The “GreenTecLab” project, funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection (BMWK) as part of the European Climate Initiative (EUKI), is entering a new round this spring. In the first half of May, several new green start-ups embarked on the GTL journey in Crete. All of the new GTL projects presented make an important contribution to the topic of sustainability.

Especially the issue of tourism plays a big role in Crete and needs to be rethought, as in many regions in Europe. Two of the projects directly link tourism with the issue of sustainability:

  • Serhat Ünaldi and the team of “The Groove Crete” dare a completely new interpretation of tourism with the first zero-energy hotel in Greece. The project works consistently with the local community and gives tourists the opportunity to dive deep into local traditions. There is a holistic sustainability concept that encompasses all aspects – from energy production to waste recycling – and rewards tourists who also pay attention to sustainability when they arrive.
  • Cretan Nature Bungalows also tries to reconcile tourism and sustainable regional development.
  • Another project aims to make mountain rescue structures more efficient and sustainable and to reconcile nature conservation and hiking tourism. The project is at an early stage, but is already implementing activities informally in order to learn from them and adapt the business model.

The other business ideas presented relate to very different areas and also focus on sustainability. Two particularly noteworthy examples are:

  • The “E-Grid Project” facilitates energy-efficient consumer behaviour. Through software, consumers are supported in achieving a balance between the generation of energy from sustainable resources and their individual energy consumption.
  • The “PIL-App” project supports an efficient organisation of pharmaceutical services and contributes to the avoidance of CO2-damaging mobility and to more sustainability through digitalisation.

The new GTL projects were presented in a competition organised by the Technical Institute of the Heraklion Chamber and the German-Greek Chamber of Industry and Commerce as part of the “GreenTecLab” project. We thank Michael Katharakis, George Manoussakis, Athanassios Kelemis, Katerina Panagiotou, Marianna Kaframani and Sarina Thiele for the good cooperation.