Working towards boosting innovation in the Mediterranean

Our consortium is made up of Building Global Innovators (BGI), the lead partner based in Portugal, Chrysalis LEAP from Cyprus, and the Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology (MCAST) in Malta. Together we are working towards boosting innovation in the Mediterranean. 

Building Global Innovators was founded in 2009 from a public-private partnership between the Portuguese Foundation of Technology, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and ISCTE – University Institute of Lisbon, to foster the transference of knowledge from research and universities to the market. The institution is currently executing 33 programmes distributed in three areas: education, acceleration and innovation. Since 2015, BGI has a successful track record with several KICs working in the areas of education, acceleration and open innovation activities for EIT Digital and EIT Climate-KIC (as a partner), and for EIT Food, EIT Health and for EIT Urban Mobility (as a subcontractee). It has also been part of the EIT Climate-KIC Portugal Hub since 2016, with FCT – University of Lisbon and Lisboa-e Nova.

BGI has accelerated 23 start-ups, attracting a total of €13.38M in funding with an economic leverage of 22.3% for all the grants of EIT Climate-KIC and creation of 112 jobs. It has also created partnerships with several networks that may serve start-up with opportunities to collaborate and address international calls. Partners that are able to provide additional mentoring and stakeholder engagement opportunities to start-ups include the Portuguese Industry Association (AIP), Portuguese Business Association (AEP), Enterprise Europe Network (EEN) and the National Network of Incubators (RNI)

Chrysalis LEAP is the first Cleantech Accelerator based in Cyprus, with eight years of operation and numerous exciting initiatives under its belt. Since its kick-off in 2013, it has evolved into an entity that creates opportunities for entrepreneurs through training and coaching, as well as designing and coordinating innovation events to help start-ups get funded. Chrysalis LEAP has been part of the EIT Climate-KIC Hub alongside the Cyprus University of Technology and the Cyprus Energy Agency since 2016.  

Chrysalis LEAP has trained more than 200 entrepreneurs and 20 late stage start-ups with three of its “graduates” having raised more than €2 million in external funding. The team comprises expert trainers with several years of experience in Cleantech topics and working with early stage startups. Most specifically, Paris Thomas, Chrysalis LEAP co-founder, is one of 30 globally certified trainers on Business Model Generation and will lead the Stage 2 bootcamp. 

Established in 2001, MCAST is the country’s leading vocational education and training institution with strong connections to public bodies and industry, offering 180 full-time and over 300 part-time vocational courses ranging from certificates to Master’s degrees (MQF Level 1 to Level 7). It aims to drive applied research and innovation aligned with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Mediterranean Strategy for Sustainable Development 2025 and the National R&I Strategy. On top of this, the MCAST Entrepreneurship Centre, running since 2014 and established with the Kordin Business Incubation Centre (KBIC) and Malta Enterprise, has trained more than 50 young entrepreneurs. Last year, MCAST began official collaboration with Business Angels Malta, a not-for-profit association bringing together business angels and start-ups looking for investment.

MCAST is proud to be collaborating with the Ministry for Environment, Climate Change and Planning (MECP) on several priority areas: 1) air pollution, 2) renewable energy and 3) waste. Startups in Malta that address any of these areas have the opportunity to be supported directly the MECP through piloting of a service/product. Finally MCAST is excited to have a new partner on board, Tech.mt, which will be providing additional financial support to selected start-ups in Malta.

The EIT Urban Mobility (UM) Hub Malta, in which MCAST is also a partner, puts forward urban mobility as a priority area for Malta as most emissions come from the transport sector. The Hub will support one selected start-up through additional mentoring and guidance on applying to the European-wide EIT Urban Mobility Accelerator programme after participating in this accelerator. Solutions should focus on one of the EIT UM challenge areas: active mobility, future mobility, sustainable city logistics, mobility and energy and liveable urban spaces.