This article was originally published in the Estonian Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s (ECCI) newsletter.
Baltic Innovation Agency (BIA), a member of the Enterprise Europe Network (EEN) in Estonia, is a consulting agency that helps to bring together innovative ideas, the right people and, of course, funding. The company has more than 20 years of experience in attracting public funding and more than 100 successful international projects. BIA is approached mainly by start-ups and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) looking to launch an innovative product or service, but also by universities, cities, large companies and NGOs aiming to reach new heights through international projects.
Within the EEN, BIA maps public funding opportunities, helps find partners and advises on funding applications. This is how the shipbuilding company LTH-Baas reached an ambitious Horizon Europe project. In 2019, LTH-Baas won the Estonian Äripäev TOP 100 list of successful companies. Still, the following year’s crisis put the company’s key customers in a difficult situation, which motivated the firm to seek for new solutions quickly. Among other things, together with BIA, the company started to explore public funding opportunities. They identified an innovation idea, mapped the currently open instruments, selected the most suitable, found partners and prepared an application. The selected instrument received 135 applications from all over Europe, and one of the positive funding decisions was the project submitted by LTH-Baas called HEMOS, which raised €4.7 million.
HEMOS (Holistic Energy Management & Optimisation System) is a three-year project aiming to make the energy use of ships more sustainable to meet the objectives of the decarbonisation of shipping and climate change plans. There is no escape from significant changes. Increasingly stricter international regulations put shipowners in a problematic situation as their vessels no longer meet modern requirements. As the replacement of such ships requires enormous financial and environmental resources, HEMOS is seeking for a solution to the shipowners’ plight by improving the energy efficiency of existing vessels. In addition to attracting funding and developing a new service, LTH-Baas also benefits from new partners with whom to plan future collaborations – InEpact from Sweden and the University of Naples from Italy.