Announcements

🇮🇸 Fund managers collect and manage indicator funds

March 21, 2023

Klak – Icelandic startups is part of Nordic co-operation in the so-called VC Challenge that was launched in Copenhagen last week. The VC Challenge is a course for future fund managers of indicator funds in the Nordic countries and has Klak for several months worked with VC Challenge representatives to develop and promote the course and find interested representatives from Iceland to participate in it as well as Icelandic mentors from the fund environment to guide participants.

Press release from KLAK

Klak – Icelandic startups is part of Nordic co-operation in the so-called VC Challenge that was launched in Copenhagen last week. The VC Challenge is a course for future fund managers of indicator funds in the Nordic countries and has Klak for several months worked with VC Challenge representatives to develop and promote the course and find interested representatives from Iceland to participate in it as well as Icelandic mentors from the fund environment to guide participants. The aim is to put Iceland into Nordic co-operation, which aims to enable future fund managers to raise and manage index funds, give them access to experts in the field and access to important networks.

The VC Challenge is led by a number of stakeholders from the Nordic innovation support environment, including Startup Norway, Helsinki Partners, Klak – Icelandic Startups, Canute and Nordic Node, which run the VC Challenge course with support from sponsors such as Nordic Innovation, Denmark’s Export and Investment Fund, Icelandic the Kría Fund and other strong partners from the Nordic countries. This is the third time that the VC Challenge has been held and this year 20 teams are participating in the program, including 5 teams from Iceland who are exploring the possibilities of raising funds.

Kría, Start-up and Innovation Fund is a sponsor of the VC Challenge, while Sæmundur K. Finnbogason, Fund Manager of Kría, says, “It is extremely gratifying that Kría – Start-up and Innovation Fund is one of the sponsors of the VC Challenge for 2023. We are particularly pleased with the joint goals of Kría and the VC Challenge, which is to support and encourage the further development of indicator funds [AIFs] and create an even stronger financing environment for start-ups and innovative companies.

The VC Challenge is an outstanding course where experienced international teachers play a key role in supporting and guiding new fund managers in their journey to establishing new AIFs in the market. The collaboration between Kría and the VC Challenge is improving and strengthening Iceland’s innovation environment, and as this is a joint Nordic course, connections and co-operation between new fund managers in the Nordic countries are also being strengthened.”

Indicator funds typically invest in 20 start-ups over a 4-year period and devote a lot of time and capital to support the growth and development of these start-ups so that they can thrive. In this way, VC Challenge indirectly supports 400 promising start-ups in the Nordic countries, which returns many times and greatly strengthens the market, accelerates innovation and helps create more success stories.

Kristján Ingi Mikaelsson, one of the founders of MGMT Ventures, is quoted.

Through the joint Nordic co-operation under the auspices of the VC Challenge, we will be given a range of tools and tools to strengthen our work and move forward with our companies abroad. It is time to strengthen the foundations of investment in the early stages in Iceland with greater professionalism and predictability. Great work has been done in the second stage of investment in recent years, but the first ledge has been a bit forgotten.”

It’s obvious when you get to an international venue like the VC Challenge how much we Icelanders have to offer and are noticed. There has been a glimpse of the innovation framework in Iceland approaching what happens best abroad, yet we lack better flow and continuity in the financing phase of innovative companies. The VC Challenge is therefore a great step to support parties like us to come up with a form of fund that is not known in this country.” Kristoff concludes.


Originally published on 20 March.

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🇸🇪 Mining tailings are being upgraded – in order to capture carbon dioxide

March 21, 2023

The industrial green transition causes a larger-than-ever demand of metals. Now researchers at Luleå University of Technology will identify for the first time the potential of typical Swedish mine tailings, to be utilized and beneficial for the climate.

Press release from Luleå Technical University

Photo: Pixabay

The industrial green transition causes a larger-than-ever demand of metals. Now researchers at Luleå University of Technology will identify for the first time the potential of typical Swedish mine tailings, to be utilized and beneficial for the climate. In this project, researchers will investigate the potential of typical Swedish mine tailings to capture and store (CCS) by using tailings from Boliden Mineral, LKAB, and Copperstone Resources. Two different CO2 sources will be used, industrial emissions and direct air capture (DAC).

“Our previous studies have shown that mine tailings can be a cost-effective alternative for biogenic carbon capture and storage, and for capture of historical carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The impact of Swedish mine tailings for this task is something that we will investigate in collaboration with the industry”, project leader Ulrika Rova says, Professor of Biochemical Process Engineering, at Luleå University of Technology.

The project “Use of mine tailings to carbonate minerals by a symbiotic CC and DAC bio-stratgy”, is unique in Europe. It is financed by the Swedish Energy Agency and is implemented within the framework of Industriklivet – the Government’s long-term initiative to support climate change – part of the EU’s Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF). Focus for the researchers in the project are mine tailings, particularly rich in Ca- Si- and Mg-bearing minerals, which are beneficial for CCS. The researchers’ main objective is to reduce the industry’s process-related emissions of greenhouse gases by using solutions that can be implemented rapidly and remain relevant in the long-term.

New method for capturing carbon dioxide

Research, especially from Australia, has shown a strong potential for mine tailings to capture carbon dioxide, by mimicking the natural weathering process. In the TAILOR-MADE project, researchers will use another concept based on the utilization of a novel enzyme assisted carbon dioxide (CO2) hydration step to boost both the carbon capture and the mineral carbonation storage processes.

“The concept’s innovation is that instead of using harsh chemicals as absorbents, we capture CO2 using an enzyme called carbonic anhydrase. The novelty of this process is to utilise this enzyme, which is a biocatalyst, to accelerate the CO2 capture reaction, so the absorption step becomes very fast. Another important advantage is that we can offer a method able to efficiently transport captured COin the form of bicarbonate, which is a prerequisite for making permanent geological storage in Sweden”, Io Antonopoulou says, Assistant Professor in Biochemical Process Engineering, at Luleå University of Technology.

To optimize the enzyme-based carbon dioxide capturing technique, detailed mineralogical and chemical investigations of the ores and their constituents are required.

“We will use several microanalytical methods to characterize and better understand the composition of the geological material since it is crucial for how effective the capture and storage of carbon dioxide will be. Through this understanding, we will be able to optimize the CCS chain and come up with proposals for suitable methods for permanent storage of carbon dioxide “, Glenn Bark says, researcher in Ore Geology at Luleå University of Technology.

Sweden is a country with large metal producers

Sweden is one of Europe’s largest metal producers with currently 12 active mines primarily producing iron, copper, zinc, lead, gold, and silver that generates large amount of tailings. The carbon dioxide processes from mine tailing will be compared with the natural enhanced weathering process that has the potential to sequester carbon dioxide on decadal, to centennial timescales, a 100 year time scale.

“The project is extremely relevant for Boliden. During the autumn, we updated our already ambitious targets for reducing carbon dioxide emissions and we are now aiming for a reduction of 40% by 2030 from the 2021 level. We already know that our mining tailings, have the potential to store many millions of tons of carbon dioxide, but this natural carbonation is a very slow reaction. Catalyzing it, using enzymes, suddenly makes it more feasible”, Erik Ronne says, Head of Sustainability Research at Boliden Mines.

“Since 2015, our research group has built up a unique expertise in the integration of the enzyme carbonic anhydrase, as a biocatalyst to accelerate the capture of CO2 in the form of bicarbonate for use or storage. For us, it is important that our research is relevant to the industry and with this project we get another opportunity to contribute to a more sustainable society”, Paul Christakopoulos says, Professor and Head of Subject of Biochemical Process Engineering, at Luleå University of Technology.

In mining, it is the mineralogical content of the ore and the surrounding bedrock that is directly reflected in the composition of the mine waste.

“When we study an ore body, we do a mineral chemical characterization of the composition of both the ore and the surrounding rocks to understand how the ore was formed. Now, in this climate-related project, we can use that knowledge as part of the assessment of the suitability of a mine waste for catalyzed carbon dioxide storage”, Christina Wanhainen says, Chaired Professor in Ore Geology at Luleå University of Technology.

The project runs for 6 years with a budget of SEK 14.5 million and is a collaboration between researchers in Biochemical Process Engineering and Ore Geology at Luleå University of Technology, together with the mining industry. Mathis Warlo, researcher in Ore Geology, also participates in the project with his expertise in advanced microanalysis of minerals.

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🇺🇸 ACEP Welcomes Gratia Rowell

March 21, 2023

Gratia Rowell joined ACEP in January as a research assistant to work on the Reducing Fuel Oil Consumption in Rural Arctic Communities project, funded by NSF and led by ACEP’s Dominique Pride, Steve Colt and Jeremy VanderMeer.

Press release from the University of Alaska Fairbanks

Gratia Rowell joined ACEP in January as a research assistant to work on the Reducing Fuel Oil Consumption in Rural Arctic Communities project, funded by NSF and led by ACEP’s Dominique Pride, Steve Colt and Jeremy VanderMeer. She will be working on policy research that evaluates possible impacts of the power cost equalization program on renewable energy in rural Arctic villages. Rowell has a bachelor’s degree in political science from Simmons University and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in public policy at UAA. With interests in energy policy and regulation, she is excited to work on the project and learn about renewable energy and energy efficiency in Arctic communities. Rowell grew up on a small dairy farm in the Northeast Kingdom, the northeast corner of the state of Vermont. Bordered on the east by the Connecticut River and on the west by the Green Mountains (encompassing about 20 percent of the state), her experience in these surroundings sparked her interest in environmental regulation and policy.

Since her move to Alaska in 2021, Rowell has been enjoying the outdoors with activities such as biking and cross-country skiing as well as gardening in her free time.

Gratia Rowell joins ACEP to work on policy research. Photo by Ellie Hardwick.


Originally published on 20 March.

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🇺🇸 Alaska Startup Kartorium Celebrates Kotzebue’s Innovation Ecosystem in Blog

March 21, 2023

An Alaska owned and operated software startup, Kartorium, recently released a blog post highlighting their involvement in a collaborative project including Kotzebue Electric Association and a diverse group of project partners including ACEP and Alaska Center for Innovation, Commercialization, and Entrepreneurship, and Launch Alaska in assessing KEA’s data needs and energy goals.

Press release from the University of Alaska Fairbanks

An Alaska owned and operated software startup, Kartorium, recently released a blog post highlighting their involvement in a collaborative project including Kotzebue Electric Association and a diverse group of project partners including ACEP and Alaska Center for Innovation, Commercialization, and Entrepreneurship, and Launch Alaska in assessing KEA’s data needs and energy goals.

ACEP, a longtime partner of the city of Kotzebue, has worked with KEA to investigate energy systems that are suitable for electric grids that are disconnected from any main power grid. Specifically, ACEP aided in the collection of electrical data as well as building system data to support power system modeling efforts.

In the blog post ACEP data governance lead Vanessa Raymond sums up the importance of the collaboration in saying, “I think it tells a very beautiful story about how we need an ecosystem to support this type of work – no one organization can do it alone.” Raymond later went on to say, “This is a long-form, multiphase activity that needs the sustained effort of all partners in order to be repeatable.”

Kotzebue has pioneered the integration of renewable energy since the late 1990s and continues to demonstrate the city’s investment in a more sustainable and economically resilient future.

To read the blog article, click on the link below.

https://blog.kartorium.com/

 

View of Kotzebue from the north, in the Kartorium cloud platform. Image courtesy of Kartorium.


Originally published on 20 March.

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🇮🇸 Nefco in Iceland: Many more investment opportunities in sustainability and green technology

March 20, 2023

The green investment scene in Iceland is booming. Nefco – the Nordic Green Bank – has funded several Icelandic growth companies that all make a difference to the environment.

Press release from Nefco

The green investment scene in Iceland is booming. Nefco – the Nordic Green Bank – has funded several Icelandic growth companies that all make a difference to the environment.

Lestu greinina á íslensku

Since 2019, Nefco – the Nordic Green Bank – has funded six Icelandic growth companies, including Carbon Recycling International and e-scooter service Hopp. Prior to this, Nefco had only financed one Icelandic-owned company in its thirty-year history. This rapid increase is due to the growing emphasis on developing and exporting Icelandic green technologies and expertise in sustainability.

“The green investment scene in Iceland has developed significantly in recent years. We see more opportunities than ever before in Iceland,” says Thor Thorsteinsson, Head of Nordic SME financing at Nefco.

Significant changes in the Icelandic market

“The green investment scene in Iceland has developed significantly in recent years,” says Thor Thorsteinsson, Head of Nordic SME financing at Nefco. SMEs are the mainstay of the Icelandic economy. “Iceland is the ideal venue for a financial institution like Nefco. We see more opportunities than ever before, and there is a growing interest in our funding.”

Nefco – the Nordic Green Bank – is an international financial institution owned by the Nordic countries that only finances projects that have a positive impact on the climate and environment. Nefco assesses all applications based on its own environmental criteria and the EU Taxonomy, the EU’s new classification system for sustainable economic activities.

“We’re able to take more risk than commercial banks, provided that a project benefits the environment,” Thorsteinsson explains, adding that Nefco bridges a gap in the Icelandic financial market. “There are several development and venture capital funds in Iceland, including the Technology Development Fund, and they usually engage in projects before us. However, Nefco provides essential risk capital, which can be difficult to raise, at a point when commercial banks might not yet be willing to take the risk.”

Nefco can take more risk than commercial banks, provided that a project benefits the environment.

The aim is to export Nordic green technology

Nefco’s largest project in Iceland is its collaboration with Carbon Recycling International (CRI), a pioneer in the production of fuel from carbon dioxide and hydrogen. Its patented technology transforms captured CO2 from industry and other sources into liquid methanol by reacting it with hydrogen. The methanol can be used as a low-carbon fuel or feedstock for chemicals. In 2021, Nefco converted its EUR 2.5 million loan to CRI into equity and increased its investment in the company. At the end of 2022, the world’s first commercial-scale CO2-to-methanol plant started operations in China using CRI’s technology. The plant will recycle up to 160,000 tons of CO2 per year.

“Our main goal is to promote the export of Nordic green technology. We finance our clients’ first steps towards internationalisation, emphasising the initial scale-up of the technology in new markets. Then, if everything goes as planned, commercial banks take over and our job is done,” Thorsteinsson explains.

CRI’s George Olah Renewable Methanol Plant in Svartsengi, Iceland. Photo: CRI

First Icelandic connection was a bank in Ukraine

Nefco’s first investment linked to Iceland was Bank Lviv in Ukraine, in which Icelandic investors hold a significant share. Since 2008, Nefco and Bank Lviv have collaborated on loan financing to improve energy efficiency. Nefco recently acquired a 14 per cent stake in the bank through a capital increase to further strengthen its green lending activities in the west of Ukraine.

“For a long while, this was Nefco’s only Icelandic connection,” says Thorsteinsson. The increased funding activity in the country reflects a change in Nefco’s strategy. Previously, Nefco funded environmental projects in Eastern Europe that included the participation of Nordic companies, whereas today it finances Nordic companies in their global activities.

One of these is the software company and e-scooter service Hopp, which has established itself as a leading provider of micro-mobility in Iceland. In addition, Hopp has entered into franchise agreements with partners across Europe, allowing them to use the company’s software platform and lease its electric scooters. Nefco’s financing will allow Hopp to expand its franchise to more European locations.

“Hopp’s approach is quite interesting,” says Thorsteinsson. “The company’s electric scooters last longer than the competition, and they’ve taken an ambitious approach to recycling. Hopp focuses mainly on smaller cities and towns. Their aim is not to replace public transport systems but to reduce dependency on private cars and encourage more sustainable travel habits.”

Icelandic Hopp receives financing from Nefco, the Nordic Green Bank
opps electric scooters are expanding its franchise to more European locations. Photo: Hopp

A diverse range of companies and industries

Nefco has also provided loan financing to sustainability management company Klappir Green Solutions. Klappir’s sustainability platform enables companies, institutions and public authorities to monitor the CO2 emissions from their activities, improve waste management and take measures to reduce their carbon footprint.

Other investments include Thor Ice, which has developed a cooling method that reduces food waste and improves energy efficiency in food production; Polar Fishing Gear, which produces trawl doors from recycled plastics to reduce fuel consumption and minimise impact to the seabed; and Alvar (previously D-Tech), which offers sprinkler-based sanitation systems for disinfecting food production lines.

Nefco plays a key role in implementing the Nordic Vision 2030 by supporting the green transition and promoting the export of Nordic green technology.

“Iceland has established a unique position when it comes to technology for fisheries and efficient utilisation of catch. These three companies are all a product of this, but we can see that their technologies can also be applied in other sectors. At Nefco, we are particularly interested in companies engaged in the circular economy, working to reduce waste and contribute to better use of resources.”

Thorsteinsson also highlights geothermal energy as an interesting investment option, a field in which Iceland has developed extensive experience and knowledge. Nefco is currently involved in a project on harnessing low-temperature geothermal energy. The project is located in Iceland, while the client and technology are Swedish.

Polar Green Recovery
Small fishing boat using Polar’s trawl doors made from recycled plastics. Photo: Polar Fishing Gear

The green transition is picking up speed

According to Thorsteinsson, the green transition took off later in Iceland than in the other Nordic countries. In Denmark, for example, the annual export value of energy technology during 2014-2021 was over EUR 14.1 billion. In 2021, wind energy technology accounted for about half the export value. In comparison, Iceland’s foreign exchange earnings from tourism peaked at EUR 3.4 billion in 2018 and were EUR 2.3 billion in 2022.

“Iceland concentrated on building a strong tourism industry after the financial crisis. However, as has often been the case, Icelanders fully embraced the green business transition when it finally reached the country,” says Thorsteinsson.

He encourages Icelandic companies to look into Nefco’s financing. The institution works closely with the Federation of Icelandic Industries (SI), Business Iceland and Green by Iceland, a platform for cooperation on climate issues and green solutions that regularly holds information meetings in Iceland.

Nefco’s participation signifies that a technology contributes to a more sustainable future, which makes companies more attractive to other investors.

“The Nordic countries’ vision is to become the world’s most sustainable region by 2030. Nefco plays a key role in achieving this ambition by supporting the green transition in our society and promoting the export of Nordic green technology”

According to Thorsteinsson, Nefco’s application process is simple, especially compared to other international financial institutions. Nefco offers standardised loan agreements for loans of up to EUR 500,000, whereas larger loan agreements are tailored to each company individually. The maximum funding amount is EUR 5 million. In addition to its lending activities, Nefco manages the Nordic Project Fund, Nopef. Over the last thirty years, more than one hundred Icelandic companies have received grants from the fund.

“Our financing can make a huge difference to small and medium-sized companies. Moreover, companies funded by Nefco benefit from our expert knowledge of environmental and climate issues. Nefco’s participation signifies that a technology contributes to a more sustainable future, which makes companies more attractive to other investors.”

Contact us

Thor Thorsteinsson, Vice President, Green Transition Nordic SMEs
+358 10 6180 657, [email protected]
Send a contact request

Learn more about our financing options

Loans and equity-type funding – Investments on global markets
Growth financing for SMEs going global
About Nefco in Icelandic: Vaxtarfjármögnun fyrir lítil og meðalstór fyrirtæki (SME) í alþjóðlegri sókn


Originally published on 14 March.

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🇫🇮 Solving product marking for circular economy with sustainable and cost-effective laser technology – Cajo Technologies receives financing from Nefco

March 20, 2023

Solving product marking for circular economy with sustainable and cost-effective laser technology – Cajo Technologies receives financing from Nefco

Press release from Cajo Technologies

nefco-cajo-sustainable-laser-marking-circular-economy

Solving product marking for circular economy with sustainable and cost-effective laser technology – Cajo Technologies receives financing from Nefco

Cajo Technologies’ innovative laser marking technology enables reliable traceability of material flows and helps close the loops in the circular economy. The chemical-free solution decreases the carbon footprint by 90 % compared with inkjet printers. The Nordic Green Bank Nefco finances Cajo and helps the company answer the growing demand for sustainable product marking and traceability solutions.

Nefco – the Nordic Green Bank has granted loan financing to Cajo Technologies, the laser marking technology company based in Northern Finland. Financing from Nefco will help Cajo scale up forerunning and patented technology on global markets and respond to the growing need for traceability in the circular economy sector. A short partnership video presentation by Nefco can be viewed here.

laser-marking-cajo-materials-honeycomb
The environmental benefit from Cajo’s laser marking technology comes from improved traceability, a vital component of the circular economy. Patented Cajo laser marking and coding technology can be used to mark virtually any material on the planet sustainably and cost-efficiently.

“More than 2 million companies use barcodes and QR codes to identify products, resulting in more than 5 billion tracing codes scanned daily to manage quality, recalls, liability, inefficiencies and cost savings. Counterfeiting costs billions of euros every year. Pirated products put the health and safety of consumers worldwide at risk while robbing businesses, governments and communities of profits, tax revenues and legitimate jobs. Environmentally friendly marking systems are a major trend supported by regulations and user demand factors. Readable and permanent markings advance resource efficiency in the whole value chain, reduce material waste and enable an effective circular economy,” says Niko Karsikas, the CEO and founder of Cajo Technologies.

In addition to tightening requirements for product traceability, the manufacturing industry is constantly looking for solutions that can increase the degree of automation of production processes, improve product quality, and increase cost efficiency. Complex production, logistics and processing chains require the most accurate and real-time quality management and material flow monitoring – both in the companies’ internal production processes and throughout the processing chains.

Cajo’s lasers with flexible software solutions are available for all industrial marking purposes, covering the needs for traceability, identification, and product markings. Cajo’s technology enables producers and end-users to track and monitor all steps involved in the development of a finished product, from the procurement stage of raw materials to production, and consumption all the way to the disposal of goods and reuse of the materials. Due to its cost-efficiency, sustainability, and durability, Cajo’s flexible technology has many application areas for example in the packaging, paper, metal, cable and wire industry, EV battery manufacturing, and medical and consumer electronics.

cajo-tailor-fiber-traceability-product-identification-laser-marking-stainless-steel-sample
Cajo Tailor Fiber™ laser marking unit can be integrated efficiently into a production line to improve manufacturing processes.

“Cajo Technologies is a fast-growing SME and ready to scale up its environment-driven solution on international markets, which is a great match for Nefco. The share of circular economy projects in our SME portfolio is increasing. Enabling solutions, such as Cajo’s, is key to furthering circularity so we are very delighted to support Cajo’s global growth,” says Helena Lähteenmäki, Investment Director at Nefco.

The environmental impact of Cajo’s solution stems from improved traceability, which is important for a well-functioning circular economy. The technology enables machine-readable traceability markings that last throughout a product’s life cycle even in challenging conditions. Furthermore, Cajo’s chemical-free marking technology saves valuable resources, increases product recyclability and decreases the carbon footprint of industrial labelling by 90 % compared to industrial inkjet printers. Laser marking can be also used to ensure the quality and authenticity of products to prevent safety risks and greenwashing related to counterfeiting.

In 2022, Cajo opened a subsidiary in India as part of the company’s growth and internationalisation strategy. Cajo CEO Niko Karsikas is excited about the partnership and continuing on the road towards a greener future.

“The financing process and cooperating with Nefco has been smooth. Nefco’s support and the cooperation project complement our funding base and growth strategy well. Our key focus remains the same: to replace traditional marking methods with Cajo’s additive-free solutions and significantly increase our market share in selected industries. Now we can scale up our operations even more effectively and develop more cost-efficient solutions that will improve production processes, product quality, and the circular economy. Together with Nefco, we will accelerate the green transition for the global manufacturing industry.”

cajo-makebright-sustainable-laser-marking-coding-technology-cardboard-packaging-samples-manufacturers
Cajo MakeBright™ is a patent-pending new product marking technology by Cajo Technologies offered to Packaging Manufacturers globally. By using Cajo’s cost-efficient technology, packaging manufacturers can replace inkjets and the need for additives when marking and coding cardboard material. The highly sustainable technology can save hundreds of millions of litres of ink, glue and label mass per year and improve recyclability. Read an insightful article on Cajo MakeBright™ here.

Manufacturers who want to save valuable resources and help conserve the environment with cost-effective and sustainable marking solutions can contact Cajo here.

cajo-laser-marking-benefits-intelligent-manufacturing

For more information, please contact:

Nefco

Helena Lähteenmäki
Investment Director
+358 10 618 0633
[email protected]

 

Cajo Technologies Ltd.

Niko Karsikas
CEO
+358 50 517 6906
[email protected]

 

About Nefco

Nefco is an international financial institution, the Nordic Green Bank, that finances the initial scale-up of Nordic green solutions on global markets. Founded in 1990 by the five Nordic countries, Nefco has already financed and implemented over 1,500 projects in energy efficiency, renewable energy, clean water and sanitation, waste management and cleaner industrial processes, among others. To date, more than 600 Nordic growth companies have received financing from Nefco to scale up their green technologies and solutions on global markets. Nefco serves the interests of our owners, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, and works with concrete actions to accelerate the green transition aligned with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Paris Agreement, the EU Green Deal and the Nordic Vision 2030.

Read more about Nefco at www.nefco.int.

 

About Cajo Technologies

Cajo Technologies is an international technology company that provides manufacturers with the best and most sustainable product marking solutions for any need. Cajo’s comprehensive laser marking systems have been delivered to more than 60 countries and are used by market-leading companies worldwide. The remarkably cost-efficient lasers and flexible software solutions are available for all industrial marking purposes, covering the needs for traceability, identification, and product markings.

The company has a patented method for marking colour and traceability markings without additives. Cajo’s intelligent technology enables significant added value for material producers and other processors. The reliable solutions enable products a long life cycle and almost service-free operation when replacing inkjet, label, engraving, etching, and painting methods. Typical investment payback time is under 8 months.

Cajo’s high-quality technology enables reliable machine-readable traceability markings that last throughout the product’s life cycle even in challenging conditions. The chemical-free marking technology enables manufacturers to reduce the carbon footprint of industrial labelling by 90 % compared with for example industrial inkjet printers.

Read more about how sustainable Cajo Laser compares with inkjet in the Macon 2020 report here.

 


Originally published on 16 March.

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🇮🇸 IS Haf is a new Icelandic $71M fund focusing on ocean related opportunities (Northstack)

March 20, 2023

Fund management company Íslandssjóðir just announced a new $71M (10bn ISK) fund called IS Haf fjárfestingar slhf that will invest in Icelandic ocean projects over the next years.

Originally published by Northstack on 15 March

Fund management company Íslandssjóðir just announced a new $71M (10bn ISK) fund called IS Haf fjárfestingar slhf that will invest in Icelandic ocean projects over the next years. The fund’s investment capacity is even greater if the shareholders’ co-investment authorization is taken into account. By that measure, the investment capacity could go up to $200M – $350M.


For the full version of this article, visit Northstack.

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🇮🇸 Start-ups put the weight on the circular economy

March 20, 2023

Seven outstanding and diverse start-ups have been selected to participate in Hringiðu 2023, a business accelerator and a collaborative platform for companies in Iceland, which put all the weight on the circular economy and ensure that resources are maintained in the economy.

Press release from KLAK

Seven outstanding and diverse start-ups have been selected to participate in Hringiðu 2023, a business accelerator and a collaborative platform for companies in Iceland, which put all the weight on the circular economy and ensure that resources are maintained in the economy.

The review of applications was conducted by a steering group, which is composed of representatives of the sponsors and partners of The Circle. The group includes experienced people from the business and business sectors who work to promote the circular economy and green solutions. Diverse and promising teams were sought to tackle climate challenges guided by the circular economy.

The debate on the circular economy has been the focus of recent years and is becoming increasingly urgent with each passing year. Hringiða A project is needed in this debate and has in a short time established itself as a coping mechanism to help start-ups draw up and develop solutions to climate-related challenges and take global leadership in environmental matters.

Hringiða is based on an international model and is a proven process in which start-ups are given access to targeted training and a broad network of industry experts. According to Kolfinna Kristínardóttir, project manager of Hringiða, “The accelerator is a strong forum for circular companies in Iceland that gives individuals the opportunity to meet other people who are interested and work within the circular economy. Hringiðu participants thus gain a wide network of mentors from business and eventually be able to apply for grants to European funds, such as LIFE and Horizon Europe.”

Mar Eco
Mar Eco stands for Marine Ecolocial Solutions and the goal is to work on environmentally friendly solutions in the production and use of fishing gear. Recycled plastic scrap from the sea is used, which supports the blue economy and environmentally friendly fishing.

The founders of Mar Eco are Atli Már Jósafatsson, Gunnar Már Atlason and Andrea Thormar.

Melta
Melta offers recirculation services and the production of organic fertilizers from bio-waste in rural and municipal areas.

Melta’s founders are Björk Brynjarsdóttir and Júlía Brenner.

Orb
Orb develops technologies to measure the carbon sequestration of forests in a cheap and accessible way to promote responsible carbon offsetting and the production of certified carbon units.

Orb is founded by Íris Ólafsdóttir and Jón Arnar Tómasson.

Resea Energy
Resea Energy is a research and development company aiming to produce biofuels from seaweed from cultivated seaweed.

The founders of Resea Energy are Páll Gunnarsson and Ingi Björn Sigurðsson.

Alor
Alor is working on the development and production of environmentally friendly aluminium batteries and energy storage of different sizes, i.e. from small batteries and accumulators to large energy storage in container sizes.

The founders of Alor eur Linda Fanney Valgeirsdóttir and Rúnar Unnþórsson.

Bambahús
Bambahús is a greenhouse that contributes to the strengthening of the circular economy, reusing liquid packaging that would otherwise be exported and landfilled. The houses are light, sturdy, premature, and specially designed with Icelandic climate in mind.

The founders of Bambahús are Reynir Hjálmarsson, Jón Hafþór Marteinsson and Sigrún Arna Gylfadóttir.

RVK Tool Library Collection
The Circular Library provides communities with fair and financial access to tools and other items.

The founders of RVK Tool Library’s Collection are Anna C de Matos and Kristofer Henry.

Management of the accelerator is in the hands KLAK who has for many years provided assistance in the development of business ideas and brought together a group of stakeholders with value creation as a guiding principle. The sponsors of Hringiðu are the City of Reykjavík, the Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate, Reykjavik Energy, Faxaflóahafnir, Terra, Ölgerðin and the Federation of Icelandic Industries. The partners of Hringiða are Rannís, Breið development company, Evris, Sjávarklasinn, Grænvangur and Orkuklasinn.


Originally published on 17 March.

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🇳🇴 Commercialised hydrogen in Berlevåg

March 20, 2023

Varanger KraftHydrogen has been vigorous since the Cluster catch-up edition in November 2021. They recently announced that they made an investment decision to commercialize compressed hydrogen from 2024.

Press release from Ocean Highway Cluster

Ocean Hyway Cluster

“The famous chicken and egg situation is still present, but with this investment, we aim to be the chicken in our region.”
— Christian Bue

Varanger KraftHydrogen has been vigorous since the Cluster catch-up edition in November 2021. They recently announced that they made an investment decision to commercialize compressed hydrogen from 2024.

With the big news of the commercialization of hydrogen in Berlevåg, we had a chat with CEO Christian Bue on Varanger KraftHydrogen’s plans for the future.

Congratulations on making the final investment decision! What have been the most important barriers to pass to be able to make the decision?
Thank you! This is an important milestone for us and enables a smooth transition from the R&D phase we have been in for the past years, to a commercial phase starting in 2024. The market for compressed hydrogen is still in development, and has taken longer than first anticipated to mature. The steps to reaching this milestone has largely been related to confidence in the market and building good partnerships through the value chain. Based on support from Innovation Norway, we are now able to make the investment. The famous chicken and egg situation is still present, but with this investment we aim to be the chicken in our region. We hope that this will create predictability for the market and potential offtakers who are evaluating hydrogen as their green energy source in the future, Christan Bue, CEO of Varanger KraftHydrogen says.

What are Varanger KraftHydrogen’s plans for 2023?
There is still some work to be done through the EU project Haeolus. We will continue this in parallel in getting the compressor and infrastructure installed through 2023. Further maturation of the market and our partnerships will be in high focus to be ready for hydrogen sale early in 2024.

We are working with Norwegian Hydrogen to establish refuelling stations in the region, and hope to share more details on this and other partnerships in the coming year.

Varanger KraftHydrogen also has the concession for step 3 of the Raggovidda wind farm (103 MW) and is developing new possible wind resources in the region. The last focus area of the company is the joint venture with Aker Horizons, Green Ammonia Berlevåg, where we are planning for a large-scale ammonia factory in Berlevåg. So 2023 will be an interesting year for us, he says.

What is your biggest challenges going forward?
Ideally, we would have seen even stronger politics for transitioning into green fuels, and hope to see improvements here in the coming time. The cost of purchasing green-fueled “vessels”, be it boats or industrial machinery, is still too high for most sectors. The same goes for the infrastructure required to establish fuel stations and similar. We believe that we need stronger mechanisms to lower this risk to be able to hold Norway’s position in the shift towards a greener future.

For larger projects, there is also a big challenge in Norway when it comes to grid capacity. A strong focus on utilizing existing grid infrastructure in a more optimal way, as well as taking a more proactive approach towards new power grid, is imperative for Norway to be able to make the necessary transition as well as enabling a new green industry in Norway. We have a positive view on the future and have the impression that the politicians have understood the dire situation for both risk-mitigating solutions and the grid, and believe that they will soon come with good solutions to drive the necessary change forward, Bue enthusiastically ends.

Maria Benæs Hunvik
Communications Advisor
+47 954 57 606
maria.hunvik(a)oceanhywaycluster.no

Linkedin


Originally published on 17 March.

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🇸🇪 Important step for Boden Industrial Park

March 20, 2023

The Land and Environment Court has now announced that the appeals against the zoning plan for the so-called infrastructure corridor to the Boden Industrial Park are rejected.

Press release from Bodenxt

The Land and Environment Court has now announced that the appeals against the zoning plan for the so-called infrastructure corridor to the Boden Industrial Park are rejected. This means that the adoption decision is fixed and is another important step in Boden’s social transformation.

The detailed plan for the infrastructure corridor will enable and ensure that it is possible to connect the Boden Industrial Park to the existing rail infrastructure by rail. The detailed plan is a critical point for H2 Green Steel’songoing investment in a hydrogen-powered green steel production facility in Boden. Parallel to the railroad, a regular road will also be built.

The local plan was appealed at an earlier stage, but the appeals have now been rejected by the Land and Environment Court.

” It is a very complex detailed plan as we are moving close to existing buildings and important recreational areas. We feel that we have had an open and transparent dialog with everyone involved, which is very important in processes of this kind. Even if we are not quite in the case yet, I interpret the Land and Environment Court’s opinion as a positive signal, says Lars Andersson, Head of Planning and Development.

Lars Andersson, Head of Planning and Development.

Mats Berg, head of the business community, also sees the latest announcement as a positive step in the right direction for growth in Boden.

” It is an extremely important part of the ongoing transition process. We have a lot of things going on right now where each one has its given part in the whole, this is one of the bigger ones. We are moving forward, which is important as many of the timetables we have to deal with are aggressive to say the least,” says Mats Berg.

Mats Berg, Head of Economic Development in the municipality of Boden.

A further opportunity to appeal is available until April 6, 2023.

Photos: Mats Engfors, Fotographic and KOMM, Bodens kommun


Originally published on 17 March.

Link to sender’s website

Announcements are published as a service to readers. The sender is responsible for all content.

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