Smart containers to reward people for recycling properly

Europe's waste plastic represents more than €10 billion in lost resources each year.

Smart recycling containers that reward people for proper use could help drive up the rate of plastic recycling, reducing the amount of plastic that goes into oceans and landfill, and creating business opportunities out of the challenge to cut back on waste. It’s part of a wave of innovations aiming to keep plastic circulating in the … Read more

Construction waste to be turned into gas masks and sports equipment

MDF is widely used in the walls of buildings and has so far proven hard to recycle.

Huge volumes of waste building materials that are discarded every year could be recycled into new products such as gas masks and sports equipment following research being conducted by scientists and recycling firms. Dr Kenny Vanreppelen, a renewable product researcher and founder of Belgian start-up Act&Sorb, set up the FibreCarb project to recycle waste fibreboard … Read more

EU launches venture capital mega-fund to attract heavy-hitting investors

Six venture capital funds will share the task of raising €2.1 billion of private investment for European companies.

Heavy-hitting institutional investors will soon have their chance to back European technology innovation, according to fund managers involved in Europe’s new €410 million venture capital fund of funds. VentureEU is the pan-European venture capital (VC) fund of funds programme which debuted on 10 April. Six VC funds are set to share in EU seed funding … Read more

Raising ocean literacy levels could protect marine environment

Getting people involved in local community projects can help them engage with how the oceans are changing.

Hundreds of kilometres away from any sea, ocean or sandy beach, students from countries such as the Czech Republic have been discovering their connection with the marine world. While Europe’s landlocked states are understandably not so preoccupied with seas and oceans, camps run by members of Ecsite — the European network of science centres and museums — … Read more

Accelerators, fab labs and hackathons – the tech tools being co-opted for social good

Using innovation tools in the humanitarian sector.

Picture the humanitarian aid sector and you don’t immediately think of start-up accelerators and hackathons. But aid agencies are co-opting these tools of innovation to help solve global issues – and a new EUR 5 million prize from the EU is designed to boost this even further. Olivier Delarue is the CEO and co-founder of … Read more