On 5 December, it was announced that Nazca Capital, a leading firm in private equity investment in unlisted Spanish SMEs, had acquired a stake in the start-up Eolos Floating Lidar Solutions (EOLOS). The transaction included the injection of €12 million and the acquisition of stakes from various shareholders, including the 100% owned by EIT InnoEnergy, thus ending our more than ten-year relationship with the project.
In 2011 the Catalonia Institute for Energy Research (IREC) led the innovation project “NEPTUNE”, based on a research project from an engineer of the research centre, and with the support and funding of EIT InnoEnergy for the development of a floating platform to measure wind, and obtain oceanographic and environmental data, to replace masts anchored on the seabed at a cost ten times lower.
Upon completion of the innovation project in 2014, and with a floating LiDAR innovation to offer to the market with an impact on the cost of metoceanic measurements of an offshore wind farm reducing it from 10 million to 1 million, IREC technologist Rajai Aghabi, with the support and participation of EIT InnoEnergy, founded the start-up EOLOS to drive the business forward and bring this new solution to market.
In 2015, the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) awarded the project with the EIT Innovation Award 2015, as one of the most innovative projects of the year.
Since EOLOS was founded in 2014, EIT InnoEnergy has provided support in different dimensions by offering value-added services for its growth, providing advice in all areas of company management, whether it be organisation, talent, industrialisation, internationalisation, IP, economic management, and strategic alliances, which has contributed to the growth and positioning of EOLOS in its international consolidation.
Among the value-added services offered by EIT InnoEnergy, initial and continued market access was key to the company’s success. In this way, EIT InnoEnergy introduced EOLOS to different companies such as Iberdrola, PGE Energia, Ocean Winds, EDF, the Lithuanian Energy Agency, and Navantia. This support has helped EOLOS continue to grow, gain market confidence and become one of the top two companies in the world for offshore wind measurements, with operations in Europe, America and Asia, with a turnover of close to 10 million.
The support we have received from EIT InnoEnergy has enabled us to turn an idea with market potential into a successful company with global operations. Starting and running a business is always difficult and full of tough and critical decisions; adequate support and resources are necessary ingredients that significantly increase the chances of success.
It has been an amazing journey since 2011. EIT InnoEnergy has been involved and providing support since the beginning, identifying the need, developing the technology, creating the company, commercialising the product and making it reach a global market, now it is time to let the project grow with new partners and we keep doing the best we know how, giving support to start-ups in the energy and sustainability sector. From EIT InnoEnergy we wish the best to both EOLOS and Nazca Capital, and the rest of its shareholders, and may your efforts continue to provide the best information to create a more sustainable world.