Romanian-Bulgarian project wins The Climate Community Lab Seed Funding

Oana Vasiliu 14/12/2020 | 09:43

Projects “Apro’tech”, a Hungarian-Bulgarian collaboration, and “Food for the Earth”, a Romanian-Bulgarian collaboration, are the two winners of the EUR 20,000 Climate Community Lab seed funding. The winners are Nora Feldmar (HU), Cristina Briziou(RO), Irena Sabewa (BG) and Milena Agopyan (BG).

After careful consideration of an impressive number of over 40 projects that demonstrated they can bring impact in Central and Eastern Europe, the representatives of EIT Climate-KIC, Ashoka, 4CF Strategic Foresight, and Centre for Systems Solutions decided to select two winners that showed a high degree of innovation, feasibility, potential impact, and expertise. 

“Apro’tech” is a cross-border collaboration between Habitat for Humanity Hungary and Energy Agency of Plovdiv (EAP) Bulgaria. The mission of Apro’tech Habitat is to make efficient, safe, and eco-friendly heating technologies accessible to the most marginalized communities. Their idea is to design, build and test the first prototypes of a low-cost heater, as well as work on policy recommendations for a social stove-replacement scheme which will be disseminated in the CEE region. 

“Food for the Earth – Composting Communities for Climate” is a cross-border collaboration between Urban Cultor startup in Bucharest, Romania, and Our Neighborhood Association for Sustainable Practices in Bulgaria. “Food for the Earth” is a community-based initiative for composting on site. It builds and offers low carbon infrastructure and services as an integrated and innovative green economy and social approach. 

Corina Murafa, co-director Ashoka: “Central and Eastern Europe is facing one of its greatest challenges, as well as opportunities, since the fall of the Iron Curtain: ensuring a just energy and climate transition, which transforms our economies and leaves nobody behind. For this to happen we need bottom-up actions and solutions. We realized innovative grassroots solutions and ideas do exist, but they need to be surfaced and supported. This is why, in 2020, we involved many of the region’s changemakers in a Community Lab aimed at fostering trust, cooperation, learning and inspiration. I am glad we were able to offer in partnership with EIT Climate-KIC 20,000 EUR seed funding to climate changemakers from Romania, Hungary, and Bulgaria with ready-to-invest solutions in the fields of energy poverty, community-based agriculture and energy efficiency”. 

Supporting the development of climate-positive ideas in Central and Eastern Europe is part of the Climate Community Lab which brings together climate changemakers in our region. This second round of seed funding follows a first round of a similar value. Within a three months process of building trust and inspiring collaborations for climate action in CEE, the Community Lab awarded seed funding totaling 40,000 EUR to climate changemakers in the region. 

Annamária Virág, Innovation Lead at Climate-KIC: “EIT Climate-KIC’s objective is to  generate not only innovative projects tackling the impacts of climate change, but also having a systemic perspective and building strong ecosystems, empowering communities in the CEE. We want to invest in initiatives which aim for impact in all these aspects of climate action.”

The Climate Community LAB is an action-oriented network and co-creation ‘LAB’ that brings people together to address climate change challenges in Central and Eastern Europe. Community Lab is funded and created by EIT Climate-KIC and led in a collaborative model with partners: Ashoka, 4CF Strategic Foresight, Centre for Systems Solutions, Cleantech ForEst, Impact Hub, University of Warsaw. 

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