EU-InnovatE set up a strategic partnership with future4you GmbH, founders and organisers of the prestigious Sustainable Entrepreneurship Award (SEA) scheme.

The SEA was established in 2012, and each year presents awards to enterprises, projects and ideas which address a social or ecological problem by combining innovative solutions with a profitable commercial strategy. More than 1,000 submissions have been received since its launch.

EU-InnovatE joined forces with the SEA team to create a new annual prize, worth EUR 10,000 to the winner. The purpose is to reward leading examples of user innovation and entrepreneurship that hold significant potential for accelerating the transition towards sustainable economies and societies.


Sustainable Entrepreneurship Award 2016

For 2016, finalists were invited to present their project/company to the jury-members and potential investors. Among a vast number of applications, the top 15 start-ups were selected and invited to present their project to jury members, a number of potential investors, interested visitors and guests at the SEA Pitch-Day.

Together with 250 top-class guests out of economy, science, politics and society the most outstanding projects have then been awarded on November 17th at the SEA-Gala in Vienna, Austria. Awards were given in 5 categories – altogether breakthrough, innovative projects, that deliver a tremendous social and economic contribution to a livable future. The most outstanding of these final projects then receives an award of € 10,000.


Who are the winning 2016 projects?

Plastics & Recycling and “Best Project Award”: Full Cycle Bioplastics. This company turns waste into fully biodegradable plastic using a process that is more robust and lower cost than any preceding technologies. Thereby, they address major environmental problems, such as the growing volumes of plastic.

Lifestyle & Culture: Smart Floating Farms. Based on a Floating Multi-layered strategy that combines Aquaculture (fish), Hydroponics-Aeroponics (crops) and Photovoltaics (solar power & other renewable energies) into a single platform, they aim that creating “floating farms” that can be located close to areas where food is more needed.

Knowledge & Education: BLITAB. This new venture managed to developed an iPad for the blind. As a result, this product enables blind people to visualize graphics, maps, and whole books and as such represents the first innovative and affordable solution on the market.


EU-InnovatE Award

One of the categories of SEA is the EU-InnovatE award, which was given by Prof. Dr. Frank-Martin Belz, head of the EU-InnovatE team.

The 2016 winner in this category is an exciting new sustainable venture called Leaf Republic. They develop, produce, and market product innovations on the basis of leaves for the sector of food and non‐food packaging as well as the sector of paper & pulp. Inspired by the Asian leaf plates, the founding team created a lid made from bioplastic and a three-layer bowl made of leaves. Their products are waterproof and create an excellent sustainable alternative for other plastic cutlery and plate products.

To learn more about the award, visit the official SEA website.