Desert Control (Norway), winner of this year’s ClimateLaunchpad competition

Last week, ClimateLaunchpad announced the top winners of Europe’s largest start-up competition with primary focus on solving climate change. We are proud to say that one of the three Belgian finalists, VITO startup CO2ElectroRefinery, made it to the top 10.

Amsterdam, September 7, 2015 - This ClimateLaunchpad competition attracted a record number of over 700 cleantech entrepreneurs from 28 countries. The three top teams who were announced as winners of the European Final in Amsterdam receive top honours and cash prizes: the overall winner receives € 10,000; the runner up receives € 5,000; and third place wins € 2,500. These three highly promising winners also receive places and training in the prestigious Climate-KIC Accelerator, the world’s first 18 month real life business school for cleantech entrepreneurs to develop their innovations and fast-track their businesses.

The ClimateLaunchpad European Final top winners are:

First prize: Desert Control, Norway
Second prize: Arctus, Iceland
Third prize: ReLaDe, Estonia

CO2ElectroRefinery: Electrochemistry driven conversion of carbon dioxide to chemicals

During the semi-finals 82 finalists had to pitch their business idea in parallel sessions, in only 5 minutes. Fifteen of these start-ups were selected for the Grand Finale to compete for the European title that same afternoon, including one of our Belgian entries. The CO2ElectroRefinery team, formed by VITO-experts Deepak PANT (Scientist), Yolanda Alvarez Gallego (Scientist) and Metin Bulut (Business Development Manager), presented their business idea, which resulted in a well-deserved place in the top 10 so they can join the Accelerator programme to commercialise their cleantech business idea.

CO2ElectroRefinery aims at creating a production platform to convert CO2 to building block chemicals as well as higher organic compounds. The main target of CO2ElectroRefinery is to develop an industrially-relevant bio/electrochemical system capable of converting waste carbon dioxide from the industry into hydrocarbons and or/higher organics.

Unfortunately, the two other Belgian entries, SolFOGel and GreenTech Recovery didn’t make it to the last round.

Clear message to COP 21 Paris: Invest in entrepreneurs to tackle climate change

Frans Nauta, Deputy-Director Entrepreneurship Climate-KIC and also founding father of ClimateLaunchpad: “The ClimateLaunchpad European Final was an amazing event. So many great business ideas, with the potential of creating new jobs and economic growth in Europe. Today, start-ups from all over Europe are sending a clear message to the COP 21 negotiations in Paris: Invest in entrepreneurs if you want to tackle climate change. It is the single biggest business opportunity of the 21st century”.

Meet Europe's Next Generation Cleantech Entrepreneurs

Click here for more detailed information on all finalists. These finalists are a showcase of innovation that spans a broad range of approaches in energy, water, transportation and urban development space.

More pictures on the ClimateLaunchpad Facebook page.

VITO startup CO2ElectroRefinery during the Grand Finale - presentation by Metin Bulut

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