Argentum is proud to announce the submission of four consortia grant proposals, submitted as part of the Green Deal call for proposals closed in January 26th 2021, the last major call of Horizon2020. The projects submitted were under the following topics in the EU Green Deal: ‘Transparent & accessible seas: towards a digital twin of the ocean’, ‘Accelerating the green transition and energy access partnership with Africa’, ‘Energy & resource efficient building & renovating’ and ‘From farm to fork’. The four projects involved over 100 participants from 27 countries and two continents, consisting of SME’s, research institutes, academia members, non-profit organizations and private-for-profit organizations.
The call topic ‘Transparent & accessible seas: towards a digital twin of the ocean’ led us to explore exciting fields of oceanographic research and modelling, marine engineering, the blue industry, robotics and artificial intelligence, alongside expertise in user engagement and technologies related to open innovation and crowdsourcing. With a strong concept developed by Argentum, the proposal’s primary goal is to bridge the information gap related to oceans, seas, coastal areas and estuaries – all by empowering the everyday users of the ocean to collect data towards the creation of holistic ocean observations. It’s impossible to present this project without addressing the devastating oil spill along Israel’s coastline this past week, resulting in severe damage to wildlife and setting Israel back three decades in its efforts to enhance ocean biodiversity. According to experts, the spill has revealed vulnerabilities in Israel’s maritime security and enhanced the need for proper water monitoring, both via satellites and tracking devices, and by assigning a designated government body responsible for monitoring the coast. This in order to avoid the next ecological disaster, and to monitor the current one – a process expected to span over the next few months. It goes without saying that this Green Deal project proposal has been submitted at an acutely relevant time, and it is our hope that the concept we developed along with our dedicated partners will help prevent future disasters such as this one, from recurring.
For the call ‘Accelerating the green transition and energy access partnership with Africa’, a wonderful collaboration of European and African partners commenced, as part of the EU’s mission to assist Africa in the transition to renewable energy sources. Led by an innovative Israeli SME, the project primarily focuses on providing sustainable solutions tailored to each African region’s unique socio-economic and environmental conditions. Inspired by the ongoing water-energy-food nexus action, the project aims to provide sustainable energy and water & food security, by achieving long term climate impacts; this by using short-term incentives including improved health, economic wealth and job opportunities.
For the ‘From farm to fork’ topic, the focus was infinite recovery and upscale of resources, by creating synergy along the food chain. Led by a major Belgium academic institute and conceptualized by an innovative Israeli SME, the project demonstrates how new agri-food systems can be created by following the concept of circular economy – from farm to fork, and back to farm. By integrating innovative technologies and cross collaborations between high-level experts in their respective fields, the project aims to create a holistic approach to food production. New biocontrol products combined with smart digital technologies will generate new tools for farmers and policy makers, that will significantly reduce the use of chemical pesticides across Europe. Novel recovery technologies and methodologies will focus on nutrient upcycling in food systems, and back to food production. This in turn, will propel production of next generation organic fertilizers and innovative substrates to produce advanced food products, reduce food losses and environmental nutrient leaching.
Last, to answer the challenge set by the ‘Energy & resource efficient building & renovating’ topic we prepared a proposal focused on developing a modular platform for building retrofitting, fully adapted and adaptive to the natural living environment; This is achieved by considering different climate zones, seasons and geographical areas. With the concept led by Argentum, this goal corresponds perfectly with the shared objective of reducing global energy consumption; bringing us closer to reaching a climate-neutral continent by 2050 with a net-zero GHG emissions economy and offering a solution for a better ecological future in the building and renovating sector.
The value of submitting proposals as part of consortia, as opposed to single-entities, is that the consortium consolidation and cooperation between the companies, in and of themselves, are rewarding and worthwhile. Consortia participants have reported that getting to know new partners and innovations in their respective fields significantly enhanced their network, and expanded their professional horizons. For us, as the key consolidators, conceptualizers and planners of these four projects, it was incredibly exciting to create new and creative project concepts that were based on the wonderful technologies and innovations of our project participants. We too found the process to be interesting and enriching, and hope to share more collaborative projects in the near future.
We thank our consortia partners for their time, effort and dedication throughout this process.