To turn the Group into a leader in environmental performance, SUEZ ENVIRONNEMENT has adopted a global strategy aimed at accelerating and intensifying its research and innovation capacities. The 2010 creation of Blue Orange, an investment fund dedicated to new water and waste technologies, represents a major step in this direction
BLUE ORANGE: VENTURE CAPITAL FOR WATER AND WASTE TECHNOLOGIES
In 2010, SUEZ ENVIRONNEMENT launched Blue Orange, its innovation investment fund. It aims to strengthen and accelerate the development of innovative solutions in the Water and Waste businesses. With an investment budget of 50 million Euros over 10 years, Blue Orange invests in the commercial and industrial development of startups with promising, innovative technologies concerning these areas.
Blue Orange counts on partnerships and responsiveness to contribute to the Group’s differentiating technological drive. The fund has 3 major advantages:
- Access to an international network of experts, researchers and technicians at the forefront of techniques in water and waste,
- Commercial and industrial exposure offered by the Group’s activities in most regions of the world.
- The access to the results of R&D programmes undertaken by the Group.
Two years after its launch, Blue Orange receives and analyses nearly 300 applications per year; 4 investment operations have been conducted as well as much other collaborative work initiated via the Group’s additional programmes and initiatives.
DISCOVER THE PROJECTS FUNDED BY BLUE ORANGE
- Amongst the projects is one on transforming plastic waste to ready-to-use fuel. Blue Orange participates in the funding of this SITA UK and Cynar PLC project. The latter has developed a innovative technology which converts plastic waste into diesel fuel whilst conserving the environment.
- Redox Maritime Technologies, a company specialising in water disinfection using ozone. Blue Orange has become a partner for the launch of a new technology project on the treatment of ballast water using an advanced oxidation process1. By 2016, 15 000 ships will have to comply with new regulatory standards2 to reduce the transport of harmful aquatic organisms and pathogens. SUEZ ENVIRONNEMENT also provides expertise developed by OZONIA, a Degrémont3 operations subsidiary, focusing on the treatment of urban wastewater by using ozone and ultraviolet light.
- Since 2012, Blue Orange, SOFIMAC Partners and Centre Capital Développement are supporting SigrenEa‘s development of new technology in waste collection. Names “aEner’COM”, this solution allows real time remote measurement of filling rates at kerbside waste collection points. A sensor installed in the container continually measures the fill rate and transfers information to the waste management company. The next shift team can therefore improve and optimise the collection routes and kerbside collection points according to how full the containers are.
- Also in 2012, Blue Orange subscribed to a cleantech start-up fund “Demeter 3 Amorçage” specific to capital investment in start-ups or projects in the beginning phases of innovative technological development in the fields of water, waste treatment or renewable energy. The Group thereby increases it development capacity through partnerships with young, dynamic enterprises which innovate within its core activities.
- In May 2013, Blue Orange and the DEMETER 3 seed fund jointly support the development of COGEBIO, a young Lyon-based company that has developed a solution for biomass gasification.
From a variety of agriculture and forestry by-products, the GASCLEAN gasifier can produce in a very cost-effective way synthesis gas that is clean and directly recoverable, in accordance with the most stringent regulations on air emissions.
After its first commercial success, COGEBIO aims to extend the use of GASCLEAN to energy recovery from waste (wood, compost …).
- In May 2014, Blue Orange and the DEMETER 3 seed fund have teamed up again to invest in the development of Agri-Esprit. Based in Strasbourg, Agri-Esprit is a young innovative company specializing in the design and implementation of computer systems for the agricultural world. Agri-Esprit provides farmers with tools and services for the optimization of agricultural production. It relies for this on an innovative, highly flexible and dynamic system that integrates and manages agricultural data from various sources, including real time.
1Ballast water is used on board ships to ensure their stability depending on the cargo they are transport2A convention on the treatment of this water is currently being drawn up by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) gathering together 170 Members States. 3Degrémont is a 100% SUEZ ENVIRONNEMENT owned operations company.