A call has been made by the European Commission for proposals to receive funding from a €31.5 million (£26.6 million) pot towards the best 45 eco-innovation projects.
Materials recycling is one of five categories where novel solutions can apply for funding. The others are water, sustainable building products, green businesses and the food and drink sector.
The call is primarily targeted at private businesses, mainly SMEs that have developed an innovative green product, process or service, but are experiencing difficulties launching it on the market.
It offers co-financing to cover up to 50 per cent of the project cost and should support about 45 new projects this year.
European Environment Commissoner Janez Potočnik said: “Eco-innovation is not just about a niche of green businesses. Europe’s competitiveness in the next decades will depend on its ability to overcome resource contraints.
“Eco-innovative businesses are the enablers of that transformation for the whole economy. I especially encourage small- and medium-sized enterprises to apply for funding and help Europe to build on its lead in sectors such as water and waste management.”
Eco-innovation is funded via the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP) and has budget of about €220 million for the period 2008 to 2013. Almost 50 projects are ready to launch from last year’s call and over 185 projects are already underway.