Unlocking Europe’s innovation potential

The European Union has an enormous innovation potential with bright scientific minds. However, many research results are likely to remain within the labs, while a significant number of needs have been unmet from the market side. To overcome these challenges and to connect innovative solutions with articulated demands from industry, six Innovation Communities of the EIT – the European Institute of Innovation and Technology – teamed up for jointly running EIT Jumpstarter. This entrepreneurial competition covers products and service ideas that aim at disrupting the existing markets in the areas covered by the organising EIT Innovation Communities: Healthcare, Food, Raw Materials (Mineral processing, Recycling, Innovation in Material Science), Energy, Urban Mobility and Manufacturing sectors.

Out of the 120 teams selected to join the programme this year, top 36 got into the EIT Jumpstarter Grand Final to pitch their ideas on 25 November. The best projects were awarded cash prizes in the total amount of EUR 162 000.

Celebrating start-ups working on sustainable high-impact solutions for the raw materials sector

First place and EUR 10 000 prize goes to ReCatalyst revolutionising the way we make hydrogen fuel cell catalysts

Hydrogen fuel cells are one of the core strategies of the EU to become a climate-neutral society. ReCatalyst is revolutionising the way we make hydrogen fuel cell catalysts. ReCatalyst produces next-generation patented platinum-alloy nano-catalysts that are 2-3 times more efficient, exhibit enhanced stability as well as enable a 50% reduction in required platinum per hydrogen fuel cell system and therefore its cost already today. Recently, the team has reached TRL 6, making their products ready for commercial use and, thus, market entry.

Second place and EUR 7 000 wins CMS team working on the reduction of the mining operating costs

CMS business is related to mineral processing, committed to implementing the most innovative technology on mineral processing plants. By combining mineral separation methodologies, CMS contributes to the reduction of the mining operating costs compared with actual methodologies, the 15% of costs the start-up reduces, brings to mine large additional number of profits that are not achieved.

Third place and EUR 5 000 prize takes ZincO developing a battery that stores surplus energy from rooftop PV systems

ZincO is on its way to developing a battery that stores surplus energy from rooftop photovoltaic systems. The demand for household storage solutions, especially for renewable energies, is established and growing fast. Using purified zinc and oxygen as its main chemical reactants, a ZincO battery improves both: affordability and ecological footprint. Working with an earth abundant metal and the surrounding air allow the product costs to be lower by 75%, compared to solutions based on lithium-ion.

Impact prize and EUR 5 000 is awarded to Flameless system to calcinate minerals without burning fossil fuels

Calcination of minerals is responsible for approximately 10% of all human carbon emissions worldwide. Carbon dioxide is produced through the calcination reaction itself (roughly 50%) and through burning fossil fuels (another 50%) to provide the heat required for mineral calcination. Flameless team has developed a system that can calcinate minerals without burning fossil fuels using a heat transfer fluid that could be heated using concentrated solar power plants, allowing for less carbon emissions (50% less) and increased resource efficiency in mineral and metallurgical processes.

Congratulations to the winners of the EIT Jumpstarter 2020 competition!

About EIT Jumpstarter