STAND Up!: The Switchers Open Eco-Innovation, a new virtual platform and manual for connecting companies with entrepreneurs in the Mediterranean


The Switchers Open Eco-Innovation Platform, the new virtual place for enabling connections between green businesses and innovative solutions, is finally available!

The platform, developed by Medwaves, the UNEP/MAP Regional Activity Centre for SCP within the framework of SwitchMed, a programme funded by the European Union and STAND Up!, an EU-funded project under the ENI CBC Med Programme, is completely free and easy to use. It enables the matching between the seekers of green and circular business solutions (companies and public institutions) with the providers (start-ups/entrepreneurs) using an open innovation approach.

The participatory process starts with challenges set by drivers or enablers supporting project ideas and sustainable start-ups, from both the public and private sectors, in the Mediterranean area. All challenges meet the goal of innovating in the sector of green entrepreneurship and circular economy. Entrepreneurs can submit proposals for one or more challenges as individuals or on behalf of a group.

On top of that, this novel tool was developed with the aim to develop activities aiming at creating demand for sustainable products and services from both companies and public entities. The platform offers a way of fostering this demand through the promotion of eco-innovation as a way of supporting organisations to incorporate new green and circular solutions in their business models.

The platform will enable a methodological framework for open innovation enablers focused on circular economy, developed by Medwaves with the support of SDLI. The process will set up pillar elements for enablers when interacting with other organizations and start-ups:

  1. Challenge Identification
  2. Challenge Formulation
  3. Value Proposition
  4. Challenge Launch
  5. Scouting
  6. Selection
  7. Collaboration Agreement
  8. Investment

Throughout this process, the platform allows to see that the role of the enabler is fundamental for it to be successful. The enabler is an actor within the ecosystem that makes it possible for other stakeholders to benefit from its role thanks to its expertise and contacts. In this sense, the enabler plays during the whole process the role of connector between start-ups and companies, helping each one of them by:

  • Giving visibility to the start-ups
  • Helping companies find solutions aligned to the objectives of their eco-innovation challenges
  • Creating new partnerships between different stakeholders

Open eco-innovation enablers will be able to foster a culture of open innovation focused on a sustainable future. Enablers will also help to expand this concept, which is being increasingly used around the world, along with its practices and ways of working.

More about the Open Eco-Innovation Manual for Circular Economy Enablers

In addition to that and in order to promote open eco-innovation, Medwaves and SDLI developed a methodology, namely the Open Eco-Innovation Manual for Circular Economy Enablers, whose goal is to guide future open eco-innovation enablers with an understanding of the processes they will develop to facilitate connections between solution seekers and entrepreneurs. It also seeks to help meeting sustainable innovation challenges faced by private and public companies across different sectors.

Click here to download the Open Eco-Innovation Manual.

If you want to register to The Switchers Open Eco-Innovation Platform, click here.