Norwegian start-up beats over 700 competitors in Europe’s largest clean-tech contest

Norwegian start-up Desert Control has won this year’s ClimateLaunchpad competition, winning €10.000 and a place in the Climate-KIC Accelerator. Their mission? Transforming deserts and dry, sandy soil into productive farmland.

COP21 Journey to Paris

As the world meets at the UN climate change summit in Paris, we put the spotlight on innovators who are already creating solutions around Europe.
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This year’s competition attracted a record number of entrants, with over 700 clean-tech entrepreneurs applying from across 28 countries. A total of 82 teams were shortlisted to enter the challenging ClimateLaunchpad programme to refine their business offering, including perfecting their business model, value proposition and pitch.

Desert Control‘s “NanoClay” product is produced by combining clay and water in a patented mixing process.

Andreas Julseth, a participant from Desert Control, said: “We are thrilled to have been chosen as ClimateLaunchpad winners. The trainers and the other participants really helped to bring out the best in ourselves. We knew we had a great idea, but through the programme we have been able to validate that there is market out there. We look forward to taking our business to the next level in the Climate-KIC Accelerator.”

Climate-KIC’s #JourneyToParis campaign makes a virtual stop in Norway this week (21 – 27 September), as part of the journey to the UN climate change summit COP21 in Paris. For more items in this series visit the #JourneyToParis page.


“We bring our patented mixing units to the customer and apply NanoClay directly into the irrigation water and use sprinklers to spread it. The mix sinks into the soil, creating a 40-60 cm deep layer, which retains the water like a sponge. This layer stops water from evaporating and ensures optimal growing conditions for anything you plant in it,” says Desert Control’s website.

“To cultivate sandy soil into fertile land normally takes 7-15 years, we do it in 7 hours. One application lasts a minimum of 5 years. What’s more is that it’s completely organic and doesn’t use any chemicals,” the say.

Frans Nauta, Deputy-Director Entrepreneurship Climate-KIC, said: “The ClimateLaunchpad European Final was an amazing event, showcasing so many great business ideas, all with the potential to create new jobs and economic growth in Europe. Today, start-ups from all over Europe are sending a clear message to the COP21 negotiations in Paris: Invest in entrepreneurs if you want to tackle climate change. It is the single biggest business opportunity of the 21st century.”

Climate-KIC’s Journey to Paris

Climate-KIC runs its #JourneytoParis campaign from June until December 2015, with the UN’s crucial COP21 climate change summit as destination.

Every week for 28 weeks, Climate-KIC puts the spotlight on a different part of Europe. Join us and meet the people and initiatives who are building Europe’s low-carbon economy!