EUR 2.42 million for Traceless from European Innovation Council

Founders and winners of Future Hamburg Award 2021 receive grant for compostable plastic substitute - fund to go towards demonstration plant
21 October 2021
Traceless Team

The Hamburg-based Traceless Materials start-up has received EUR 2.42 million in funds from the European Innovation Council (EIC). The founders, Dr. Anne Lamp and Johanna Baare, will put the fresh capital towards a new pilot plant to scale-up their compostable alternative made from biomass. Around 359 million metric tons of plastic were produced annually worldwide in 2018 compared to merely 1.5 million metric tons 70 years ago. The trend is rising and most plastic waste ends up in the environment, polluting habitats and oceans.

First production plant and market launch 

"The proposed innovation represents a true breakthrough in the field of plastic materials as it combines a circular and sustainable approach based on agricultural waste, innovative transformation steps and final characteristics of the materials, which are beyond state-of-the-art and will bring a fully biodegradable solution in many sectors," according to the European Innovation Council's (EIC) evaluation committee. Traceless Materials is one of 65 companies funded by the EIC Accelerator. A total of 4,000 companies had entered their ideas.

The founders have already set their sights on the next step: "The funding will allow us to accelerate our scale-up and bring Traceless to market quickly - so that we can help solve the global plastic pollution," said Lamp, who invented the technology. 

Invention reduces CO2 emissions by 87 per cent

Traceless' patent-pending technology produces a material from agricultural waste that can be composted at home and in natural conditions. The invention causes up to 87 per cent fewer CO2 emissions than conventional virgin plastic. The quality of the novel material can compete with conventional plastic and bioplastics, the founders said.

Founders of Traceless
© Traceless
J. Baare and A. Lamp

Traceless Materials win Future Hamburg Award 2021

The start-up won has already won over companies such as Otto GmbH & Co KG with whom it is now working on a prototype for biodegradable shipping packaging. Traceless had secured seed investment worth millions in May from the impact investor, Planet A, among other venture capital investors. Founded in September 2020, the founders won second prize at this year's Future Hamburg Award in honour of sustainable innovations in mobility, logistics and hydrogen.

European Innovation Council

Launched in March 2021 as part of the Horizon Europe scheme, the European Innovation Council (EIC) supports disruptive innovations throughout their lifecycle, from early-stage research, proof of concept, and technology transfer to funding and scaling-up start-ups and SMEs. In 2021, approximately EUR 1.1 billion is available for the EIC Accelerator. It provides both grants of up to EUR 2.5 million and equity capital of up to EUR 15 million to bring innovations to market maturity. The companies selected by the EIC receive coaching, mentoring and access to investors and companies.