E-cafe bike team

E-Cafe Bike wins Czech Creative Business Cup 2024 

E-Cafe Bike has progressed to the world finals of the Creative Business Cup in Copenhagen having won the Czech national competition in Prague. This is a great achievement for the Czech startup who were selected by an expert panel out of a total of ten startups in the finals of a competition organised by the national business development agency of Czech Republic – Czechinvest. 

E-Cafe Bike focuses on the development of electric bikes and speed pedelecs which enable users travel up to 50km/h, a maximum range of 250km from one charge which takes on average 4 hours. This speed and range enable users to navigate cities of all kinds with ease regardless of the existing infrastructures and can transform transport habits by providing such a solution. The bikes can be equipped with a trailer for added storage which when in use is twice the storage capacity of a passenger car. 

On winning the competition, Co-founder and CMO of E-Cafe Bike, Zuzana Malinová looks ahead: “We are very happy with the victory and we are already looking forward to the final round where world competition awaits us. We believe that startups show the direction the world will go in the future. Winning the national round of the competition will not only help us increase our prestige, but we will also get the opportunity to show honest Czech production abroad.” 

EIT Urban Mobility and E-Cafe Bike have been working together since 2023, when E-Cafe Bike first applied for and were successful in their application for the Investment Readiness Programme. This programme is designed for European companies specialising in urban mobility who are fundraising or seeking to raise funds. The programme lasts six months and provides companies with the resources, training and coaching needed to enhance a company’s fundraising capabilities. This programme is worked in exchange of a 1% share of participating companies. 

Having worked with and seen E-Cafe Bike grow, Jan Hauser, Investment and Portfolio Manager at EIT Urban Mobility said: “It is always with great excitement to see participants of our programmes gain recognition on such a stage. E-Cafe Bike have focused the development of their product in a bid to provide people with a viable eco-friendly option and it shows. Their bikes have addressed issues of range which are seen across their industry and together with an award-winning design have provided an incredibly convincing transport alternative.” 

If you would like to avail of funding, we have a variety of programmes to suit your needs. Explore your options here

Financial Support to Startups Open Call

Urban mobility is undergoing one of the most transformational shifts of a generation. A successful strategy in the industry requires the adoption of a comprehensive and coherent approach, centred on innovative ventures that are disrupting this landscape.

This drastic global transformation may account for the potentially disruptive long-term impacts, where the new pace of living, consuming, and behaving in cities create a new paradigm for mobility companies to develop products, services, and technologies in all facets: collective, individual, and goods transport.

While the pandemic has taken a heavy toll on the economy, the crisis has also encountered major opportunities for innovation and investments. Examples of drivers underpinning this ongoing transformation are mobility companies with high financial, and environmental impact and growth potential.

In pursuit of leading positive change and business prosperity, EIT Urban Mobility is granting financial support up to €500,000 per company in mobility ventures to accelerate their journey, continue critical innovation and ultimately transform the European urban mobility landscape.

We look forward to receiving your applications for inclusion in the Business Plan 2023-2025.

Call Main Features 


Info sessions and contact details 

Call for Applications Main Features
Key dates of the call calendarCall opening: 15 February 2024
Cut-off dates:
•        First cut-off date: 29 April 2024 at 17:00 CET
– Eligibility and admissibility check: May 2024
– Evaluation of applications: May/June 2024
– Communication of result: June/July 2024
•        Second cut-off date: 6 September 2024 at 17:00 CET
– Eligibility and admissibility check: September 2024
– Evaluation of applications: September/October 2024
– Communication of result: November 2024
•        Third cut-off date: 31 January 2025 at 17:00 CET
– Eligibility and admissibility check: February 2025
– Evaluation of applications: February/March 2025
– Communication of result: March/April 2025
•        Fourth cut-off date: TBD
•        Fifth cut-off date: TBD
Total EIT Funding allocated to this call The total EIT funding allocated to this call is €12 million* **
*Out of which up to €3 million dedicated to support startups from RIS countries only. Under this call, RIS covers companies from RIS countries with a pre-money valuation of a maximum €8.5 million. Companies from RIS countries with a pre-money valuation between €8.5 and €20 million will be covered by the general budget.
**The total amount could be increased based on the budget availability of the Impact Ventures Area.
Link to the submission portal The EIT Urban Mobility AwardsForce Platform will be available as of 15 February 2024
List of documents to be submittedApplication form is available on the EIT Urban Mobility AwardsForce Platform.
List of documents to take into consideration•        Call Manual
•        EIT Urban Mobility Strategic Agenda 2021-2027
•        Eligibility of expenditure
•        Appeal procedure
•        Project Implementation Handbook
•        Horizon Europe Grant Agreement (specifically articles 16 and 17)
Short summary of the topics to be addressed EIT Urban Mobility – Impact Ventures Funding support programme grants funding support to startups offering innovative urban mobility solutions to create a more social and healthier environment in cities.

As an impact investor, EIT Urban Mobility invests in solutions that contribute positively to at least one of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) related to sustainable cities and communities, clean energy, and climate action. Furthermore, EIT Urban Mobility encourages inclusive and gender-balanced teams to apply for this funding on green mobility. 

To stimulate the talent and entrepreneurial mindset in all of Europe, EIT Urban Mobility pays special attention to startups incorporated in the 
Regional Innovation Scheme (RIS), where conservative and risk-avoiding policy-making can slow down change and innovation. 

The Financial Support Programme offering to startups, includes real product-market fit as well as access to enter international markets faster.
Pre-screening and evaluation criteria applicable to all the topicsFor the initial evaluation:
•        Strategic fit

For the applications assessment:
•        Quality and efficiency of the implementation, including sound financial management
•        Excellence, novelty, and innovation
•        Impact and financial sustainability Alignment with EITUM vision

For the online live-pitches assessment:
•        Excellence, novelty, and innovation
•        Impact and financial sustainability Alignment with EITUM vision
•        Quality and efficiency of the implementation, including sound financial management

For the final selection:
•        Portfolio fit

Recorded webinars and contact details will be available to guarantee the maximum support to the applicants during the proposal’s preparation process. 

To help applicants with the preparation and submission of their proposals, EIT Urban Mobility will host one live Call Info Day. It will be focused on the call content, the challenges as well as on the submission and evaluation procedures and the financial aspects. Please find the calendar and the link to register in the table below: 

Type of event Topic covered Date and time (CET) Access to platform 
Webinar  Call Info Day: 
Call calendar, evaluation, scope, and challenges of the call, KPIs, EU registration numbers (PIC number), evaluation process, contribution to EIT Urban Mobility financial sustainability, end client role, tips to applicants  
22 March 2024 at 10:00 AM CETThe recording of the webinar will be available afterwards here

Register here for the upcoming info webinar or watch the recording of the information webinar of 29 February 2024. For more information about our startup portfolio, visit the dedicated website.

In parallel to the call information sessions, all applicants may contact EIT Urban Mobility to resolve any concerns or doubts on the general/technical procedures and call content. These are the key contact details of the EIT Urban Mobility team for questions related to this call: 

Type of contact Email 
Legal, Financial, Administrative and general procedures pmo@eiturbanmobility.eu  
Impact Ventures area investments@eiturbanmobility.eu

Applications are open for the EIT Urban Mobility Market Readiness Accelerators 2024 

From 1 February to 15 April 2024, early-stage mobility startups have the opportunity to apply for the EIT Urban Mobility Market Readiness Accelerators. The Market Readiness Accelerators support entrepreneurs to build up a consistent business basis and avoid the most common failure for newly created startups: the lack of product-market fit. 

The Market Readiness Accelerators encompasses five thematic EU-funded programmes, which are implemented through well-recognised partners to take early-stage mobility startups to the next level. The five thematic areas include:

  • Future mobility
  • Inclusive mobility
  • Sustainable mobility
  • Smart mobility
  • Urban air mobility  

In addition to fitting one of these thematic areas, eligible startups should be able to demonstrate a focus on SDG impact, gender equality, and team diversity.

The programme’s main objective is to provide expertise in urban mobility fields for startups to validate the business approach with a focus on product-market fit. Additionally, the Market Readiness Accelerators set up the basis for successful fundraising strategies and prepare businesses to get ready to scale. The programme also offers individual business training, investor pitch coaching, an impact assessment of the venture, and product and technology validation with potential access to a network of living labs.  

Applications to the accelerators can be made via AwardForce or you can sign up for the information session on 8 February 2024 at 12.00 CET to get more details about the open call.  

EIT Urban Mobility is the most active investor in European mobility start-ups in 2023 

With 62 investment rounds in 2023, EIT Urban Mobility is the top investor in European mobility start-ups according to the latest report of Via ID and Dealroom. With one exit, the current investment portfolio contains 127 start-ups and has a total value of €1bn with companies covering 29 European countries. While these innovations cover all aspects of mobility, they all have one common factor: their positive environmental and social impact on the urban landscape.  

Fredrik Hanell, Director of Impact Ventures at EIT Urban Mobility: “Impact investing means looking to the future when making decisions now. This means that we go beyond financial investments to drive meaningful and lasting change in the urban mobility sector. As the European leading impact investor in mobility, EIT Urban Mobility, looks for seeds and pre-seeds companies that already have or can have a net positive impact.” 

Prominently featured sectors in the portfolio include transport electrification, urban logistics, and mobility data management.  EIT Urban Mobility goes beyond the more traditional aspects of mobility by also investing in sectors such as waterborne mobility and behavioural change through nudging and stimulating walking.   

To measure a company’s net impact, and deliver a transparent view across specific categories, EIT Urban Mobility employs the Upright Net Impact Model, a quantification model that is based on a network summarising more than 250 million scientific articles and a taxonomy of over 150,000 product and service categories. According to this model, EIT Urban Mobility’s portfolio scores a 48% positive net impact score, significantly higher than the 40% of the control group of the Upright Benchmark. The start-up companies in the portfolio score especially high on the environmental dimension, +217% compared to benchmark.  Another strong selection point is team diversity and gender balance, resulting in 43% of the equity portfolio being women-led in comparison to the industry average of 18% according to the Report on Women Entrepreneurs in Europe. 

On top of this sustainable impact, EIT Urban Mobility has a dedicated investment budget for European economies that require more support in the sector of innovation. These regions defined by the Regional Innovation Scheme, typically have enormous untapped potential and can greatly benefit from investments in innovation and mobility. By directing resources to these areas, EIT Urban Mobility contributes to economic growth, job creation, and the development of sustainable transportation systems. 

In 2024, EIT Urban Mobility, aims to continue to enlarge the portfolio with an ongoing call for investments and their Investment Readiness Programme. This programme is designed for European start-ups in the field of urban mobility currently fundraising or planning to do so in 2025. EIT Urban Mobility’s investment strategy focuses on creating positive outcomes for both people and the planet while ensuring competitive market returns. 

Elevating female leadership: Open Call – EIC Women Leadership Programme (4th cohort)

The European Innovation Council (EIC) is, in partnership with the European Institute of Innovation & Technology (EIT), pleased to announce the launch of the 4th cohort of the EIC Women Leadership Programme (EIC WLP). Building on the success from the previous editions, this cohort, running from March to May 2024, will offer EIC and EIT female leaders the tools and support to enhance their leadership and entrepreneurship skills.

The EIC WLP supports, inspires, and empowers female innovators. This cohort will provide the selected leaders with a set of training and networking events, as well as business coaching and mentoring opportunities for career and business development. If you would like to boost up your leadership and entrepreneurial skills, apply until 21 January 2024, EOD!

Got your attention? Check out the testimonials from previous participants below or watch the recording of the last EIC WLP Closing Ceremony here.

Key components of the programme 

  1. Training Sessions: deep dive into a variety of leadership and entrepreneurial topics 
  2. Networking Events: expanding your contacts into the business world 
  3. Coaching Scheme: addressing your business challenges 
  4. Mentoring Scheme: unlocking your personal career development 

Before applying, please check the timeline of the EIC WLP activities below to ensure your availability.

Application deadline21 January (EOD)
Confirmation of participation9 February
Introductory workshop 20 February (online)  
Kick-off meeting  5 March (online)  
Weekly Training Sessions March – May (mornings, online)  
2 Networking events March – April (online)
Training Session & Networking event EIC Summit, 18 & 19 March (Brussels)*  
Closing Ceremony May (online)  
*Please kindly note that the EIC or EIT will not cover your travel & logistic expenses to attend the in-person event in Brussels.

Eligibility criteria 

The 4th cohort of the EIC Women Leadership Programme is dedicated exclusively to female leaders who are in a founding team and/or chief positions (CEOs or other C-suite positions) of companies, established at least 2 years before the call deadline, and awarded or supported under the following EIC and EIT schemes:

  • SME Instrument Phase I and Phase II,
  • EIC Transition,
  • EIC Pathfinder,
  • EIC Accelerator,
  • Seal of Excellence under Horizon Europe,
  • Women TechEU and
  • EIT Programmes (all KICs).

We are looking forward to welcoming you into our community of female innovators and benefit from the programme services to take your business career into the next level.

Need help?

For additional information, please refer to our Helpdesk service (please choose ‘EIC Women Leadership Programme’ as the subject) or visit our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).

What our alumni say about EIC WLP?

Joana Simões Correia, Executive Director and CSO at Exogenus Therapeutics: “The EIC Women Leadership Programme was all about self-confidence and empowerment.

Alessandra Balduini, Professor and principal Investigation at SilkFusion: “The EIC Women Leadership Programme had a great impact on my career. As a scientist, I learnt about business and how to direct my science, my research, in that sense.”

Additional Information about the EIC Women Leadership Programme

Involvement of women in advanced technology sectors is crucial not only for equitable representation but also to fully harness Europe’s capabilities in science and business. The EIC Business Acceleration Services (BAS) amplify the impact of EIC investments. With the Women Leadership Program (WLP), the EIC aims to level the playing field in scalable businesses and mindsets by unlocking potential and breaking down barriers to success! Established as a pilot in 2021, the WLP has so far provided skills enhancement and networking support to 3 cohorts of more than 180 female researchers and entrepreneurs from the EIC Community and beyond. Besides dedicated trainings, the programme features individual coaching, mentoring and pitching activities as well as different outreach initiatives to raise awareness and showcase women researchers and entrepreneurs as role models.

Iarnród Éireann Irish Rail & DIGAS team up to retrofit Europe’s first hydrogen-powered freight locomotive

The EIT Urban Mobility start-up DIGAS, a global trailblazer in instant decarbonisation solutions for the railway sector; and Iarnród Éireann Irish Rail, operator of the national railway network of Ireland, have signed a contract to retrofit a freight diesel locomotive from diesel fuel to hydrogen as a proof of concept. The purpose of the €1.5m project is to help decarbonise the operations of Iarnród Éireann diesel locomotives and increase the competitiveness of the company.

Petro Dumenko, CEO & Co-founder of DIGAS: “We see the same challenge over and over again with all railway operators – the need to decarbonise their operations but having an extremely long lifecycle of their assets which still runs on diesel fuel. This project will showcase a cost-effective and practical way for operators like Iarnród Éireann to decarbonise their existing fleet of diesel locomotives”. 

Summarized, this is a cleaner, cheaper, and more practical initiative towards decarbonisation goals:

  • CLEANER: Iarnród Éireann Irish Rail is providing a locomotive and will test a retrofitted hydrogen locomotive using a cleaner-burning renewable fuel 
  • CHEAPER: DIGAS will provide a cost-effective way to introduce hydrogen in the fleet of existing diesel locomotives by retrofitting diesel locomotives with a specialised internal combustion engine (ICE) hydrogen system
  • PRACTICAL: The collaboration will demonstrate a practical path towards complete decarbonisation of the diesel locomotive fleet

Unlike other hydrogen projects in the rail sector where hydrogen is used to run locomotives via fuel cells or through specially produced hydrogen engines, this project will showcase a unique approach where hydrogen will be used in the locomotive’s current internal combustion engine. This innovative technology requires minimal change to be done to the locomotive. If successful, the project will showcase a more practical and cost-effective way to decarbonise and run the existing diesel locomotive fleet with hydrogen-powered engines.

Based on the agreement, Iarnród Éireann will provide the 071 Class Diesel Locomotive for the conversion as well as make the workshop available for the installation, testing and commissioning activities. DIGAS will manufacture, deliver and install a Hydrogen Internal Combustion Engine (H2 ICE) retrofit kit to convert the diesel locomotive to a hydrogen-powered locomotive. The conversion will allow the locomotive to run on renewable, emissions-free fuel instead of diesel fuel. As part of the agreement, the two companies will share technical and commercial information necessary for DIGAS to design, manufacture, install, and support the commissioning of the Hydrogen conversion kit and allow Iarnród Éireann to properly test a retrofitted locomotive.

The project is currently in the design process and scheduled for two testing phases across 2024 and 2025. Phase 1 will focus on static testing of the locomotion to check power and emissions output. Phase 2 will follow in 2025 and focus on service trials of the locomotion out on the rails. All designs and testing standards are subject to approval from the Commission for Railway Regulation (CRR).

The project is funded by Iarnród Éireann and DIGAS, and co-funded by EIT Urban Mobility, and Mechanical Engineering Competence Center, a Latvian body receiving funding from the European Recovery and Resilience Facility.

The Finnish start-up Bout uses the Seine to sail away in France

Thanks to the collaboration between EIT Urban Mobility and the Moove Lab, Bout, a Finnish start-up specialising in nautical mobility, settles in Paris to tackle the French market.

Founded in 2018, Bout is a platform that connects people looking for boat trips and those who offer them through an app (Mobility-as-a-Service). The platform makes it possible to centralise the fragmented market of water taxis and large boats into a single service; simplifying the purchase process on the customer side and increasing the efficiency of sales and operations on the service provider side.

During 2023, Bout will offer its service to towns located along the Seine, a river which connects Troyes, Paris, Rouen and Le Havre. By using the Seine as a circulation channel, the objective is to improve the mobility of people based in the cities bordered by this river, centralising the local offer of river transportation.

By settling in Paris, Bout is targeting an important river market which is still little exploited while having high numbers of tourists and inhabitants to tap in. For Peik Lehtonen, co-founder of Bout: “Paris has an excellent balance between tourists, citizens, underused waterways and service providers. Many river towns have wonderful services, but they are hard to find. By using modern technologies and a central platform, our goal is to help service providers find customers and sell their services through one single app.

The expansion of Bout to France takes place within the framework of the collaboration between EIT Urban Mobility and the Moove Lab (reference accelerator for mobility start-ups located at Station F in Paris).
For Peter Vest, Senior Investment and Portfolio Manager EIT Urban Mobility: “The Nordic countries are famous for their beautiful archipelagos. With its origin in Helsinki, Bout is a good example of what this type of environment can bring in terms of river innovation. Within EIT Urban Mobility, we see great potential for mobility by water, which makes it possible to transport people and goods in busy urban environments, such as rivers, lakes and ports.

Bout is also preparing the ground for nautical mobility in the run-up to the 2024 Olympic Games. Utilising water mobility can allow traffic to flow more smoothly in Paris and have people avoid being subject to traffic jams.

Discover more about Bout.

Supporting socially conscious innovators: introducing the new European Bauhaus Booster 2.0

Five Knowledge & Innovation Communities of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) are launching today the New European Bauhaus Booster 2.0.

On a mission to foster the New European Bauhaus transformation, EIT Digital, EIT Climate-KIC, EIT Food, EIT Manufacturing and EIT Urban Mobility are looking for the most innovative ventures developing solutions that make Europe more sustainable, inclusive and improve citizens’ quality of life, to support their business growth and help them become international gamechangers.

European startups or scaleups driving sustainable change for cities, industries, climate, food, wellbeing and overall quality of life are encouraged to apply.

The 20 best companies will receive acceleration support services worth a total of 1 million Euro (€50,000 each). They will benefit from business coaching, mentoring, internationalisation- and fundraising support as well as access to the vast network of the most prominent innovation community in Europe.

Applicants must demonstrate the social and economic impact of their solution and how it embodies the three core principles of the New European Bauhaus:

  • sustainability, from climate goals, to circularity, zero pollution, and biodiversity
  • aesthetics, quality of experience and style, beyond functionality
  • inclusion, from valorising diversity, to securing accessibility and affordability

Initially announced by President Von der Leyen in her State of the Union address and launched by the European Commission in early 2021, the New European Bauhaus, or ‘NEB’ in short, translates the European Green Deal into a tangible, positive experience in which all Europeans can participate and progress together.

The EIT Community is ideally placed to support implementation of the NEB as it has created Europe’s largest innovation ecosystem with over 2,000 partners (business, research, education, cities) cooperating in over 60 hubs across Europe.

By engaging with European innovators and civil society at large, the community is promoting business through startup creation and growth, as well as contributing to citizens’ education and engagement.

Join the New European Bauhaus Booster 2.0 and let your innovative solution contribute to the realisation of a carbon-neutral, digital, circular, and inclusive European society!

Applications are open until March 13, 2023. Click here to learn more and apply

Impact investment for real – how to get it right?

Saying you want to become the leading impact investor in Europe in the mobility sector is one thing, proving it another. How do you define impact, and how do you measure it? Together with the Upright Project, Katapult and geoFluxus, EIT Urban Mobility has discussed this topic during a panel session at Slush 2022.  

The definition of impact 

The session kicks off with the so-called elephant in the room question “What is impact?”. While the answer often is “it depends”, Annu Nieminen, CEO of the Upright Project, is clear “It does not depend at all. We have huge amounts of science on this topic. It is an area where proper mathematics, logic and rigorous thinking has taken place for a clear definition”. Impact is not only the negative or positive effect on the environment, but also on economic, health and knowledge that are all measurable.  

Therefore, impact shouldn’t be based on personal opinions or stories. Annu: You wouldn’t take a financial story as the truth, you want data, so why take an impact story as such?”. Fredrik Hånell, Impact Venture Director at EIT Urban Mobility, continues: “When you meet an entrepreneur as an investor and you have to ask them about the impact they create, they tend to have a nice story prepared for that.  Others start by mentioning what they dream of and the change they want to achieve: All other aspects of the business have almost become secondary. The big problem we are facing is that we are often presented with a good story which doesn’t mean they also create real positive impact.”  

Even though impact should be based on data, this is not easy with early-stage companies. Jørn Haanæs, Investment Director at Katapult: “With late-stage companies you can make clear predictions, but with pre-seed companies it is still guessing on the impact. Either way, the most important question remains: can a company go from zero to one, will it work?”.  When a company is not arriving at positive financial results at some point, there won’t be any other positive impact at all. 

Adding to this perspective from a different angle, Arnout Sabbe, CEO of geoFluxus states: “I believe that the most sustainable outcome of your company should also be the most positive business outcome. If this isn’t the case and sustainability hinders your financial returns, then it is time to tweak your business model since there is something wrong with the DNA of your company.”  

Greenwashing 

Over the last years, the importance of impact has increased significantly. “Companies start to understand that they can’t solarpanel their way out of the impact question anymore. They need to change for real and become more transparent”, says Annu. Unfortunately, at the same time there is also a rise in so-called greenwashing. Arnout: “It’s not only large companies who pretend to be green, but there also exist labeling companies which you can just pay to receive a green label. What is then the value of having such a label?” 

Annu: “When we review webpages, the more we come across the word sustainability, the less impactful these companies actually are. So don’t say you are sustainable, do it and be the best at it.” This is something Arnout fully confirms: “geoFluxus has shifted its narrative from saying that it is the most sustainable way handle your waste to the easiest and quickest way. We don’t say sustainable anymore, even though the algorithm still works in the same way.

As a result, the company now sees that also companies that are not interested in sustainability or the ones who don’t want talk about it, are onboarding their platform. “We don’t look like a hippy-washed company, it’s basically something that makes waste easier to handle and by coincidence it’s also the most sustainable solution for rest materials.” So instead of talking a lot about sustainability, simply integrating it at the core of your business works a lot better.  

The future of investing in impact startups 

Looking at the next decade, Jørn states that investing in impactful startups is the best thing as it also leads to superior financial results. “I think that impact ventures will only scale if we make it also the most profitable. We have investors in our fund that don’t care much about impact, so they get that as an extra and they can stay for the financial performance. You don’t need to only focus on impact and get stigmatized for it.”  

During this time period, Fredrik is foreseeing a change in the investment focus from software applications to hardware solutions. “While hardware will always have a negative impact due to the resources needed, they will enable technologies and solutions which will lead to a net positive impact. This implies for me that our investment thesis and the way we evaluate startups will have to change since evaluating a deep-tech startup is quite a different deal than evaluating a software company which often are seen as positively impacting.” 

Annu: “Don’t forget that also apps have an impact. They use energy, mobile devices and talented people. Especially looking at human capital, resources are now used for many not-so-necessary services and products like apps where cats make funny faces. We need to consider the opportunity cost of highly educated people which is also a limited resource. How much can we afford to use on secondary important things?” 

Accelerating the change to impact 

Climate change has been seen as something of the future, something that our grandchildren will have to witness. However, it is already happening today. Annu: “The planet doesn’t have the time to make it complicated. It doesn’t have 20 years left. As such, startups should not be filling in questionnaires about ESGs for investors. Running a company is hard enough and founders should focus on building a net positive business.” 

Well, besides specific investments, we need policy changes with big issues to incentivize good behavior”, states Jorn. “Specially to deal with the emotional side of human nature.” 

So how do we get people to change? Jørn: “Don’t ask the people. For example, if you ask most people, they want a Tesla. Even though there are a million times more efficient ways to move people around both in cities as in rural areas. The whole point should be to let innovators do their thing and finance new projects and new experiments and then see what works.” 

Fredrik: “I would actually recommend getting rid of cars completely and having more bicycles. By reshaping cities like Barcelona with superblocks and low speed areas, we give the cities back to the citizens.” 

Arnout adds a different point of view: “I would say we need more crises. We see that only real things and systems will change after extreme disruptions. For example, with our company we now see that suddenly companies, instead of having to pay for their waste, get money for their waste materials due to the gas crisis and material shortage. This has never happened before and makes them treat waste differently.” 

Annu: “I believe that change will come slowly but surely now that it is becoming financially more profitable to run and own a company that creates more value for its surrounding world. Due to where talent wants to work, where investments want to go, what do founders really want to run. And I see this change already happening, so many cool things are accelerating and that is what I’m betting on.” 

Urban Radar receives the Greentech Innovation Label

The French start-up Urban Radar, specialised in urban transformation and sustainable city planning, has won the Greentech Innovation label. The label is issued by the French Ministry of Ecological Transition to start-ups and entrepreneurs for their commitment to green and sustainable innovation. Companies are selected based on their ability to demonstrate positive impact on sustainability goals, which is also one of the reasons why EIT Urban Mobility decided to invest in Urban Radar. 

Founded in 2019, Urban Radar is a cloud platform that is revolutionising the way cities manage and regulate their mobility. In 2020, it was selected by EIT Urban Mobility to participate in the Scale-up programme, which allowed the start-up to launch a pilot in Barcelona on curb management and urban logistics.

After this first testing, Urban Radar has decided to expand its markets to Spain. EIT Urban Mobility is glad to support this expansion by offering office space in our headquarters in Barcelona. And the start-up is off to an incredible start. During the BNEW – Barcelona New Economy Week 2022, they were awarded Best Mobility Start-up and received the prize from the Spanish Minister of transportation, Raquel Sanchez. 


Today, the start-up offers three solutions to observe local trends and make data-driven decisions to meet the needs of citizens. With Citizen’s Need they help cities placing proximity-based urbanism at the center of their policies to answer citizen’s needs. Fret impact builds an understanding of freight paters in the peri-urban logistics hubs. And Flexcurb reveals how curb space is allocated and used to highlight opportunities for improvement. 

Discover more about the solutions of Urban Radar on the EIT Urban Mobility Marketplace

Rebel and EIT Urban Mobility start-up Vianova launch a new AI tool for CO2 emissions reduction

Paris based tech company Vianova just released an innovative tool to measure and reduce carbon emissions due to overall transportation in cities. This tool, powered with advanced AI algorithms, is designed to help cities and mobility operators efficiently curb transport CO2 emissions by identifying areas where shared mobility can be deployed to maximise chances of mode shift from private cars.

The tool, Mobility Policy Auto-Tuner (MPAT), has been developed in collaboration with global transport consultancy Rebel Group, and is built on top of Vianova’s platform in order to map carbon reduction potential across cities.

The feature represents a significant potential for urban planners in cities to incentivise mobility operators to deploy vehicles in the “right” areas – where it would lead to maximum net CO2 savings. With the MPAT feature they can:

  • identify those areas where regulations or infrastructure (such as mandatory device rebalancing, or a mobility hub) should be implemented in order to nudge citizens into greater shared mobility usage, shifting travel to light low-carbon travel modes
  • anticipate the “alternative carbon footprint” of a trip that would be taken by a shared transport mode
  • model the potential impact of the policy from a CO2 perspective over time
  • monitor whether the implemented policies truly achieve the predicted CO2 emissions reductions
  • recalibrate the AI algorithm to suggest better regulations given the tracked outcomes

Operating in more than 60 cities across the globe, Vianova was able to model potential carbon savings and forecast that the MPAT feature could help cities save up to 1’000 tons of CO2 per city yearly, representing more than 10% of the average total carbon footprint in these cities. This considerable potential would substantially participate in the global sustainability goals of reducing transport emissions by 30% by 2030 to stay below the +2 C° threshold according to the 2022 IPCC Global Report. 

Read more about how Vianova has grown in the last years with the support of EIT Urban Mobility in this article on Data for better urban planning.

Extra investment opportunities to start-ups incorporated in RIS countries

All over Europe, entrepreneurs are working on innovative solutions to cope with urban mobility challenges. However, circumstances differ across the continent resulting in unequal number and quality of funding opportunities for locally emerging businesses.

Through the Regional Innovation Scheme (RIS), EIT tackles such disparities by spreading its activities more evenly. More precisely, the RIS region defines a group of countries with a low performing innovation capacity. Despite the talent and entrepreneurial mindset available in such countries, change and innovation in the RIS region tend to slow down due to the conservative and risk avoiding policy making, as well as the drawbacks of engaging in an entrepreneurial career and the limited mechanisms to support start-ups.

By setting up a dedicated budget to invest in start-ups incorporated in RIS countries, EIT Urban Mobility is now contributing to the faster development of their innovation ecosystems and, more importantly, to the fundraising process of their local start-ups. As an impact investor, EIT Urban Mobility fosters positive social and environmental change across Europe, which among other things translates into paying special attention to those vulnerable innovation ecosystems.

To date, EIT Urban Mobility has invested in more than 20 start-ups from the RIS region like Mosaic from Czech Republic, Meight from Portugal, and Deeptraffic from Greece, and keeps looking for the most prominent entrepreneurs to disrupt the European mobility industry in those countries. If your company is incorporated in a RIS country seeking for capital, we highly encourage you to apply to our open investments call!

Check out EIT Urban Mobility’s investments landing page for more information or apply directly through the AwardsForce platform.