Project Details

Title: Cleantech Incubation Europe
Priority: 1: Innovation and the knowledge economy
Theme: Entrepreneurship and SMEs

Type of intervention

Type of intervention: 1: Regional Initiative Project
Mini-programme: No
Duration: 1st Jan 2012 - 31st Dec 2014


Total budget: €1,298,298.29
ERDF contribution: €994,691.48

Lead partner

Delft University of Technology
Mekelweg 2
2628 CD, Delft

  • Click for contact details
    • Contact Person: Pauline van der Vorm
      Phone: +31 (0)15 27 81206
      Fax: +31 (0)15 27 81179

Project summary

Cleantech Incubation Europe (CIE) focuses on supporting and stimulating entrepreneurs & SME's working in the field of clean technology (green, sustainable products, services and processes). The field of cleantech is new and many municipalities and cities try to formulate stronger and more effective policies around clean tech incubators. They notice it is not only necessary to set up an incubator, but also to have complementary policies to provide a positive business climate. CIE helps authorities to chose suitable policy interventions/instruments, attuned to their own local/regional situation. CIE is based on a partnership consisting of partners from Delft (lead partner), Helsinki, Budapest, London, Peterborough, Paris and Turin. The partners are cities/municipalities, universities and incubators (founded by the authorities). The universities and the incubators work on a daily basis with local/regional policy makers to support the clean tech SME’s with their business processes.

Within the project these policy makers will attend the seminars as well and share their experiences, by which even more policy makers from the regions will be contributing. Project output will be five two day seminars in the different regions focused on sharing experiences by demonstrating the local/regional activities concerning clean tech incubation in the visited region and discussing bottlenecks and successful interventions. The programme of each seminar will contain two workshops: a returning workshop on best practices in the field of policy issues versus setting up Cleantech incubators and a dedicated workshop with a specific theme, chosen by the project partners.

A best practices book 'Cleantech Incubation; Policy and Practices’ will be published, showing 15 established clean tech incubators. The project finalizes with a European conference 'Cleantech Incubation Policy and Practice'; where all results, experiences of the project will be showed and policymakers will be informed how to tackle clean tech incubation in their city or region. The project will be supported by a website 'Policy and Practice; Cleantech Incubation Europe', focused on all actors in the field of clean tech incubation (policymakers, incubators, knowledge institutes and industry). CIE will improve the knowledge of policymakers on how to tackle clean tech incubation and supporting SME’s in this field by their participation in the partner seminars.

Project achievements

During the three-year INTERREG IVC funded Cleantech Incubation Europe (CIE) project, we have analysed some of the most successful cleantech clusters and incubators and compiled a list of best practice to help policy makers enhance the business conditions for growing environmental SMEs.

Clean technologies – green, sustainable products, services and processes – is a large and growing sector. Eco industries employ an estimated 3.4m people in the EU-27, and global eco industries has a turnover of around €1.15 trillion, with just over one third of that derived from the EU-27. The CIE project aims to support the entrepreneurs and SMEs working in this cleantech sector to stimulate and further accelerate growth.

The CIE project involved researching policies and procedures that encourage cleantech incubation. Through facilitating the exchange of best practice, policy development and experiences with policy makers and cleantech incubator authorities, the CIE project has developed a list of

suggested policy interventions to benefit entrepreneurs working in this sector.

The project has enabled complementary policies to be established to provide a positive business climate and will help authorities to choose suitable policy interventions tailored to their own local and regional situation.

During the project, the CIE team organised seminars in each partner region bringing together key stakeholders such as local policy makers, research institutions and cleantech incubators. We shared local best practice and visited successful business incubators, cleantech pilots and live demonstrators.

In the handbook designed for policymakers, titled ‘Cleantech Incubation; Policy and Practice’ we have showcased the best practice gained from all 13 cleantech incubators analysed during the project. This handbook is available for download on ourDelft learned from the Helsinki project website:


In our project, Delft learned from the Helsinki examples about how toestablish a pre-incubation programme (we call it ‘Launchlab’), then Peterborough learned from Delft’s examples. Inspired by a visit to the start-up Sauna in Finland that took place within the framework of the CIE project, the project partners of YES!Delft incubator have started to establish a pre-incubation programme in Delft called LaunchLab which is also based on the Lean start-up concept. With the help of this pre-incubation facility, start-ups that are not quite ready to become SMEs are enrolled in a 12-week programme where they test their ideas with potential customers.

The management of Opportunity Peterborough, the city’s economic development company, visited Delft, in order to see the YES!Delft incubator, BioProcess Facility Delft and RDM campus Innovation Dock. As a follow-up, Opportunity Peterborough has mobilised local stakeholders towards including incubation facilities into the funding priorities of the

new local development strategy.

The good practice transfer was encouraged due to the high aspirations of the city of Peterborough, which is also aiming to become a smart city and recently won a competition to be one of the UK Government’s Future City Demonstrators. The policy environment is therefore conducive to incorporating the cleantech incubation good practices into the city’s development plan. Being part of the CIE project enabled the Peterborough partners to consider building a cleantech incubation facility in their region.

Where will the train of CIE best practice lead to next?!


Institution, Town Country Region Contact details
Delft University of Technology, Delft NETHERLANDS Zuid-Holland +31 (0)15 27 81206
City of Delft, Delft NETHERLANDS Zuid-Holland 0031 15 2602299
I3P - Innovative Companies Incubator of the Politecnico of Torino, Torino ITALY Piemonte +39 011 090 5139
Municipality of Turin, Turin ITALY Piemonte +30 011 4425983/55;
City of Helsinki, Economic and Planning Centre, Business Development, Helsinki FINLAND Etelä-Suomi +358 9 310 25365
Green Net Finland, Vantaa FINLAND Etelä-Suomi +358 50 3311 495
Peterborough City Council, Peterborough UNITED KINGDOM Inner London 00441733 317491
Szent Istvan University, Gödöllő HUNGARY Kozep-Magyarorszag +36-28-522-000 extension 2377
School of Engineers, Palaiseau Cedex FRANCE Île de France 33181871950
French local authority, subdivision of the Essone region, Evry FRANCE Île de France 3160911723
Novagreen, Evry FRANCE Île de France 00339 72 27 29 34
Opportunity Peterborough, Peterborough UNITED KINGDOM Inner London 00441733 317422


As of 31 December 2015, this website is no longer updated. Follow news on interregional cooperation at