In a global scenario that records constantly increasing demographic trends (some estimates that the world population could reach 9 billion by 2050) and increasingly densely populated urban areas, it is essential to rethink the waste cycle, its treatment and recovery in addition to the potential deriving from their energy valorization. Especially because the current processes and technologies could create interesting growth and development opportunities for new industrial sectors with a virtuous path of environmental sustainability.

It is precisely in this perspective that the Trace x Greenthesis project was born, with the aim of supporting the growth of innovative projects in the various areas of the integrated waste cycle value chain, and capable of offering functional solutions to the activities and areas of interest of Greenthesis Group.

It is a project of the Circular Economy Lab, an initiative of Cariplo Factory and Intesa Sanpaolo Innovation Center, in collaboration with the Greenthesis Group.

With thirty years of experience in the Green Economy sector, the Group represents one of the main Italian operators with global experience in environmental services, including remediation solutions, waste-to-energy technologies, wastewater treatment, sludge management, biogas and biomethane production, as well as in the treatment, recovery and disposal of hazardous and non-hazardous waste.

Trace x Greenthesis is an initiative addressed to post-seed startups and innovative SMEs.


Scouting Areas


Trace x Greenthesis is an initiative addressed to post-seed startups and innovative SMEs that can offer technological solutions in line with the specific activities and areas of interest of Greenthesis.

The call has the goal of supporting the circular transformation of Greenthesis group, and its subsidiaries, and is aimed at finding innovative solutions that can guarantee a high level of technological maturity, energy efficiency and a reduced measurable environmental impact.

The research focuses on three areas of interest:

  • The value of waste: Waste to Materials – solutions of valorization and enhancement of waste and by-products encouraging upcycling, zero waste and cross-chain collaborations.
  • Circular Technologies for Biological Cycle – Solutions aimed at promoting the valorization of the biological matrix of waste, also considering industrial symbiosis and the upgrade of already existing technological solutions.
  • Circular Services Platform – Solutions that offer a support to the waste management processes and environmental monitoring processes by encouraging stakeholder involvement.


The Value of Waste: Waste to Materials

  • Technological solutions aimed at the recovery and valorization of industrial waste materials, landfill waste, textile waste and unsold clothes and various types of waste (e.g. technologies for Enhanced Landfill Mining, chemical plastic recycling, Waste to Materials enhancement, sorting and upcycling technologies, volumetric reduction).
  • Innovative technological solutions for the treatment, recovery and in-situ enhancement of waste, industrial by-products and end-of-life products, in order to avoid landfilling and in consequence to reduce the use of raw materials by replacing them with secondary raw materials.
  • Innovative technologies of environmental remediation and valorization of the soil with the objective of the recovery of materials for subsequent valorization, including their valorization in other supply chains.


Circular Technologies for Biological Cycle

  • Waste to Energy: technologies for the valorization of the organic fraction of waste, for the upgrade from biogas to biomethane and for CO2 methanation process.
  • New technologies for the treatment of sewage and liquid waste aimed at upgrading existing plants and / or designing new generation treatment plants. Technologies for the recovery and the chemical / biological enhancement of waste or sludge to obtain chemical compounds and / or natural elements (e.g. phosphorus, potassium), to be valorized in other production sectors, such as agrifood, cosmetics or bioplastics.
  • Technologies aimed at closing the resource cycles in an industrial symbiosis perspective, for example through the recovery of energy, heat or water.


Circular Services Platform

  • Technological platforms aimed at meeting the supply and demand of industrial waste, scraps and by-products
  • Digital solutions to promote waste traceability (e.g. blockchain) and to optimize the flows from / to industrial clusters (e.g. Artificial Intelligence).
  • Solutions designed to expand the offer of the Greenthesis Group’s environmental consultancy services (e.g. decision support systems) and the involvement of the right stakeholders.
  • Integrated solutions capable of monitoring the environmental performance of industrial activities in conformity with the sustainable development objectives (UN SDGs).
  • Smart Digital Water: digital solutions for the control of water treatment processes and the reduction of the negative impacts on the environment (sensors, decision support systems, environmental reporting, stakeholder involvement).


Phases and timing


13-14 May 2020| Phase 1 identification of the innovation areas

25 May – 30 June 2020 | Scouting activities and submission of applications

9 July – 15 July 2020 | Assessment & Pre-selection of start-up, Innovative SMEs

23 -24 July 2020 | Selection day



Applications are officially closed.