The EU has now announced a record allocation of NOK 24 million to Kitemill. The money comes from the EU's prestigious Horizon 2020 program.
It is the first time in Kitemill's history that the company has received such a large grant. The rationale from the EU is, among other things, that Kitemill's solutions are in the lead internationally in exploiting the wind resources in higher altitudes. The EU jury was impressed with Kitemill's technology and the company's insights into utilizing winds in higher altitude to produce electricity.
Kitemill is a world leader in its field
- Of course, it is gratifying that we are now given such large funds, but what is even more important is the recognition the EU commission gives to the company Kitemill. Our solutions will ensure that EU countries have access to world-leading Airborne Wind Energy (AWE) technology, says Kitemill's CEO, Thomas Hårklau.
The EU allocation is also a strong signal that the EU Commission want to fill the gap between today's state of the art AWE technology and commercial operations.
Get through the eye of a needle
It is a needle eye to get through the EU's assessments. Applications for Horizon 2020 have generally had very low success rates. Only companies at the top international level in research, development and innovation are seriously considered by the EU. The award thus represents that the EU recognizes the results Kitemill has achieved. The company has documented its operations and development. The EU views Kitemill and the company's technological solutions as an important contribution in achieving the EU's goals. Of the many companies that apply for grants, only those who can show that they contribute to solving important societal challenges within EU and globally are selected.
First company in Hordaland
When the newspaper Bergens Tidende / Sysla first wrote about the EU award, it was also made a point that Kitemill is the first company in Hordaland county to have ever achieved an EU grant of this magnitude. The article also pointed out that Kitemill's biggest competitors in the AWE industry are giants like Google and Shell. Google's company Makani was recently in Norway testing out their technological solutions.
Huge growth potential internationally
Senior adviser Ingvild Kjørrefjord at Innovation Norway last year told Bergens Tidende / Sysla that it is the companies with global ambitions and products and services with great international growth potential coming through the needle eye. She welcomed the EU grant on Kitemill's behalf and stressed that the process of receiving such grants is extensive. About the award Ingvild Kjørrefjord also said this to Bergens Tidende / Sysla:
Norwegian gold rush
- Finally, Hordaland county has joined the Norwegian gold rush in the EU. It is a local company that is a world leader in its field. They impressed the jury with their insight.