09 Mar 2023

European startups enthused by India’s sustainability push: EU-India InnoCenter Project Head

A slew of European startups, active in the area of sustainability, is making a beeline for India to tap opportunities. With India aiming to secure its net zero targets by 2070, sectors across the economy are already tweaking their operations and adopting a green strategy. This opens avenues for value-additions and collaborations, which the startups from Europe wish to explore with their tried-and-tested formulae from their respective markets.

According to EU-India InnoCenter Project Head Juliane Frömmter, “India is a growing market and has a vibrant startup ecosystem. We are enthusiastic about the opportunities here.” With a budget of 3 million euros until this year, the centre prepares European startups to launch and expand their activities in India, supporting their market entry strategies and creating a solid local network.

“We work across four verticals, with a majority of companies working in sustainability -- in clean tech, energy, mobility, and optimising logistics. We feel that many of the technologies in Europe have certain advantages that we can bring to India and that’s exactly how we select these companies. We look at their differentiation and value-addition,” Juliane said.

Through the InnoCenter, startups operating in the realms of battery infrastructure for e-mobility, to greening and climate change mitigation, are actively looking at serving Indian demand. “We believe that the Indian market will play a pivotal role in Volektra’s journey for the foreseeable future,” said Manish Seth, CEO of Volektra.

German sustainable mobility firm Volektra has already partnered with an Indian company that will manufacture and bring its gen-1 products to the market, while it strives to introduce its e-bike technology and gen-2 magnet-free technology in the country.

Likewise, Slovak startup AgeVolt offers comprehensive EV-charging solutions, including smart EV chargers, energy management system, mobile application, and a digital platform. “AgeVolt is looking to enter the Indian market that offers tremendous potential for EV growth, which is going to be a major driver for decarbonising transport, reducing carbon emissions and improving air quality,” said Parag Gogate, Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer at AgeVolt.

In line with decarbonising EVs comes the adoption of sustainable battery technology. UK-based battery solutions major Echion Technologies develops and supplies at gigawatt-hour scale, of lithium-ion anode materials based on niobium, through its product ‘XNO’. “Our initial visits to India have shown us a dynamic battery industry ecosystem that is committed to developing high-quality battery products to help the country achieve its decarbonisation goals. We see India as a key market and are working with several industry players to build understanding and potential partnerships,” said Benjamin Ting, Chief Commercial Officer, Echion Technologies.  

This interest of European startups is not restricted to mobility and energy. Sustainable products major envoPAP, also based in the UK, specialises in converting agricultural waste into paper and packaging, thus preventing the incidence of stubble-burning.

“India is a great place to learn how to offer products in an affordable, consumable way... Indian startups are very good at organising markets that were previously unstructured. EU startups bring the ability of closing the gaps of R&D challenges... If both collaborate with their inherent skill-sets, we can solve several global problems together. India has a great role to play in this,” concluded Juliane.


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