The agreement fits in with the impact investment criteria promoted by both entities and with the commitment of the Government of Navarra to incorporate sustainability as a key element of its Sustainable Strategy for Smart Specialisation (S4). The circular bioeconomy, in this sense, promotes production models that seek to synchronise economic development with the sustainable production of renewable biological resources and their conversion into value-added goods.
Representatives of the public company Sodena, Sociedad de Desarrollo de Navarra, dependent on the Government of Navarra, and the ECBF (European Circular Bioeconomy Fund) agreed to promote the development of the circular bioeconomy in the region. To this end, both organisations undertook to identify business opportunities and provide financial support to all those growing companies whose purpose is to promote sustainable innovations. At the same time, with this alliance they sought to stimulate business growth and competitiveness in the region.
Sodena, the financial support instrument of the Government of Navarra to attract and develop business projects with added value in the region, thus joins forces with ECBF, a leading venture capital fund in business investments in growth stages in the field of the Bioeconomy.
This collaboration agreement is in line with the impact investment criteria of both entities and aims to promote sustainable development and innovation in the circular bioeconomy. This practice is considered a new sustainable economic model that seeks to synchronise economic development with the sustainable production of renewable biological resources and their conversion (and that of their by-products) into value-added goods. In addition, both entities consider the care of the environment and the improvement of social progress as conditions for responsible and sustainable investments.
M.ª Eugenia Lecumberri, Sodena’s Investment Director, stated that “this alliance with ECBF is another tool for detecting projects that require financial support in their transition to the circular economy in order to improve their competitiveness and profitability”. For his part, Guillermo Alonso, Head of Foreign Investment Attraction at Sodena, was positive about the ECBF’s willingness to act as a loudspeaker for the possibilities offered by the region for the establishment of new companies.
“Our visit to Navarra, facilitated by the Industrial Association of Navarra (AIN), revealed that the region is creating a unique circular bioeconomy ecosystem. The robust agri-food sector and competitive advantages in biomass processing and new ingredients are evident, but also the coordinated support of local public and private actors. This collaboration with Sodena aims to expand our capacity to identify, attract, develop and support high potential businesses in Spain”, said Michael Brandkamp, Managing Director of ECBF.
This alliance is also aligned with the objective and commitment of the Government of Navarra, through its Smart Specialisation Strategy, to become a European benchmark for sustainable growth, not only because of the need to respond to the major challenges of combating climate change, but also because it has key business and technological strengths and capabilities in fundamental areas of sustainable transition.
By integrating their expertise, Sodena and ECBF aim to leverage Navarra’s strong ecosystem and foster and accelerate the growth of start-ups through strategic venture capital investments for ECBF and Sodena. Both Sodena and ECBF believe that sustainable development becomes more achievable when investments generate attractive returns while driving positive impacts on the Bioeconomy.