French Firm Launches Contest For Cleantech Start-ups

Feb 18 2009 | 9:17am ET

French construction materials producer Saint-Gobain has launched its second annual start-up competition for European companies developing clean technologies for construction, energy or the environment.

The contest concludes June 3 with a round of 10-minute interviews between finalists and Saint-Gobain executives. Winners will receive EUR 15,000 ($19,000), introductions to potential investors and help with business development.

The strategic partnerships could also include Saint-Gobain manufacturing, distributing or incorporating winning technologies into its products, said Julien de Loynes of NOVA External Venturing, the Saint-Gobain unit that develops strategic start-up partnerships.

Last year's winners were France-based vegetalized-wall developer Plantover, France-based technology developer Sensitive Object and Austrian-based Gapsolution, a developer of prefabricated panels for the renovation of thermal insulation.

Saint-Gobain said it has already set up partnerships with two of the companies so far. The French firm also says it is considering organizing a similar competition in the United States next year.

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