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'First of a Kind' solutions for sustainable transport and mobility: EU initiative for accelerating EU-wide market access, scale up and derisking

The aim is to develop an EU matchmaking system (both for tools and services) to de-risk large purchasing of first-of-a-kind solutions at European level and accelerate EU-wide market access and scale up of sustainable transport products and services and fostering their de-risking.

Proposals shall address all the following points:

  • The concept of purchase aggregation of innovative zero emission transport solutions (Technology Readiness Level 7 and above) shall be developed, allowing to spread the related risk over a multiple number of regrouped buyers and de-risk purchases of innovative solutions. Proposals shall mobilize main actors such as public and private transport and mobility operators and other main stakeholders, multipliers and platforms (e.g. large public/private fleet users associations, fleet owners and transport and mobility operators, leasing companies, OEMs, tier 1 and tier 2 operators and innovative SMEs). In view of ensuring economic viability and continuation of the planned activities, users of the facility (conceived as a long lasting activity, going beyond the duration of the contract) shall also be involved in the proposal.
  • The facility shall develop activities and offer services aiming at matching supply and demand via off-line and/or on-line tools and instruments, as well as alerts on availability of incoming new solutions. The supply-side of this facility shall regroup and provide visibility and outreach of first-of-a-kind products, technologies and services at European level. It shall offer a wide and regularly updated portfolio of solutions, grouped and listed according to different criteria, such as category, activity, application, area, etc. The demand-side of the facility shall regroup potential buyers and liaise with other existing actors such as large buyers groups, networks and platforms to support critical mass. Potential buyers will also have the opportunity to receive information on innovative solutions, including on an individual case-by-case basis. As an additional challenge, the platform shall regroup and list foreseen replacement plans and schedules of major buyers of transport and mobility products, technologies and services, to allow awareness of opportunities, peer review of such plans and possible purchase aggregations. Finally, the facility should interrelate asset management with risk management to further support the stakeholders.
  • The facility shall also stimulate dissemination of information, exchange of knowledge and good practices on the deployment of innovative solutions, on European and national procurement processes as well as on regulatory issues. Specific services supporting access to innovation finance, on both demand and supply side should be included by building strong connections and synergies with ongoing and future instruments, such as the European Innovation Council (EIC), Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) and the European Investment Bank (EIB), as well as the wider European financial market.
  • Future sustainability of the system beyond the duration of the CSA is expected to be demonstrated.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 1 and 1.5 million would allow the specific challenge to be addressed appropriately

Cleaner and more sustainable mobility is one of the major challenges of our time. The urgency and the magnitude of climate change calls for effective measures to remove obstacles that slow down the market uptake of innovative zero (and near to zero) emission technologies and services: on the one side, “first of a kind” solutions have a strong need for visibility, industrial viability and users’ acceptance; on the other side, innovative solutions face harsh competition with traditional, existing solutions due to the inertia of the market and lacking critical mass.

Access to financing opportunities is another bottleneck, with a large overall financing gap and sub-optimal access-to-finance conditions.[[""Financing innovation in clean and sustainable mobility Study on access to finance for the innovative road transport sector”, EIB, April 2018,]] Many companies struggle to raise sufficient funding due to the high level of risk and large capital requirements typical of transport innovation. Europe is losing out compared with the US and parts of Asia, even where it could enjoy “natural” competitive edge.

Innovative sustainable solutions in the field of transport and mobility need favourable conditions in order to accelerate scaling up and access to market, to maintain competitiveness and boost growth and jobs. Lowering the risk in acquisition of innovative (in particular of “first of a kind”) products and services is a crucial condition for their wider market uptake. The development of innovative solutions shall also support the definition of additional/complementary services (such as collateral services contract) that can help users to overcome the technicalities connected to the embedding innovations.

  • Accelerate EU-wide market access and scale up of innovative zero (and near to zero) emission transport and mobility technologies, products and services for both potential buyers and users.
  • Achievement of critical mass for innovative solutions (with specific focus on first-of-a-kind solutions) through market aggregation of multiple buyers, matchmaking activities and other support services on both supply and demand side.
  • Market scaling up of innovative zero emission solutions should support EU competitiveness as well as the reduction of CO2 emissions and pollutants.
  • Amount of the financial resources to be mobilised to scale up innovative solutions for very low and zero emissions in the shortest time possible.