backed by a research team from the University of Brescia, Italy, won the competition with the Business Idea STARS, which proposes the creation of a start-up for the industrialisation of the patented process COSMOS Fenix®. The process, developed in two EU funded LIFE+ projects, makes it possible to convert “hazardous” fly ashes produced in incinerators into filler for plastics, creating a valuable alternative to landfill. Furthermore, the filler obtained presents optimal properties as a flame retardant, allowing substitution of expensive and toxic Brominates and Antimony (Sb) based fillers presently used in plastic manufacturing.
2nd place
AeroCDW. The team led by the French company, KEEY Aerogel, and backed by researchers from TECNALIA, Spain, proposed a process for the manufacturing of cost-effective superinsulating aerogel products throughout the recycle of silica-rich construction and demolition waste. Such Aerogels present excellent insulating properties and can be applied in the construction sector for new buildings and retrofits, as well as for other industrial applications, e.g. in the transport sectors. The proposers have joined their expertizes to close the loop of the circular economy of siliceous materials in construction, by revalorizing waste materials to produce a high added-value product, using more than 75% in weight of recycled material in the superinsulator.
3rd place
GREENGO. The team led by researchers working at Linköping University, Sweden, and constituted by PhD, researchers and commercial advisors from Portugal, Ukraine and Sweden, has proposed an innovative process for the production of a low cost and high quality “green” graphite, produced using biologically treated waste of agricultural or forestry industries. The green graphite is technically and economically a valid alternative material to the graphite used as an anode in Lithium Ion batteries. Natural graphite is a critical raw material and graphite global market is forecasted in a strong increase over the next years: from 80,000 tons per year in 2015 to at least 250,000 tons by 2020, mainly due to the demand in the electric cars sector.

EIT RawMaterials invites you to participate and present your business idea related to the topics mentioned in the format outlined by the Business Plan Competition. Upon acceptance of the idea, participants will have one month to develop a business plan.

Phases and dates:

  • Phase 1: Selection and promotion of the best ideas
    • Ideas submission deadline: 24 October 2016
    • The best 10 ideas will be awarded € 1,000 and will be selected to go to the next phase. Depending on the number and quality of the ideas received an additional pool of ideas may be selected to go to the next phase (first week of November 2016)
  • Phase 2: Development of the selected ideas
    • Mentoring of the teams: the winning teams will be mentored to develop a more comprehensive business plan (November 2016)
  • Phase 3: Business Plan Awards
    • Business plan submission deadline: 1 December 2016
    • Three best projects from phase 2 are selected as finalists
      1st prize: € 20,000, 2nd prize: € 10,000, 3rd prize: € 5,000
    • Business plan awards ceremony: 20 December 2016

The EIT RawMaterials recognition and support

The best projects will benefit from the EIT RawMaterials promotion, resources and contacts. To be part of the EIT RawMaterials alumni community, which bets for innovation and entrepreneurship.

Who can participate

The competition is open to anyone interested:

  • Researchers or research groups from universities and research centers that are working on any of the topics raised by the competition
  • Professionals with experience and deep knowledge in the raw materials field
  • PhD and top-level students within the sector

Is a recommendation but not mandatory: ideas coming from students should be accompanied by a faculty member with experience in the field. If you have any questions, please contact For more information and registration please click here. Additional information concerning the terms and reference of the competition can be found here. Please consult also our F.A.Q here.

Business Idea Competition 2017