In an ever-changing landscape that has seen the world emerge from a two-year long pandemic and into the first invasion of a European country since World War II, 2022 is sure to be full of challenges, hope, and change. Amidst all these circumstances that are strongly impacting the lives of so many, there are promising opportunities to not only help in the fight against climate change, but to also harness and utilize the innovation behind these technologies to avoid being beholden to energy sources from any one country or region – which, in turn, could help prevent or lessen the severity of future political unrest and violence.
Although the start of 2022 has been dominated by immediate and serious humanitarian crises – which are rightfully garnering attention and action from world leaders – climate challenges are still facing the planet, replete with increased fuel prices and a dilemma on what to do about sourcing energy of all kinds. Three days after the war in Ukraine began, the IPCC finalized the second part of the Sixth Assessment Report, Climate Change 2022: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability, during the 12th Session of Working Group II and 55th Session of the IPCC. Conclusions of the report, for example indicating that irreversible damage has already been done and risks are becoming increasingly difficult to manage, are stark reminders that we are facing numerous, simultaneous challenges in the world, and innovative solutions are needed to address all of them.
Below are some tech solutions that we plan to explore and cover in 2022, many of which will be useful not just for reducing emissions, but improving sustainability as a whole.
Potential technologies and innovations to look out for in 2022 and beyond
Biotech solutions: Cultured (lab-grown) meat and biotechnology for textiles
A large part of not only the push for more sustainable solutions, but also more ethical ones, revolves around reducing or even eliminating meat from our diets. However, there are certain nutritional benefits from eating meat, particularly in the form of protein, that a vast majority of the population would still like to consume. The past few years have seen some movement towards commercializing cultured meat grown in labs, which is created at the cellular level, resulting in meat without any animal death. This is an important sustainability topic to explore, and we plan to cover it further in 2022 as major advances in commercializing this technology and making it affordable for consumers are realized. If you are interested in learning more, Aleph Farms is a good company to check out.
Biotech textiles, known more commonly as “sustainable fashion” in popular culture, will almost certainly play a bigger and bigger role in the years ahead. European companies AMSilk (Germany), Pili (France), and Colorifix (UK) are leading the way. We look forward to covering more about these exciting companies more in-depth later in the year.
Urban building solutions: Vertical farming and construction materials from waste
Vertical farms offer an incredible sustainable solution for food production, maximizing space in urban centers and creating the ability to create more locally grown food options for urban dwellers. We expect to see a noticeable increase in vertical farming tech over the next year and are excited to see how it develops.
Creating construction materials from waste is not a new or particularly innovative idea; however, there are some promising developments in this space that may be worth watching in 2022. This includes CO2-injected concrete, which takes “waste” CO2 captured from industrial sources and stores it in concrete at the molecular level, trapping the carbon permanently and keeping it out of the atmosphere.
Energy efficiency and efficient transmission: Floating offshore wind farms and solid-state batteries for electric transport
Floating offshore wind farms are poised to become an important part of the energy generation mix in 2022 and beyond – while utilizing dynamic export cables can help get this energy to the places that need it in the best manner possible. Check out Hexicon and the Hywind projects for more on this emerging solution for increasing renewable capacity.
Solid-state batteries will also play a key role in improving the sustainability of the energy sector, in particular transportation, which is critical for increasing the penetration of renewable energy sources in the energy mix. These new technologies promise to dramatically improve the range, lifetime, and safety of electric vehicles. Two companies to watch in this space are SolidPower and QuantumScape. We’ll be looking forward to the first passenger vehicles on the market to feature these new batteries.
Urgently needed clean energy solution: Green hydrogen
Hydrogen could be the holy grail of clean energy – and 2022 might just be the year that it becomes commercially available on a scale that can help to begin significantly addressing carbon emissions. See the calls below from the new Clean Hydrogen Joint Undertaking for more information on hydrogen and the various sectors that will benefit from sustainably produced hydrogen.
New calls available for 2022
Horizon Europe, the successor to the Horizon 2020 programme, remains the EU’s key funding initiative for 2022. With a budget of €95.5 billion, it tackles climate change, helps to achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, and boosts the EU’s competitiveness and growth.
The program is crucial for facilitating collaboration and strengthening the impact of research and innovation in developing, supporting, and implementing EU policies while tackling global challenges. It supports harnessing excellent knowledge to get sustainable development technologies from the lab into the real world.
Linq is looking forward to supporting companies within the following Horizon Europe clusters:
One of the highlights from the EU’s Hydrogen Week starting November 2021 was the launch of the Clean Hydrogen Partnership, which has taken over all the activities of existing Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU). The Clean Hydrogen Partnership’s main objective is to contribute to EU Green Deal and Hydrogen Strategy through optimised funding of R&I activities.
Clean Hydrogen will build on the success of the FCH JU to accelerate the development and deployment of a European value chain for clean hydrogen technologies, contributing to more decarbonized and fully integrated energy systems. The EU will support the Clean Hydrogen Partnership with €1 billion euros for the period 2021-2027, complemented by at least an equivalent amount of private investment from private members of the partnership.
The EIC aims to identify and support breakthrough technologies and game changing innovations to create new markets and scale up internationally. The 2022 EIC work programme has funding opportunities worth over €1.7 billion for 2022, with multiple novelties and simplifications introduced since inception.
The EIC offers the following specific funding opportunities:
EIC Pathfinder Support to research teams to research or develop an emerging breakthrough technology
EIC Transition The EIC Transition funding scheme builds on promising research results to demonstrate and mature the technology and develop business plans for specific
EIC Accelerator Funding and investments through the EIC Fund for individual start-ups and small companies to develop and scale up game changing innovations
Business Acceleration Services All EIC supported projects and companies get access to coaching, mentoring, partnering and other EIC Business Acceleration Services
European Innovation Ecosystems Specific support to enable innovation ecosystem actors to work together across Europe
EIC Prizes Take the challenge and compete for an EIC Prize which rewards Europe's leading innovators
What Linq is doing to help get funding to deserving projects and ideas
The landscape for securing funding can be daunting, confusing, and difficult to manoeuvre. From writing proposals to managing the application process, Linq Consulting & Management has more than 10 years of experience successfully helping organizations secure grant awards in the areas of sustainable technology and innovation.
We can help you not only navigate the grant proposal process, but also help with project management once funding is awarded to ensure your idea makes it to market. Our passion for sustainability and working with innovative solutions to climate change runs deep, and we want to help deserving ideas become a reality. Our team of expert researchers, grant writers, and project managers can help with all aspects of your emerging sustainable technologies – from drafting successful proposals to managing communications of the project.
For more information on how we can help, get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to hearing from you and together contributing to a more sustainable society!