Finnova Foundation

Juventude Notícias pt

Waste management project LIFE Ecodigestion 2.0 was main topic on circular economy and green energies webinar during “EUGreenWeek”

This LIFE Project seeks to boost the production of biogas and to increase energetic self-sufficiency in wastewater-treatment plants

The new 2021-2027 LIFE programme was presented to participants. It will have a financial envelope of €5.4 billion

 The goal of this event was to share experiences and form alliances pursuing a more sustainable and affordable waste management digestion

Brussels, 04.05.2021- On June 4, water service provider Global Omnium and Finnova Foundation held an online event called “Challenge of circular economy in WWTP for green energy production” within the European Green Week 2021 #EUGreenWeek This event, which is part of the broader LIFE Ecodigestion 2.0 project, addresses two out of seventeen UN SDGs, i.e. SDG 6 (clean water and sanitation) and SDG 7 (affordable and clean energy). Over 100 participants from Latin America, Spain and other European countries attended the event.

The European Green Week 2021 #EUGreenWeek, which was organised by the European Commission Directorate General for Environment, will take place from 31 May to 4 June, 2021, and will focus on the theme “Zero Pollution”. This annual event will be coupled with online events in all EU member states and will address EU environment policies.

This webinar provided the latest news on the promotion of the circular economy in wastewater treatment processes by sharing best practices and examples of waste reuse such as the ongoing LIFE projects Ecodigestion 2.0, Nieblas and Landfill Biofuel.

This workshop was attended by several international and national experts who shed some light on how to turn waste management into a more sustainable and efficient practice. Finnova CEO Juanma Revuelta chaired the event. Finnova had also previously taken part in the Water Start Up Europe Awards together with the Valencian government as part of its commitment towards reaching water circularity. Revuelta encouraged speakers, companies and governments to seek LIFE funding. LIFE is the only EU financial instrument dedicated to the environment. The upcoming call for pilot projects will start on mid-June and will have a financial envelope of up to €5.4 billion.

Revuelta also presented the LIFE Ecodigestion 2.0 project. This initiative includes an automated control system to manage organic waste in anaerobic digesters in WWTPs in order to maximize the production of biogas on demand as a renewable source of energy. For example, this system allows transforming organic waste from the HORECA sector (such as leftovers) into biogas in each water treatment plant, which then can be used to fuel vehicles.

LIFE Ecodigestion 2.0 (€970,000) undertakes to turn biogas into a reliable source of energy to supply green power to industries and companies in order to ensure that the EU’s goal to reach at least 27% of renewable energy in 2030 is met. This methodology is of especial interest for Europe, as there are 18.000 water treatment plants accounting for 0.8% of energy consumption.

Based on these facts and figures, LIFE Ecodigestion 2.0 kicked off on 1 September, 2020, and will continue up until 29 February, 2024. Its main coordinator is Global Omnium Medioambiente, and its main partners are Finnova Foundation and Portuguese consortium Águas do Centro Litoral.

The conference was inaugurated by Jaime Castillo, Institutional Relations Officer at Global Omnium. He encouraged participants and attendees to take the risk and “to get out of the comfort zone” in order to reduce waste production and transform it into energy. “The Earth is not a landfill”.

The wastewater treatment plant in Quart de Benáger, Comunidad Valenciana, took part in both LIFE Ecodigestion and LIFE Ecodigestion 2.0. Paul Granell, director at the plant, said that thanks to these projects, the plant now generates electric energy from biogas produced in the anaerobic digestion process. In turn, this promotes the use of renewable energies and reduces GHG emissions.

Joana Vieria, Wastewater Operations Coordinator at Águas do Centro Litoral, provided an example of good practice in wastewater treatment in Portugal. In Coimbrão, Leiria, her team is currently using software to implement new actions. “We are all now living a period of innovation, therefore we are exploring new projects to optimize circular water reuse”.

Adrián Noheda, Innovation and Entrepreneurship Director at Fundación Finnova, presented the European innovation Council (EIC) programme, which funds up to €15 million in investment and €2.5 million in grants to entrepreneurs and SMEs.

Noheda also fleshed out Revuelta’s initial comments on LIFE grants by adding that, for the first time, there will be two new “subprogrammes” for projects dealing with circular economy and quality of life and transition toward clean energies.

Speaking from the Canary Islands, Saúl Oliva Cabreras, environment project Coordinator at GESPLAN, presented LIFE Nieblas. The objective of this initiative is to minimise the impact of climate change in southern Europe and overseas EU territories as well as demonstrate the capacity of reforestation methodologies to curb carbon footprint. This project is testing fog collectors and new reforestation methods which capture water from fog.

On the other hand, Jaime Ezquerra, R&D project manager in FCC Medio Ambiente, presented LIFE Landfill Biofuel. This Project aims to capture and enrich landfill biogas to produce a biomethane suitable for vehicle use. Thus obtaining a renewable, abundant and self-sufficient energy source”.

International Relations Coordinator at Asociación Española de Abastecimientos de Agua y Saneamiento (AEAS), Gari Villa-Landa, pointed out several challenges that prevent water from being an active component in circular economy. “Is water in circular economy a paradigm or a paradox? It does not matter what we want it to be, as it all boils down to political will”.

Finally, Operations Director at Water Europe, Andrea Rubini, stressed the importance of coordinating all actors in the water chain in order to achieve a real circular economy in this sector. “Although water is a global challenge, it is nonetheless a local issue”.

Green transition is a key topic under Spain’s Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan, which is funded thanks to the EU recovery funds Next Generation EU. This plan will allocate over €3.1 billion to improving and integrating renewable energies; some €1.3 billion to electric infrastructures, intelligent networks and flexibility and stocking facilities; and some €1.5 billion to renewable hydrogen and its sectorial integration.

Couldn’t attend the webinar? Don’t worry, click here to watch it.

About Fundación Finnova

European Foundation for the financing of innovation. Its objectives are to promote private-public cooperation through the technology transfer of low-cost solutions among the best technologies available to address social challenges such as employment, entrepreneurship, the United Nations SDGs and the circular economy. As a staunch defender of innovation, Finnova has been organising the Startup Europe Awards since 2016. This is an initiative launched by the European Comission’s DG Connect.

Finnova’s HQs are located both in Belgium and across Spain – in the Valencian Community, the Basque Country, Andalusia, Madrid and the Canary Islands. It also has branches in Chile and Panama.

About LIFE

LIFE programme is the EU fund dedicated to environmental objectives for the 2014-2020 period. Its main objective is to act as a catalyst for changes in the development and application of policies through solutions and improvements to reach the climate and environment goals. It also promotes innovative technologies in the climate change and environment fields.

The two main sub-programmes are LIFE Climate Action and LIFE Environment.

About Global Omnium

The company that gave rise to Global Omnium, Aguas de Valencia, was founded in 1890. Global Omnium specializes in water treatment. It provides its services to 5.5 million people in more than 300 Spanish cities, but it also operates in three other continents. Global Omnium is based on a social commitment, and it is made up of centenary companies that have been contributing to the growth of the cities and municipalities in which they work for more than a century.

Juventude Notícias pt

The Finnova Foundation reaffirms its involvement with young people on International Youth Day

  • Under the motto “The commitment of youth to global action” the UN aims to emphasize the key role of young people in improving national and international political and social processes
  • The health crisis representing a loss of 25 million jobs and the climate emergency are two of the challenges this population faces
  • Thanks to the Finnova Foundation, a total of 400 young people have been able to improve professionally and train in European affairs, using European funds
  • The Finnova Foundation participates in two European projects YES and YOUEUROPE, where young people debate the future of the EU


Brussels, 12/08/2020– Today is the International Youth Day, a date that commemorates the importance of youth participation through actions and initiatives in building a better future. This 2020, the United Nations has especially reiterated the global commitment that this part of the population has in the current challenges of the Covid-19, climate change and political and social responsibility.

There are currently 1.8 billion young people between the ages of 15 and 35 in the world, which represents the largest population throughout history. Due to the health crisis, 25 million jobs are expected to be lost, with this third of the world’s population being the most vulnerable and economically affected. In particular, countries such as Spain have not used 14 billion euros of European funds from 2014-2020 for social integration and work for young people under 30 within the Youth Guarantee framework. This is why the Finnova Foundation, a European leader in the support and training of young people offers them the opportunity to receive professional training through its learning by doing methodology within its headquarters in the European quarter of Brussels, Valencia and Seville.

Since 2012, the Finnova Foundation has trained a total of 400 young people in European affairs, emphasizeing international training programs that will facilitate their incorporation into the labour market. Natalia Cediel, one of the young trainees currently based in Brussels at the Department of Communication and Translation through the Spanish Youth Guarantee Programme, says that “the internship at the Fundación Finnova is a constant learning experience in my field, a professional immersion that fits my situation and many young people like me who have finished their studies during the Covid-19 crisis”. In addition to this declaration, Catalina Mejías, who is doing her internship in the same department, assures that “having the opportunity to work in a situation like the current one in Brussels has been a lifesaver for me and my professional future, since after the State of Alarm was declared I have had to return home after 5 years, just when I was trying to be independent”.

Another challenge in which young people have been involved is that of climate emergency. Currently, this is one of the most commented and debated intergenerational issues. Since 2019, tens of thousands of young students have taken the streets protesting and committed to the cause. Even these funds previously mentioned in Spain would have been used to fight climate change, through new urban waste management, water reuse and the use of renewable energies. For this reason, the Finnova Foundation continues to advocate for innovation in the field of the environment and climate change. It trains young people to make a proper use of these economic resources that they have at their disposal and ignore, due to the poor management of this money by the public sector.

The Finnova Foundation provides training for young people in European funding systems and mentoring in project presentation, including European Commission programmes such as LIFE (focused on climate change), and Horizon 2020 (involved with the Green Pact). José Antonio Troyano, philologist in the Department of Communication, says that the Introduction to European Funding course “has helped me to know and put into practice knowledge about real problems that the European Union is trying to eradicate through programmes such as LIFE. Thanks to this training, I will know how to carry out professional projects on which I have always wanted to embark”

Because of these crises, the European Union has recently agreed on the biggest leap in its budgetary model, since it has established the multiannual financial framework 30 years ago and doubled the resources allocated to cohesion. The 27 partners of the Union, unanimously, have agreed to establish a reactivation fund to alleviate the economic damage of the Covid-19 endowed with 750 billion euros and a financial framework for 2021-2027 of more than a billion euros. Spain will receive 140 billion euros, of which 72 billion will be a non-refundable aid. The reform plan to be presented from Spain to access these funds will give priority to the digital and green transition as well as to the training of students and workers.

Today, political and social responsibility on the part of young people is more than ever a necessity where dialogue is in the first place. That is why, within the European context, raising awareness of the civil population (especially young Eurosceptics) is promoted by encouraging strategic engagement with the media; helping to make their voice heard. According to official data from a Eurobarometer survey, youth participation has increased by 50% more than in 2014, when only 28% participated.

The Finnova Foundation is committed to the involvement of European youth in the political and social life of Europe against Euroscepticism. For instance, the recently approved project “Youth Empowerment for Solidarity” (YES) within the “Europe for Citizens” programme. The proposal emphasises the priority of young people participation through an initiative covering the exchange of ideas between young people from 7 different European cities. This project will promote the social, cultural and political integration of young people in the construction and decision-making processes of the EU, by dealing with basic issues such as education or European values.

“YES” is not the only project that Finnova has carried out to promote young people proactivity within the “Europe for Citizens” programme. “YOUROPE: joining paths to build a better perception of Europe” focuses on the importance of youth for the present and future of Europe. Through a network of 8 European cities, the main goal is to fight against Eurosceptic rhetoric, encouraging its participants to open a dialogue and developing inclusive pro-European rhetoric at a local level.

The motto “Youth Engagement for Global Action” promoted by the United Nations seeks to highlight the duty of young people at the local, national and international level. From the Finnova Foundation, the enrichment of these practices becomes a reality thanks to their participation and innovation emerging by conducting these new social projects. All of this by young people willing to contribute to the creation of sustainable policies, achieving a joint collaboration that defends the importance of international cooperation.

About the Finnova Foundation

European Foundation for the funding of Innovation. It is a European foundation based in Brussels whose objectives are to promote public-private cooperation through innovation to address social challenges such as employment, training, entrepreneurship, UN ODS, the circular economy, etc. Finnova organizes the Startup Europe Awards, an initiative of the European Commission and the Finnova Foundation, to recognize the best European startups in the social field.

Juventude Notícias pt

Finnova has already trained more than 400 young people in European affairs in Brussels

  • Young people under 35 have enjoyed a high-performance scholarship in Brussels for a period of between 3 and 7 months
  • The Finnova Foundation has welcomed more than 220 fellows at its headquarters in Brussels since 2012 to work in the projects, communication, administration and legal departments
  • One of Finnova’s priority objectives is the education and training of young people, encouraging the return of talent and promoting a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship
  • In addition, Finnova has managed the internships of more than 200 young people in Brussels through European mobility programs such as Talentium or the Dipu te Eurobeca

Brussels, July 15, 2020 – On the occasion of World Youth Skills Day, the Finnova Foundation reiterates its commitment to young people within the framework of SDG 4 of the United Nations 2030 Agenda on quality education, to ´guarantee inclusive, equitable and inclusive education quality and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.’ Finnova, through its two priority lines of action – the education and training of young Spaniards and the improvement of their employability and the return of talent – promotes a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship, of vital importance for the access of young people to better jobs.

‘In recent years, youth unemployment rates in the European Union have risen to unprecedented levels due to the economic crisis or the coronavirus. This makes it more important to improve the employability of young people through programs such as international training practices’, explains Alberto Navarro, director of Training and Employment at the Finnova Foundation. ‘Traineeships are essential to facilitate the transition from the educational system to the world of work, but in many cases, they are carried out incorrectly, such as when they are not used to the maximum advantage. the capacities of young people’, he affirms.

Since 2016, Finnova has welcomed 220 fellows from Spain, but also from other countries in Europe and Latin America at its headquarters in Brussels to improve their training in European affairs, innovation and entrepreneurship from the different areas of the foundation such as those of EU projects, European law and consumer protection, communication and marketing, administration and finance, among others.

‘From the Finnova Foundation, we are committed to young people and their training, that is why we design training programs tailored to each one, attending from the first moment to their interests and motivations and monitoring the day-to-day development of the rooms to detect any problem that may arise and solve it immediately. In addition, we especially take into account the “day after” the scholarship ends, preparing, for example, the candidates to carry out the internships in one of the European institutions such as the Parliament or the Commission’ says Alberto Navarro.

‘It was a great experience’ says Adrián Noheda, a former fellow of the Dipu te Eurobeca in Finnova and, currently, director of the SMEs Innovation Area of ​​the Finnova Foundation in Valencia. ‘It opened many doors for me by allowing me to have an experience in an international environment and by being in contact with European organizations; gave me a close look at how Europe works; in addition, working with European projects offers many opportunities’ he adds.  

In addition, more than 200 young people have enjoyed a high-performance stay for a period of between five and seven months in Brussels thanks to the Talentium Jaén mobility program, the Dipu te Eurobeca, the Hebe Plan: Eurobecas, the Badajoz Europe Scholarships , Fuerteventura Europa and Genius de Tarragona that has been managed by the Finnova Foundation. The participants of these mobility programs have also had the continuous support of the Finnova team in Brussels through an individual mentoring program to develop their projects according to their professional interests.

The young beneficiaries of these programs have carried out training stays in organizations such as Microsoft, the Departments of Employment, Education and Culture of the Embassy of Spain, KIC Innoenergy, the Embassy of Panama, CEOE, UNED, Eureka Network, Water Europe , the European Business Angels Network (EBAN), the European Center for Political and Social Studies (CEPS), Turespaña, the European Regions Research and Innovation Network (ERRIN), the Spanish Chamber, the European Schools or the EFE Agency, among many others.

From Brussels, Juanma Revuelta, CEO of the Foundation and the Erasmus Prize of the EU, encourages young Spaniards to take advantage of the training opportunities offered by the European Union. As an example, one of the programs he recommends is the PICE Mobility grant from the European Social Fund, coordinated by the Spanish Chamber and offered through some Chambers of Commerce. These scholarships provide young people with the opportunity to do internships abroad for a period of 3 to 6 months.

Internship at Finnova

The Finnova Foundation participates as a host entity in different European programs so that young people from any country can enjoy training stays in the offices of the European neighbourhood of Brussels, the city of Seville or Valencia. Its learning by doing methodology allows young people to learn on-site and through daily work, which is combined with parallel training in financing and European programs. The objective of the Foundation is to contribute to the development of capacities in the management of European funds. In fact, Finnova recently has the educational gamification platform that it has developed in close collaboration with Play & go experience. It is a virtual space that has a complete course on the LIFE program of the European Commission, thanks to which participants can learn to write a proposal successfully.

Some European programs, such as the Assembly of the Regions of Europe Eurodyssey or the European Social Fund PICE Mobility scholarships managed by the Chambers of Commerce, have open calls at the moment and there are published internship offers to start in the summer months.

More information about the mobility programs managed by Finnova

In recent years, the Finnova Foundation has supported different public entities such as Provincial Councils, Councils and City Councils in creating their own mobility programs. These are some of the most relevant examples:

The Dipu te Eurobeca is a program promoted by the Diputación de València with the support of the Finnova Foundation to carry out internships in organizations and companies in Brussels, the community capital, which also offers mentoring, assistance for uninterrupted emergencies, informative alerts with opportunities, events of interest and training actions (seminars, round tables, fairs and meetings) in relevant areas such as European projects, EU communication, environment and energy, entrepreneurship and employment, among others. He has been recognized with the Seal of Excellence of the Interns Go Pro organization and highlighted as one of the best eight scholarships in Europe by Le Figaro newspaper, ahead of institutions such as the British Council.

A total of 25 young people from Jaen in the first edition and 37 in the second, have carried out work practices in companies and entities, both public and private, based in Brussels through the Talentium scholarships that have been convened by the Jaén Provincial Council with the support of Finnova and that are aimed at facilitating the insertion and job training of young university graduates, graduates or Higher Level Vocational Training in unemployment. This initiative, which is part of the Diputación’s Employment Plan, means providing young people with one more resource when it comes to finding and developing a job upon their return to the province of Jaén. It should be noted that the Talentium Jaén program has been awarded by the Andalusian Government in Brussels for its work promoting young employment.

The Huelva Provincial Council has also supported itself since 2018 in Finnova to launch the HEBE PLAN: Eurobecas annually for the concession of 5 paid scholarships in Brussels that include a travel bag and health insurance. Young people from the province of Huelva, with a university degree and unemployed, have enjoyed six months of paid non-labor internships in Brussels granted through the Eurobeca program and convened by the Local Development Area of ​​the Huelva Provincial Council, as one more commitment to the provincial institution for the training and employment of the youth of the province.

The Badajoz Provincial Council, with the support of the Finnova Foundation, has also launched the first call for the EUROPEAN SCHOLARSHIPS, thanks to which a total of 16 young people from the province of La Paz have benefited from a professional stay in the heart of Europe with scholarships from the Badajoz County Council. Specifically, in this first edition, scholarships have been awarded to 16 young people for five months of professional stay. The beneficiaries also have a university degree or a bachelor’s degree, with a high level of knowledge in foreign languages.

One of the young beneficiaries of this first edition was Carlos Periáñez Fit, who developed his practices at the Delegation of the Spanish Chamber of Commerce to the European Union just a few months ago and who is currently doing his practices in Finnova through the PICE Mobility grant. ‘It has been crucial for me to have had the opportunity to open my professional path thanks to both the EUROPEAN SCHOLARSHIPS of the Provincial Council of La Paz and the PICE Scholarships offered by the chambers of commerce. I am grateful to be able to enjoy this prolonged professional stay, since it has allowed me to be closer to the European institutions and to learn the basic fundamentals of marketing’ he says.

The Tarragona Provincial Council has promoted, with the support of Finnova, a new program to promote the employment of unemployed people in Camp de Tarragona, the Ebro Lands and Baix Penedès. A total of 15 people, under 35, with higher education and unemployed will benefit from the Genius Program, an initiative that offers training practices abroad for 5 months in entities and institutions of the European Union and a sixth additional month in a local entity of the demarcation. The Genius Program aims to train unemployed people in strategic sectors of interest to the demarcation of Tarragona. Training practices are carried out in Brussels from September 2020 to become professional in areas such as tourism, energy efficiency, sustainability, information management, projects and cooperation networks in the European Union.

The Fuerteventura Council, for its part, has been the first public entity to offer the specific training program in European projects for young people in its region: Fuerteventura Europe. They have launched a call through which three young people from Fuerteventura will enjoy a six-month training period in which prior training in European funds from their region will be combined with a four-month stay in the city of Brussels with the aim of ensuring that learn all the writing, participation and management tools in EU projects in order to raise funds in your community.

About Finnova

Finnova is the European Foundation for the financing of innovation. Its objectives are to promote private public cooperation through the technology transfer of low-cost solutions among the best technologies available to address social challenges such as employment, entrepreneurship, the United Nations SDGs, the circular economy, waste recovery, tourism sustainable or the fight against climate change.

Skip to content