The European Commission has launched a €34.8 million (£28.03 million) scheme to encourage eco-innovation.
Businesses and entrepreneurs, including recyclers across Europe may apply for funding for new environmental projects to the market.
It is open to eco-innovative products, techniques, processes and services that aim to avoid negative environmental impacts. Applications will be open until 6 September 2012, with approximately fifty projects selected for funding.
The European commissioner for the environment Janez Potočnik said: “For the past four years, Competitiveness and Innovation Programme (CIP) Eco-Innovation has helped more than one hundred innovative green products reach the marketplace. The programme shows how businesses can help our economies to grow in an environmentally sustainable way, once they have the right support.
“I would particularly encourage SME’s to apply for funding – they have a vital role to play in driving forward the EU economy, and last year they made up more than 65 per cent of applications.”
This year’s Eco-Innovation scheme has five main priorities: materials recycling, water, sustainable building products, green business and the food and drink sector. The project will be particularly targeted at SME’s that have developed an innovative green product, process or service, which is struggling to find its place in the market.
Funding of up to 50 per cent of the project cost will be available. Another 50 projects are set to launch from last year, along with 140 other projects already underway. Current schemes include converting old discarded TVs into tiles, waste sorting mechanisms, eco-packaging for milk and a new technique for recycling textiles.