Toyota Motor Europe organized a “Toyota Startup Accelerator Program” back in July 2021 for startups that work on providing smart, sustainable, and inclusive business solutions to their clients. This is Toyota’s second startup accelerator program in partnership with ISDI Digital Talent. The program awarded five startups with funds this June after a 6-month long training.
During the training, the selected participants worked on their proof of concept with Toyota. Apart from funding mobility solutions startups, Toyota also recruited startups that focus on the areas of carbon neutrality, recycling and reuse of plastic, circular economies, and tools that assist product suppliers in increasing awareness about climate change among their clients and customers.
Mobility solutions for everyone
In 2019, Toyota expanded its robotics research to Europe and since then has been working on its “mobility-for-all” concept vehicles and intelligent solutions. Meanwhile, its competitors, such as Hyundai Motor, are working on providing “unlimited mobility” solutions to people through robotics and metaverse. Among the five winners, Revolve Wheel is a German startup that builds foldable vehicles. Their latest innovation is a foldable wheelchair that fits inside the cabin of an airplane and is called Revolve Air. The wheelchair also allows the users to travel on a train.
Sharing charging points
Electric vehicles are becoming popular as the tide has shifted towards finding more sustainable solutions for travel. This requirement has brought many innovative solutions, such as electric roads in the market of electric mobility. Another such creative innovation comes from Spain-based CargaTuCoche, which has also been awarded by the accelerator program. The Spanish company’s creative solution involves building residential infrastructure to charge an electric car. The charging ports will also allow the residents to charge their EVs together.
Circular Carbon Economy Solutions
The program awardee Swiss MicroWave Solutions plays a big role in accelerating circular carbon economies. Circular carbon economies involve sharing, reusing, refurbishing, and repairing existing materials and products. The company does so by recycling plastics, bio-waste, rubbers, and carbonaceous material into other usable materials. The conversion is carried out in the presence of microwave energy. The polymers are converted to monomers such as gases, fuels, recovered silica, carbon and fibers, activated carbon, and nanomaterials such as graphene, graphite, and synthetic diamonds.
Another key criterion for the program was choosing a startup that works on reducing carbon dioxide emissions. This criterion was fulfilled by PurCity from Denmark. The company works on converting buildings into large-scale CO2 capture facilities. PurCity builds its patented panels that are installed on the bottom-most floor of the buildings. The panels capture CO2 from the polluted air in the building and purify the air as the clean air goes up through the air-conditioning vents. The captured carbon can then be converted into electricity, and pure CO2 can be sold.
Storing and transporting hydrogen
The last on the list is the HySiLabs startup from France. The company is developing solutions with Toyota for transporting and capturing hydrogen. The hydrogen will be stored as a liquid in a company’s patented solution called HydroSil. The hydrosil solution is produced with hydrogen and energy. After hydrogen is stored as a liquid, hydrosil provides on-demand H2 without having to input any energy.
Toyota’s startup accelerator program has brought many creative startups under one roof in Europe. The fight against energy crisis, climate change, climate-changing activities, and the declining health of our ecosystem calls for people to work together. There is no one solution that can make a company follow an absolutely sustainable and inclusive path. But putting different creative ideas together can help us on our way to a cleaner and more efficient future.
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