EUR 7.5m to develop software and hardware solutions to reduce food waste in professional kitchens
Food valued at EUR 900m to be saved by 2025 and 69 jobs to be supported
The European Investment Bank (EIB) has agreed to provide a EUR 7.5m loan to the Romanian food waste management company Winnow with the help of the Juncker Plan. The company will use the financing to develop and introduce software and hardware solutions to help staff in professional kitchens track the amounts and types of food wasted. The ultimate aim is to provide users with data to manage and prevent food waste.
The agreement is backed by the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the heart of the Investment Plan for Europe, also known as the Juncker Plan. Without EFSI backing, the EIB would not be able to support this operation to the same extent – from both the debt volume and the risk perspective.
EIB Vice-President Andrew McDowell commented: “This innovative project, the first in Romania under the European Growth Finance Facility (EGFF), backed by the Investment Plan for Europe, will have a significant impact in helping to reduce food waste in commercial kitchens. It fosters research and development in Romania with the benefit of strengthening the competitiveness of the country and generating high-value jobs.”
European Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Karmenu Vella said: “Winnow’s objective to help professional kitchens reduce their amounts of food waste is both good for our natural resources, and it makes economic sense. By helping businesses monitor and analyse what they are throwing away each day, using innovative technology, Winnow is empowering them to change their actions. I am proud that this project is being supported by the EU bank and the Juncker Plan.”
Winnow co-founder Kevin Duffy added: “By creating job opportunities in the community, we are continuing to build a world class team in Cluj in order to deliver effectively on our roadmap ahead. We are also excited about the future of the tech community in Cluj and being one of the first AI pioneers to receive backing from the European Investment Bank is a true reflection of the hard work of our team here.”
Winnow, a company established in England in 2013, is the technology company building artificial intelligence tools to help chefs run more profitable and sustainable kitchens by cutting food waste in half. Winnow believes that food is far too valuable to waste and that technology can transform the way food is used. Winnow’s mission is therefore to help the hospitality industry tackle avoidable food waste by connecting the kitchen to empower chefs to run a more efficient operation.
About the Loan
This loan is part of the European Growth Finance Facility (EGFF), a product designed to address a (quasi-)equity gap linked to structural market failures across the EU in the provision of risk capital to late-stage venture-backed companies. European SMEs and Mid-Caps suffer from systemic shortages of large, non-dilutive financing for growth investments, both tangible and intangible. The EIB financing is expected to have a positive crowding-in effect, attracting additional private investors to companies.
The EIB has signed a $350 million loan agreement to support the financing of Europe’s first home-grown gigafactory for lithium-ion battery cells, Northvolt Ett, in Sweden. The financing is supported by the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the main pillar of the Investment Plan for Europe. In 2018, the EIB also supported the establishment of the demonstration line Northvolt Labs, which produced its first battery cells in late 2019, and which paved the way for Europe’s first home-grown gigafactory.
The EIB and the Instituto de Crédito Oficial (ICO) will provide €50 million to finance the innovation strategy of Dominion, a Spanish business group that develops integrated multi-technical engineering, installation, operation and maintenance solutions. The agreement, under which each entity will advance €25 million, will contribute to achieving the objectives of the Digital Agenda for Europe through investments in digitalisation in Spain, Germany and Denmark.
This has been one of the Italian government’s top priorities for at least three years. The government has decidedly sped up the process following the restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and this has now become a key pillar to aid the country’s recovery. Digitalisation of public administrations (PAs) and their relations with the country’s citizens and businesses have become the focus of the digital innovation measures contained in the “Simplifications” Decree Law approved by the Prime Minister's Office on 7 July. It is against this backdrop that the four-year investment plan of publicly-owned company PagoPA S.p.A. is receiving strong backing from the European Union’s bank.