12.8 c
Monday, December 4, 2023

[Open Call] Grants for environmental startups and pre-competitive entrepreneurs to help create a recycling carbon society!

In order to solve the problem of global warming, there is a growing movement toward a decarbonized society centered on renewable energy. It is important not only to reduce CO2 emissions, but also to promote global circulation, absorption, and utilization of CO2 by capturing it and using it as a resource, absorbing and fixing it in forests, oceans, and soil. It is important to promote global circulation, absorption, and utilization of CO2. The Carbon Recycle Fund, a general incorporated association, was established with the aim of building such a recycling carbon society. As a "GAP fund" that does not ask for any returns, which is necessary for seed/early stage startups, the fund provides grants to researchers (research teams) from universities, companies, etc. who are trying to innovate toward the realization of a carbon-recycling society. The organization provides grants to researchers (research teams) from universities, companies, etc. who are trying to innovate toward the realization of a carbon-circulating society. We interviewed Mr. Daisuke Shiogata, Deputy General Manager of the Innovation Department, about the organization's grant activities.

Aiming to build a recycling carbon society

--What is the background behind the establishment of the Carbon Recycling Fund?

The Carbon Recycle Fund is a private organization established in August 2019 with the goal of building a recycling carbon society.

In order to solve the global warming problem that is being discussed around the world, it is necessary to reduce CO2 emissions on a global scale. What is required is not only a thorough reduction of CO2 emissions through renewable energy and energy conservation, but also "carbon recycling We believe that this is "carbon recycling. Furthermore, we believe it is necessary to build a recycling carbon society that includes negative emission technologies through the use of biotechnology, blue carbon, agriculture, forestry, and fisheries, and recycling of carbon-containing materials.

Image of a Carbon-Circulating Society

We are unique in that we are a cross-industry platform with more than 160 members, including corporations and individuals from a wide range of industries such as chemicals, electric power, energy, trading, engineering, civil engineering, construction, and real estate, as well as local governments and academic institutions.

List of Carbon Recycling Fund Members (as of April 1, 2023)

With private funds from membership fees and donations, we conduct three activities: "public relations activities" to raise awareness about carbon recycling, "research grant activities" to provide grants to researchers and companies that are trying to create innovations, and "policy proposals" for international rule making and national energy, environment, and technology development policies. The other is "policy advocacy" for international rule-making and national policies on energy, environment, and technology development.

Outline of CRF Activities

In this Call for Research Grant Activities (Accelerator Program), we would like to conduct "Research Grant Activities" to provide grants to researchers (research teams) from universities, start-ups, and other companies who have technologies and ideas to circulate or reduce CO2, with the expectation that the results will contribute to the achievement of carbon neutrality by 2050. We would like to conduct "research grant activities" to provide grants to researchers (research teams) from universities, start-ups, and other companies that have technologies and ideas for circulating or reducing CO

Since its inception in August 2019, we have issued three open calls for grant activities and introduced the Accelerator Program in FY2022 in order to broaden our reach to startups.

The "GAP Fund" that asks for nothing in return.

--What companies have you selected for past grant activities?

In FY2022, 14 projects were adopted from the 55 applications received for the traditional open call (general call). In addition, 29 applications were received for the start-up program established last year, and 2 were adopted.

Specifically, we provide grants to corporate and university researchers (or research teams) working on R&D themes such as CO2 fixation technology, conversion technology to fuels, conversion technology to chemicals, and CO2 separation and recovery technology, and use the funds as a step toward social implementation.
In the past, the grant activities have borne fruit in some cases, leading to national projects such as NEDO, the Ministry of the Environment, and the Green Innovation Fund, as well as to private-sector joint research.

List of Themes Adopted in FY2022

--Why did you create the start-up quota?

CRF's research grants are also available to such startup researchers.

However, one of the challenges in past years was that while we had gained recognition from universities with industry-academia collaboration contacts, there was no contact point for start-ups, making it difficult to spread awareness of the program. With the establishment of the Start-up Program, recognition and applications from start-ups have been increasing, and this year we have decided to establish a Start-up Program in addition to the General Competition.

We would like to make it known not only to universities, but also to startups that are challenging to develop new markets with innovative ideas, and we would like to increase opportunities for member companies to collaborate with startups.

Summary of Call for Research Grant Activities

--What kind of startups do you expect to receive applications from?

These are seed/early stage startups with carbon recycling technologies that use CO2 as a resource, as well as technologies and ideas that address environmental issues and climate change. In addition, we would like to receive applications from young researchers and developers who plan to start their own businesses in this area.

As specific examples of technologies, we expect to see technologies and ideas for realizing a recycling carbon society, such as technologies for CO2 separation and capture, fixation, and conversion, technologies for recycling carbon resources, and technologies that utilize the power of living organisms and nature.

--So it is also for people who have not yet started their own business?

Yes, it is. Overseas, clean tech is booming, and VCs are investing billions to 10 billion yen in technologies and ideas because of the value attached to CO2.

On the other hand, since CO2 has not yet been valued in Japan, there are not many startups that have reached the stage of commercialization in which VCs are willing to invest. However, it is only a matter of time before CO2 will have value, and if we start businesses only after it has value, we will fall further behind the rest of the world.

Therefore, as a "GAP fund" that does not ask for anything in return, we would like to support seed/early stage startups and those who are planning to start their own businesses, although the size of the grant is small.

Possibility of business matching even if not selected

--How many startups do you plan to adopt this year?

We plan to accept about 10 applications from the general public and a few from the start-up category, which was newly established this fiscal year. After the grants are awarded, the projects will be encouraged to move on to the next step, aiming for social implementation.

Even for research themes that unfortunately were not selected, we will connect you with member companies and other organizations if there is even a small chance that matching with them will bring you closer to social implementation. We are not an organization whose purpose is only to provide grants, so we hope that you will take advantage of our services to expand your business matching opportunities.

--You are on the receiving end of startups related to the environment.

We hope to be. There must be many startups that have the technology and ideas, but lack the human connections and funding. But if there is a possibility that a project can make significant progress by matching them with a university or a major company, I would like to support them, even if only a little. By doing so, I would like to increase the number of startups that come close to social implementation.

We would also like to make as many startups as possible aware of our existence through this initiative, and depending on the number of applications, we would like to revise the design of the program.

--Finally, please tell us about the society that the Carbon Recycle Fund aims to create.

Our goal is to,Simultaneous resolution of global warming issues and improved energy accessA "recycling carbon society" that converts CO2 into resources and energy cannot be achieved by a single company alone. That is why we want to gather the wisdom of the world to solve the problem.

It is often argued that we should use renewable energy to reduce CO2 emissions, or that we should use IT to create smart cities that eliminate factories, but carbon will never disappear from the world, and eliminating factories will lead to an ever-shrinking industry in Japan.

We believe that ideas that circulate carbon, rather than focusing solely on decarbonization, are needed more than anything else, and we are especially interested in applications from researchers (or research teams) with new technologies and ideas on environmental and climate change issues toward achieving carbon neutrality by 2050, especially for the start-up slots, from researchers who plan to start up a start-up company, university, or other organization. We sincerely look forward to receiving applications from researchers who have new technologies or ideas for environmental or climate change issues.

nameGeneral Incorporated Association Carbon Recycle Fund
EstablishmentAugust 30, 2019
LocationDaiwa Nishi-Shinbashi Building 3F, 3-2-1 Nishi-Shinbashi, Minato-ku, Tokyo
chairmanNobuo Fukuda (Representative Director, Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation)
Business Overview1. research grant activities: There are various issues that need to be addressed before carbon recycling can be put into practical use, such as cost issues and lack of progress in basic research. The MRC provides grants to researchers and others who are trying to tackle these issues and create innovations.
2. public relations activities: Provide the latest domestic and international information through the operation of the website and various publications, as well as organize events, symposiums, and training sessions in cooperation with various media, and conduct public relations activities such as awareness-raising activities related to carbon recycling.
3. other activities
Domestic and international surveys: Conduct surveys to understand technological trends related to carbon recycling in Japan and overseas.
Policy recommendations, etc.: Make international rules to promote CCUS, including carbon recycling, and make recommendations to national energy, environment, and technology development policies.
uniform resouce locatorhttps://carbon-recycling-fund.jp/
Mr. Daisuke Shiogata
Carbon Recycle Fund, Inc. Innovation Department / Deputy General Manager
I arrived in April 2023 and am involved in supporting social implementation of carbon recycling through open innovation and industry-academia-government collaboration.
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Tomomi Tamura
He joined Snow Brand Milk Industry in 2000. He then worked for an advertising agency and as a sole proprietor before joining BizReach in 2012. Engaged in content creation, he joined NewsPicks in 2016 as an editor on the BrandDesign team, and is now a freelance writer and editor.
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