Investing in a greener future

LIFE is the EU’s financial instrument supporting environmental, nature conservation and climate action projects throughout the EU. The general objective of LIFE is to contribute to the implementation, updating and development of EU environmental and climate policy and legislation by co-financing projects with European added value.

One of these projects is the tech start-up Infinite Fuels, based in Borgstedt, Schleswig-Holstein, that has developed a process converting plastic waste and sewage sludge into CO2-neutral and low-emission fuels. The expert advice provided to the company by the Enterprise Europe Network, the world’s largest support network for small and medium-sized enterprises, was instrumental in ensuring the success of their grant application for the EU's LIFE environmental programme.

The vision of Infinite Fuels is to establish a circular economy which is both sustainable and economically viable. After successful test runs, the idea of venturing onto the market with the newly developed process became increasingly concrete. The company founders wanted to build a production plant in Schleswig-Holstein, at the cost of approximately EUR 10 million. In their search for funding opportunities and contacts with potential industrial partners for the CoWaCo (Communal and Organic Waste Conversion) project, they turned to the Ministry of Energy, Agriculture, the Environment, Nature and Digitalisation of the State of Schleswig-Holstein (MELUND) and contacted Katrin Owesen from Investitionsbank Schleswig-Holstein (IB.SH). The right financing instrument was quickly found: LIFE, the EU funding programme for environmental projects. Katrin Owesen, who is also a consultant for the Enterprise Europe Network Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein, was able – together with Norbert Höcker from MELUND – to then provide valuable tips for preparing a successful LIFE application. 

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