ElectroVesti and Greencubator explain how Ukrainian companies could receive irrevocable EUR 20 000 for their development.
Since 2017, a program supporting “green” companies “Climate Innovation Vouchers” is active in Ukraine. This is an initiative under the EBRD’s “Finance and Technology Transfer Centre for Climate Change” (FINTECC) funded by the European Union, which is being implemented by the NGO Greencubator. Companies can get up to EUR 20 000 for the development of climate innovations. The grant is issued irrevocably, however the obligatory condition is the co-financing principle, i.e. companies should co-invest in their project.
Over four waves of the program, 26 Ukrainian companies have already received vouchers totalling to EUR 870 000. Currently, applications for the fifth wave of the program are accepted. In order to clarify the main aspects and assist Ukrainian innovators to “turn green” through attracting money from European partners, we answer the most popular questions about Climate vouchers.
How do I know whether my business is “green”?
To rank your company as one of those adopting environmentally friendly inventions, you do not have to install a wind generator or solar panel in your office.
Within this grant program, all projects aiming at reducing greenhouse gas emissions to the atmosphere are supported. For example, you are preparing for the transition to energy-efficient equipment or the new production technology, which will reduce energy consumption. You can get funding to develop an emission reduction plan.
Optimization of internal processes in order to save resources is also considered as climate solution. One of the winners during the previous phases, the logistics company Meest Express, received a grant just for software implementation. Their program automates the loading of trucks and helps transporting the same volume of cargo using lower number of vehicles. And the fewer trucks there are on the roads – the less are emissions. The “green” component of a business project is obvious here.
We have decided to install energy-saving lamps or air conditioners in the office — will we receive a grant?
To procure equipment itself – no, because the Climate voucher is issued only for utilities and services. But if you need calculating what kind of lamps or how many air conditioners you need for “greening” the office – you can apply for reimbursing services of an auditor, engineer or other specialized professional available to develop a project for your company.
What shall we do if we are not a start-up?
Submit an application. Unlike dozens of competitions for start-ups and business ideas that are organized by many public and private companies, “The Climate Innovation Vouchers” supports businesses, which have been operating on the market for at least one year. By the way, at least one of company’s owners should be a Ukrainian citizen, and the whole company should be 100% privately owned.
Is anything new to be invented?
It is not necessary to invent a completely new technology or product. But the level of novelty will influence the decision of providing a grant. If the development specified in your application is not on the market in principle, this is a high level of innovation. If the development is available on the foreign market, but the company proposes to introduce it in Ukraine in order to significantly change the situation with the atmospheric pollution towards “green” – such project will also receive a high rating in terms of innovation.
By the way, if in the process of implementing a “green” project you would create something new – all rights to this product will remain with the company. EBRD does not endeavour the grant recipients’ developments.
What does it make sense to ask money for?
IT-developments helping to reduce energy consumption, as well as technologies allowing using resources more efficiently can receive a grant. Companies receive vouchers for certification, equipment testing, IT component development, patent support and other services that increase sales, allowing them to enter new markets, attract investors, etc.
For example, the company PassivDom requested a grant for obtaining the status of an energy-efficient house from the German Passive House Institute in compliance with international construction standards. Thanks to EBRD financing, the company has proven the high quality of its “green” product through a certificate of a European organization. Nowadays, PassivDom is mastering in the United States production of the energy-self-sufficient modular house involving smart technologies.
Novelty vs. The “green” accent of innovation
Both the ability to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the innovativeness of the development are important to succeed with the application. But since this program is aimed at supporting business, the other two indicators — market potential and scalability — are also taken into account. All criteria are equal, and the jury does not distinguish those “more equal than others.”
Separately, it is worth paying attention to the quality and accuracy of all information in the application, as well as to the detailed budget of the project. In order to not be mistaken in the formulations, we advise you to study the Rules on the program website.
What is the co-financing principle
An EBRD grant covers up to 80% of the cost of a climate development project. The company receiving the grant shall also invest in the project declared at least 25% of the grant amount. In the fifth phase of the program, applications for which we now accept, the maximum amount of the voucher is EUR 20 000.
How money is received
The experts’ jury determines the winners, and thereafter Greencubator being the program sponsor invites the company for the official handing over of the voucher. We would like to clarify: no one leaves the award ceremony immediately with a signed check for EUR 20 000. In order to receive a grant, companies must sign official documents with the EBRD, submit the job completion reports from services and utilities providers for which they received a grant, and shall not forget about their own financial participation in the project.
But paperwork shall not be perceived as an obstacle towards the receipt of funds. The adequate paper flow will help the company in building relationships with foreign partners. And in the future, cooperation with the EBRD will serve for new potential investors as proof of reliability.
We expect to receive your Climate voucher applications before February 1, 2019. Read more about the conditions of participation on the project website and send any additional questions to Greencubator at firstname.lastname@example.org. Not much time is left to prevent the planet’s global climate change.
Source – ElektroVesti