Category Archives: Project Management & Finance

Realizing SDG 7: bridging financial challenges

Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG 7) stands for access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all. Last Friday (5 April), Partners for Innovation was present at the national event for companies, financiers, NGOs and other parties working on the realization of this goal. An important topic was bridging financial challenges for project developers.

A billion people have no access to modern means of electricity, and another 3 billion people still use heavily polluted fire wood an charcoal for cooking. The Dutch government therefore aims to provide 50 million people with access to sustainable energy by 2030. During the meeting, organized by RVO and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the attendees discussed how to reach this goal as quick as possible.

Access to financing to contribute to SDG 7

Developers of sustainable energy projects often face financial challenges. During the meeting a number of companies therefore had the opportunity to pitch their project for public and private financiers. Several policy instruments have also been presented, including:

  • The GET.Invest program, the follow-up to RECP, for which Partners for Innovation implements the Finance Catalyst facility.
  • Access to Energy Fund, a fund that invests in and provides loans to projects that realize energy generation, transmission and distribution in developing countries.
  • The new SDG 7 Results facility program, aimed at stimulating access to renewable energy in developing countries. As of April 5th proposals can be submitted for this new subsidy.

More information

Does your organization, company, NGO or financial institution want to contribute to access to renewable energy in developing countries? Partners for Innovation can help you in this process, and in finding suitable financing and submitting an application. For more information about these instruments, contact Stan van den Broek or Emiel Hanekamp.

Trade mission Vietnam

Minister Kaag (Minister of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation) is leading a trade mission in Vietnam and Malaysia this week together with Hans de Boer (chairman VNO-NCW) and about 45 companies. The economic mission is focused on urban growth and societal challenges. Partners for Innovation and CREM conducted a scoping study of the opportunities for circular economy in Vietnam, of which the results are presented during the trade mission.

On behalf of RVO and the Dutch Embassy in Vietnam, Partners for Innovation and CREM carried out a scoping study on circular economy in Vietnam. The study focuses on the state of play of circular economy in Vietnam and social-economic and environmental challenges and circular solutions. Besides that, the report provides opportunities for Dutch – Vietnamese cooperation on CE.

Read more about the study in the presentation of the results.

Circular plastic building materials

Groothuisbouw is an innovative builder using prefabrication to produce custom build houses. The company is a frontrunner in the building industry.

Groothuisbouw located in Emmeloord is a company that constructs houses using an industrialised system and customer specifications. Using a collection of property types, customers can chooses their preferred version even down to the level of rooftiles and gables. These houses are constructed (prefab) at their own production location and can be build within 3 days at the prepared site.

Groothuisbouw uses traditional materials, like wood and stone. They would like to know whether plastics would be a suitable alternative.  And what this would mean both for the sustainability impact of the houses and their own production process. The advantages of plastics compared to traditional building materials are the low weight, the isolating properties, the slight maintenance, the possibilities for integration and the possibility to use recycled plastics.

To make the possibilities viable for  Groothuisbouw and to develop prototypes,  we have set up a chain project. In this project an architect, a producer of roof duct systems, an injection moulder, an extrusion company, a composite producer,  a producer of isolation material, a plastic collector and a plastic recycler.  Together these companies created several new and unexpected product ideas. The possibilities seemed to be endless.  Three of these ideas have been developed into prototypes. The accompanying energy and environmental impact, compared to traditional products, has been calculated using an LCA. The positive impact turned out to be major.

The thee products 

  • Composite dormer, using polyester resin with glass fiber and a gelcoating with zinc powder. Less maintenance, installation costs and materials;

Smit Composite has developed a composite dormer with a higher fluid and crack density than a traditional wooden dormer.  The lifetime is prolonged and the installation is easier. The gelcoating gives the dormer a luxurious appearance. Groothuisbouw intends to market the new dormer as an exclusive product and aims to have six models in their showroom soon.  Our preliminary LCA shows that this composite dormer lowers the CO2 impact with 21 % during production and use compared to the traditional wooden alternative.

  • Composite chimney, replacing bricks and a steel frame with a lightweight composite structure and sawn stone strips creating a sightly finish. The stone cover plate was also replaced with a composite look-a-like. 

Smit Composite has designed and developed a new chimney, which is 71% lighter than a traditional chimney.  Smit used a composite structure,  outlined with sawn stone strips that can replace the steel frame and bricks.The stone cover plate was also replaced with a composite alternative. No LCA has been conducted for this chimney.

  • Integrated cornice, using one piece of recycled pvc to create the fascias and trim. Meaning less production and installation costs.

For the third project  Profextru has researched a cornice of recycled PVC. This PVC was orginally used for PVC window frames.  By using  injection moulding it was possible to create a cornice in one part and to integrate different functions. This saves maintenance and installation costs. Als the weight is much lower than that of a wooden cornice.  Groothuisbouw researches the possible production volume, with this information Profextru can decide whether this cornice will be viable for their production facilities. The provisional LCA shows that a plastic cornice lowers the CO2 emission with 35% when compared to the wood alternative.

Advantages of a chain project

A product development approach involving the valuechain means that knowledge and ideas from different angles are shared. Using a (circular) chain approach, forces you to have an intergral look at solutions and prevents incomplete solutions that turn out to be problematic at the end of the first operational phase of a project. This practical approach means producers have greater understanding of the impact of their design and suppliers gain insight in the possiblities.

Groothuisbouw can now bring the new solutions to market.  Valuale contacts have been made and knowledge was shared, even with parties that did not take part in the sessions. Moreover this project has led to a publication:  the Dutch magazine Netwerk van de Nederlandse kunststofindustrie published two pages on this project (June 2017).

Advantages for the construction industry

This project is not just about new knowledge for Groothuisbouw and its partners; it is an example for creating value in the (often) traditional building industry.  For example by working together with an adjoining sector, such as the plastics industry.  By breaking the invisible borders between sectors, new opportunities arise to work more efficient, precise and sustainable.

Like to learn more?

Contact: Ingeborg Gort

This chain project was done with support of  

* Participants in this project:

  • Groothuisbouw, builder
  • Ubbink, producer of plastic roof products
  • Profextru, developer of eco-friendly products made from recycled plastic
  • Omefa, plastic injection moulding
  • Smit Composite, producer plastic composite products
  • Isobouw, producer isolating building products
  • Van Gansewinkel, waste operator;
  • QCP, supplier plastic compounds from post-consumer waste;
  • Bureau SLA en Overtreders W, architects experienced in applying recycled plastics
  • NRK, federatie Nederlandse kunststof en rubberindustrie
  • Innovatielink, MKB steunpunt Topsector Chemie (initiator of the project)



Using the SDGs to assess projects’ sustainability impact

At Partners for Innovation we want  to contribute to a more sustainable world. In order to realise this potential it is important to assess the impact of our projects.

The question is therefore, to what extent do the projects we work on contribute to the realisation of a sustainable society? Despite the fact that there are many initiatives in impact assessment of partial aspects, the question still is how much the contribution is on the whole.

The SDGs, the result of extensive negotiations within the UN, are aimed to work globally on  sustainable development. When the impact is expressed in terms of SDGs there are two main benefits:

  • First, it will give us a broad view of the impact of projects on all sustainability aspects.
  • Second, it can bridge the gap between efforts of private firms and companies to public ambitions.
The goal of this research is to develop a tool which one can use to express project impact in the terms of the SDGs. This will be done using a set of indicators which are based on the definitions of the SDGs, existing impact assessment initiatives and possibly newly developed indicators.
Finally, the tool will be used in the research for four existing projects to test its validity. We are open to all suggestions and ideas that will enhance this research and bring it to a higher level.


More information?


If you would like to know more about the applicability of the tool for your own project or have any suggestions, please contact Wouter or Elke.


Partners for Innovation Academy: Measuring impact using the SDGs


The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a collaborative partnership between governments, NGO’s and companies to work together on global challenges. The Goals are set on a global scale and contain 17 goals and 169 targets to be achieved by 2030.

How can companies contribute towards these goals? In this PfI Academy we will share our own experiences and learn from our partners.

ICL Fertilizers and province of North Holland invest in circular fertilizer

ICL fertilizers has started a project to produce circular fertilizer by extracting phosphate from waste ashes. The Port of Amsterdam can become the first location worldwide producing this type of fertilizer.

ICL partners for innovation

ICL is one of the largest producers of fertilizer in the world with plants spread over five continents. In Europe nearly all phospates are imported.

Growing demand

Phosphate is an essential element of fertilizer in order to grow food. ICL uses phosphate rock a mineral  resource that is only limited available. Because of its limited availabitity and growing demand, finding a good alternative is of vital importance.  So far, this vital ingredient is only used once and then disappears through the food chain in residues, animal manure and sewage water.

Closing the phosphate cycle

ICL is investing, financially aided by the province of North Holland, in a installation that uses waste ashes for the production of fertilizer. Partners for Innovation supported ICL with the project proposal. The main goal of the project is closing the phosphate cycle: using a valuable ingredient more than once.



Peter Karsch

Elke Roetman

ICL website

Province of North-Holland website on circular economy (Dutch)

The Finance Catalyst – open for project proposals

From September Partners for Innovation is welcoming project proposals on renewable energy in Sub Saharan Africa. Working for the Finance Catalyst, we offer support & advice on project development, -structuring and finance. The Finance Catalyst links small-and medium-scale renewable energy projects to finance opportunities.

Africa-EU Energy Partnership

De Finance Catalyst is carried out through the RECP (the Africa-EU Renewable Energy Cooperation Programme). The RECP is a multi-donor programme that supports the development of markets for renewable energy in Africa. It was launched by more than 35 African and European Ministers and Commissioners under the Africa-EU Energy Partnership (AEEP).


Project proposals can be submitted online through the RECP website. The advisory support is available to all proposals that meet a number of criteria. Only projects with a cumulative generation capacity between 0.5-50 MW or aggregated investments in the range of € 1-70 million are eligible (this can include distributed generation). Also, projects must be situated in sub-Saharan Africa. The remaining criteria are found on the RECP website.

Read more about the Finance Catalyst

Read more about the RECP


Thomas Dietz

Peter Vissers

Stan van den Broek


Stan van den Broek assists companies and governments in sustainable innovations. Thanks to his broad knowledge of innovation processes and transitions, combined with his strond analytical skills, he is able to give thorough advice.

My mission: accelerate towards a sustainable and fair future, by helping small scale innovations.

Climate- and energy policy | System changes | Sustainable energy technologies | Innovation processes

Stan has started working as a consultant in the field of circular & bio-based economy. He graduated on the topic of international energy- and innovation policy and is experienced in analyzing innovation processes.


MSc Innovation Sciences (TU Eindhoven), BSc Technical Innovation Sciences (TU Eindhoven)

m +31 618513099
e s.vandenbroek[at]






LIFE: a European impulse for nature conservation

The ministry of Economic Affairs is responsible for the Dutch policy on nature conservation. This is carried out along with  the ministry of Infrastructure & Environment, the 12 provinces, Staatsbosbeheer, Rijkswaterstaat and other nature- and landscape organizations.

In the ‘wet’ nature areas (Dutch nature consists of 80% water), the Waterschappen are the key partners in carrying out the policy. However, coordinating between the different agencies takes up a lot of time and effort. This occasionally leads to delays, mainly due to conflicting interests in an area where economic, environmental and safety issues all play a part.

LIFE impulse

The ministry of Economic Affairs wants to develop a new policy model in order to streamline this process. To help create this model the ministry has been given financial means from the LIFE programme.

Partners for Innovation assisted the ministry in this project. We facilitated ‘writing sessions’ in which the proposal came broadly into existence. We presented and discussed the progression during a number of meetings with all 23 partners. Also, we’ve written a Concept Note (the first step of proposal submission) and created the final version of the project plan, based on the evaluation conducted by the European Commission.

Nature 2000

An element of the LIFE programma is Nature 2000. It supports a range of projects in the fields of:

  • nature & biodiversity
  • environment & efficient use of resources
  • climate change

The Delta areas

One area that gets special attention are the Delta areas. These areas surrounding the rivers are potentially vulnerable since we built cities, relocated river beds and extracted oil and gas from the soil. Interests of economy, nature and security are continually being weighed.


Another activity that puts nature under threat is overfishing. Fishery has had a serious impact on particular fish species (of which the larger individuals have disappeared). The bottom of sea life has been disrupted in several areas due to the use of nets scraping the surface.

Integrated projects

LIFE distinguishes different types of projects. Integrated projects are aimed at a widespread environmental impact, such as waste and water issues. In this kind of projects more than one government needs to be involved. Commitment and coordination are vital.


Peter Karsch

Read more about LIFE

A high tech e-scooter – LEEV Mobility

LEEV Mobility, a company based in Amsterdam, develops and markets innovative light electrical vehicles for personal use. Since 2011 LEEV has been working on a small e-scooter / step, named “JACK”.

Folding scooter

The first model of this electric scooter is now brought on the market. JACK is designed  for short distances in the city. Its light weight makes JACK easy to fold and carry along.


LEEV is researching the possibilities of a business-to-business-model for the rental market. Important adaptations that are made  on the old B2C model are a more robust design, a dock for charging, parking and releasing the scooter. Also, software is needed to manage the rentals and providing information to renters.

Support & advice

Partners for Innovation assists LEEV Mobility in conducting the feasibility study on the rental model of JACK. We assess the CO₂ impact and advise on how to bring it down. We also support in meeting the reporting requirements, finding suitable partners and we provide input to  the business plan. The rental model is expected to come out in 2018.