Case Study

U-START Accelerator Programme

Innovative recycling solutions for electronic waste, secondary products and composite materials wanted

EIT RawMaterials is the largest Innovation Community in the field of minerals, metals and raw materials worldwide. Veolia is an international group for environmental services in the fields of waste, energy and water that aims at becoming a leader of secondary resources. Both have developed renowned expertise in the field of circular economy and have a proven track record in helping innovators and entrepreneurs further scale up and develop their business.

After four successful editions, EIT RawMaterials and Veolia are a perfect team to offer start-ups with sustainable business ideas in the field of the circular economy a unique opportunity to boost and accelerate their business: the U-START Acceleration Programme.

Start-ups are invited to apply to U-START, to benefit from seed funding from both parties, business coaching by EIT Raw Materials and industrial mentoring by Veolia. This includes prototyping, testing products/services on Veolia sites and market expertise depending on the maturity level of the startup. Selected applicants will pitch their concept to Veolia and EIT RawMaterials experts at a start-up event. A final selection of start-ups shall elaborate a joint innovation project funded by both parties, with a dedicated mentor from both partners before the final pitch, in front of the CEO and top management of Veolia and EIT RawMaterials. Our goal is to establish long-term cooperation with innovative start-ups in the field of:

  • Innovative recycling concepts for electronic waste – including PCB, Li-ion batteries, etc.
  • Alternative upcycling valorisation routes for secondary products – recycled paper, glass fibre composites, recycled carbon fibres etc.
  • New technologies for sorting and recycling composite materials – mixed plastic products and metal-plastic composites

4th U-START Edition 2019

3rd U-START Edition 2018

2nd U-START edition 2017

From its beginning three years ago, U-START has strived to make innovation and cooperation go hand in hand.

Our goal at EIT RawMaterials is to boost innovation and entrepreneurship in the raw materials sector. Our Raw Materials and Circular Societies Lighthouse innovation programme contributes to the EU Circular Economy and Zero Waste strategy to achieve a sustainable, low carbon and resource efficient circular society.

Dr. Andreas Klossek
COO Managing Director of EIT RawMaterials