Announcing the Grand Final winners
On 1 December 2021, EIT Jumpstarter, the pre-acceleration programme, has named the top seven most promising start-ups in the field of raw materials, health, food, energy, urban mobility, manufacturing and the New European Bauhaus. The talent scout programme for high-potential early-stage teams has chosen these seven solutions to be the winners in 2021 at the Grand Final. The goal of the programme is to help young innovators from those EU regions, which are moderate in terms of innovations, to turn their scientific ideas into successful businesses.
The first place in the EIT Jumpstarter 2021 competition goes to Nano-Pure-Precision from the Czech Republic. The team dreams of becoming a leading supplier of the cleanest nanoparticles (MPs) in the EU. To date, one of the main issues in nanoscience-related research (e.g. biomedicine; catalysis) comes from crossed-chemical effects that occur due to the vast waste surrounding the surface of commercially available NPs. In response to such a dilemma, the Nano-Pure-Precision employs laser-based technology to offer high-quality NPs of any element, including mixed elements with a waste-free surface, minimising any possible side elements. This new idea offers the cleanest nano-solutions for the current and future market needs.
The second prize in the competition goes to the team from Latvia, Smart Components. The team designs and develops additives and modifiers for epoxy resin and polymers, which have various applications, from car interior parts to a tennis racket. They are needed to achieve the necessary characteristics of end products. Smart Components’ solutions, synthesised be one step and without the use of chlorine, help improve mechanical properties and fire resistance simultaneously, as well the sustainability of the end products and add self-sensing abilities, which is the holy grail of the composite materials industry.
And the third place in the theme of the raw materials and a special Join EIT Community (Cross-KIC) prize was awarded to CynaraMulch from Portugal. Plastic mulching has become a globally applied agricultural practice for instant economic benefits such as higher yields, earlier harvests, improved fruit quality and increased water-use efficiency. However, plastic mulching is an important source of microplastics in agriculture with a tremendous impact on water and soil. For farmers who care about sustainability at economic and environmental levels, CynaraMulch provides biodegradable mulching films derived from non-feed crops, with a high degradation rate, using lignocellulosic waste materials, so no plastic is left in the fields at the end of the season. CynaraMulch team is deeply engaged in years of research and development towards sustainable agriculture solutions.
We want to thank all the teams that participated in the EIT Jumpstarter 2021 and extend our congratulations to the top teams pitching in the Grand Final:
- impactPCB: materials recovery services for the materials deposited in Waste Printed Circuit Boards.
- EmiBlue: a unique transition-metal-catalyst-free chemical synthesis method for a significant decrease in manufacturing costs, time and safety.
- MinTRACK: mineral tracking service tracks cobalt from certified mines to the refiner.
Turning ideas into business with EIT Jumpstarter
Since 2017, the EIT Jumpstarter programme has trained 570 start-ups. This year, the organisers received 548 applications, while 42 received a chance to pitch in front of the jury of experts and compete for financial prizes – the best teams in each category won EUR 10 000 – and access to the EIT Communities network. Innovators have learnt the essentials of building a viable business model; the programme’s mentors gave them invaluable insights and helped them validate their business models. Thanks to close collaboration with EIT Communities, the EIT Jumpstarter has become one of the key pre-acceleration instruments to transfer innovative ideas from labs to the market.
EIT Jumpstarter won the Best Association Training Initiative category in the European Association Awards 2019. In 2021, the business idea competition joined the New European Bauhaus, a creative initiative breaking down boundaries between science and technology, art, culture and social inclusion to find solutions for everyday problems.