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Cleantech for the ecological transition: 100 projects

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Cleantech for the ecological transition: 100 projects

A non-profit association has selected projects from various EU countries from research centers, startups, spinoffs and companies and presented them to the European Parliament to propose a virtuous change

100 projects cleantech for the ecological transition they have literally “landed” in the EU Parliament. Thanks to The Arc, a French non-profit association born from a simple idea: to involve multiple members of society in a concrete approach to green transition.

They “disembarked”, that’s right: it was the sailor Francis Joyon (winner, among other things of the Route du Thum 2018, a single-handed transatlantic regatta) aboard a maxi trimaran who symbolically collected the 100 innovations evaluated by three thousand entrepreneurs, experts and associations during a cruise from Saint-Nazaire to Amsterdam and, after a journey that started on March 18th, he presented them yesterday (Wednesday June 7th 2023) to the European Parliament.

The one hundred projects are the result of a selection of solutions from 18 European countries and focused on five main themes: energy; industry; food and health; urban life; mobility. Among the many ideas received, the most economically feasible, sustainable and replicable solutions were chosen.

The list includes high-tech technologies for better performing wind turbines, underwater robots for sustainable fishing, artificial intelligence techniques to combat water waste. These are just some of the ideas that can be found in the range of proposals and which, if implemented, could make an important contribution to environmental sustainability in terms of energy transition, environmental protection, circular economy, decarbonisation and better quality of life.


Involving members of society to achieve the ecological transition as soon as possible: this is the goal of the non-profit association The Arc, founded by a French entrepreneur and inventor who has involved thousands of companies and institutions
On 7 June 2023, the association presented 100 projects collected and selected in 18 European countries to the EU Parliament. Italy is the protagonist with 27 selected projects. The themes: energy and industry; food and health; urban life; mobility
From robotics for the protection of the seabed to high-tech solutions for wind energy, from biodegradable batteries to artificial intelligence solutions for water saving, there are many ideas that have applied the concepts of sustainability and circular economy

The Arc: a project born from the world of sailing

The 100 solutions selected and presented to the EU parliamentary institution testify well to the objective set by The Arch: to give visibility to concrete cleantech solutions for the ecological transition of the economic fabric. a non-profit association, supported by a quintet of founders, among which Damien Grimont stands out. He is a multifaceted character: sailor (among other things, winner of the Mini Transat, a solo regatta along the Atlantic Ocean with boats of just 6.5 meters), engineer, inventor, he directs the Profil Grand Large agency, specialized in the creation and in the development of significant maritime events and projects.

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In addition to Grimont, the team includes a dozen other personalities from industry, research and politics.

Since its foundation, The Arc has organized public events and cultural dissemination, with the aim of raising public awareness of the need to make effective changes in many sectors. The heart of the project is the proposal of 100 projects, the result of a careful selection and coming from many countries. The call for solutions in favor of the ecological transition was launched in 2022 and implemented by Atlanpole Nantes and the two networks European Business and innovation center Network (EBN) and International Association of Science Parks and innovation areas (IASP). The call concerned five topics: Energy, Health & Food, Habitat & City, Mobility, Energy and Industry & Digital.

Jean-François Balducchi, General Delegate of Atlanpole, explained the meaning of the selection:

«We had to explain the concept of The Arch to the managers of the network. We wanted well-developed projects, with a prototype and a business model. The project had to respect a tangible level of innovation, whether it was carried out by a team behind a company or an entrepreneurial project, whether it was ambitious with an impact on the ecological transition by providing solutions to global warming, and equipped with an ease of implementation in the not too distant future.

Cleantech solutions for the ecological transition: Italy protagonist

But what are these cleantech solutions for the ecological transition? They draw on ideas for the city, for food and health, energy, industry and digital, mobility. Out of the 100 selected, 31 concern energy, followed by mobility and industry (both with 25). Although the ideas come from several countries, two are the protagonists: France, with 56 projects, and theItaliacon 27.

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One of the most interesting made in Italy ideas in the energy field is worth noting Act Blade, a high tech fabric covered wind turbine blade, the result of cutting edge aeroelastic design technology, successfully developed for racing yachts. Thanks to the patented construction method and the use of special fabrics, Act Blade claims to be 32% lighter than conventional blades, which allows it to be 10% longer and contribute directly to the production of 9% more of energy. Another plus: its modular design requires smaller installations and promotes a lean production process with low energy consumption.

The submarine is also signed by Italy Gemstar, which acts as a converter of water current that uses the tides to produce electricity. It consists of a floating main body which supports two hydroturbines and is moored to the seabed by a flexible cable. It was designed and developed by a team of engineers and researchers from the University of Naples “Federico II” in collaboration with a private company specializing in renewable energy systems. The goal, after the appropriate tests and commercial launch, is to achieve an average production of 900 MWh/year, the equivalent of the consumption of 400 European families.

An Italian deeptech startup has made Sinergy Flowa stationary, economical and high-performance battery that uses abundant materials, such as sulfur and by-products from the petrochemical industry, thus creating a technology that fully respects the principles of the circular economy.

Robotics, AI and circular ideas for a greener tomorrow

Still on the subject of the circular economy, there is one of the cleantech solutions for the ecological transition BeFC, an acronym for bioenzymatic fuel cells. It is a “biopile” made of economic and ecological and high-performance paper, glucose and enzymes, which make it a biodegradable and recyclable alternative to button cells, used in many electronic devices.

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Among the projects selected, the use of artificial intelligence techniques is widespread. Worth mentioning is Aquawize, AI-based software solution as a decision support tool to automatically analyze and detect anomalies in the early stages of water networks. It allows for considerable water savings: hundreds of thousands of cubic meters are poured and considerable savings in time and energy for the production of drinking water. Compared to the others, it has already been implemented. In fact, Aquawize is operating in an area of ​​the city of Nevers, in France, with significant results both in terms of savings in drinking water and in terms of working hours lost by technicians to identify leaks.

Also Beehold is an artificial intelligence software that digitizes the activity of the hives, collecting precise information on the state of the bee colony in real time and providing suggestions to optimize its performance.

AI is an integral part of Seavis, underwater robot that intends to allow fishing vessels to operate more precisely and cause less damage to the seabed. It was designed to preserve underwater biodiversity while optimizing the economic performance of bottom trawling.

Conceived at the engineering department of Aarhus University, it was developed as part of a student Arctic climate research project, to map underwater biomass.

It is an underwater vehicle that combines optical cameras and artificial intelligence algorithms to produce highly detailed images of the seabed, so as to identify the molluscs that inhabit it.

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