Ukrainian builder picks up EBRD award

sergiy kovalenkov, hempireSergiy Kovalenkov, Founder, Kiev-based Hempire

Kiev-based construction firm Hempire has been honored by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) for its innovative use of hemp technical fibers in building insulation.

Hempire is one of six Ukranian start-ups recognized last week under the EBRD’s Climate Innovation Support Program; 40 Ukrainian projects applied for the honors under the program, which is aimed at spurring development of technologies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and save on energy consumption.

€160,000 in vouchers

Winners from Kiev, Dnipro and Lviv will receive Climate Innovation Vouchers (CIVs) worth a total €160,000 for innovations ranging from construction materials to billing systems. The vouchers provide funding for researchers and businesses proposing energy-efficient technologies and schemes to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The CIVs are awarded through the EBRD’s Finance and Technology Transfer Centre for Climate Change (FINTECC) program, which is financed by the EU Neighbourhood Investment Facility (NIF). Ukraine is the first of the EBRD’s countries of operations to benefit from the CIVs, where the project is implemented by a local NGO, Greencubator, that promotes climate innovations and a green economy in Ukraine.

50 projects are targeted

The CIV program, with a total budget of €1 million, will support around 50 innovative projects in Ukraine through the end of 2018. Vouchers for individual projects may range from €20,000 to €50,000 depending on their innovativeness, complexity and potential benefit. Further recipients will be identified via three more rounds of the competitive selection process.

The EBRD’s FINTECC program, which aims to transfer technology in the area of climate change mitigation and adaptation, was launched in Ukraine in February 2016. The three-year program is supported by US$ 7 million in funding from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and a €4 million grant from the EU’s NIF.

The EBRD is the largest international financial investor in Ukraine. To date, the Bank has made a cumulative commitment of almost €11.6 billion through 383 projects since the start of its operations in the country in 1993.

Greenсubator develops the ecosystem required for sustainable entrepreneurship, climate innovations and a green economy in Ukraine. The main goal of Greenсubator is to increase the number of players and developers of climate-positive innovations in the green economy, helping them to attract investment and enter global markets and thus contribute to the development of a low-carbon economy in Ukraine.