Public and private sectors come together to scale cleantech start-ups in Spain and Austria

Cities are facing an enormous challenge in becoming resilient, healthy places to live, while reaching net-zero-emissions before 2030. This demand requires pushing the boundaries with businesses, policymakers and city governments simultaneously to make innovation more effective at scale.

The Clean Cities ClimAccelerator is bringing these players together to lead a new edition of the EU-wide acceleration programme that aims to make our cities more sustainable spaces by scaling smart solutions for urban adaptation projects, mobility and logistics, renewable energy systems, and more.

Delivered by Universidad Politécnica de Madrid and Impact Hub Vienna, and supported by EIT Climate-KIC, the programme taps into the innovation ecosystems developed by public institutions such as the City Councils of Madrid, Zaragoza, Valladolid and Vienna and focuses on solving real-world city challenges with the help of European entrepreneurs.

Fourteen start-ups selected for Stage 2 of the Clean Cities ClimAccelerator will collaborate with private corporations and public institutions from both the Spanish and Austrian ecosystems. The new cohort represents six countries with solutions ranging from adaptable green façade panels constructed from sustainable and durable manufactured clay to an all-in-one Urban Data Analytics Platform for climate action planning based on satellite imagery, artificial intelligence and geospatial analysis.

“For us, this stage represents the opportunity to materialise in defined projects the idea that technology is there to serve a purpose, to solve real and tangible city challenges. The economic package available to companies is key to being able to carry out these tests at a minimum cost”, explains Ana Jiménez, Head of European Projects at the Intelligent City Service of the Zaragoza City Council.

A handful of corporate partners, including Ferrovial, Distrito Castellana Norte, Repsol, Acciona Energía, La Pinada Lab, Zubi Cities, Banco Santander, Wien Energie and Wiener Linien, among others, represent the “private” side of the collaboration.

From the early detection of new innovations to the opportunity to develop concept tests and validate relevant technologies, these businesses see an added value of working with up-and-coming cleantech start-ups.

“The most important thing about this initiative is the freshness that companies bring to administrations at the level of innovative solutions. They open our minds to new solutions that day-to-day and traditional public contracting mechanisms do not allow you to explore,” says Daniel Sarasa, Direct Zaragoza City of Knowledge Foundation.

To see the complete list of start-ups selected for Stage 2 and the partners they currently collaborate with, visit this link.