Opinion

Project Cygnus Launch Event – Webinar recording

On the 13th August we held an online event to launch Project Cygnus – a €1M EIT Climate-KIC funded programme focused on how to enable a net-zero economic recovery from Covid-19 with: 

  • Gavin Starks, CEO and Founder, Icebreaker One;
  • Damien McGarrigle, Financial Services & Fintech Team Lead, Global Open Finance Centre of Excellence at University of Edinburgh;
  • Andreas Hoepner, Professor of Operational Risk, Banking & Finance, University College Dublin;
  • Julie Calkins, Head of Risk Information for Climate Adaptation, EIT Climate-KIC.

Sound interesting? Please get in touch if you are interested in taking part in joining our working groups. We’re still looking for more cities and local authorities and investors to join us. Alternatively, sign up to our newsletter to recieve updates on this initiative and other Icebreaker One activities.


We introduced the background to the project, and highlighted that with significant amounts of ‘tomorrow’s money’ being deployed as part of pandemic stimulus funds, right across the EU, this a pivotal moment to encourage greener investment.

Among other things, we discussed:

  • Some of our key research questions including ‘what data infrastructure and modelling tools should policy-makers, investors and companies employ to assess the courses of action to drive a sustinable economic recovery?’;
  • The need to strengthen resilience to climate shocks and how we do this via smarter data access;
  • The importance of analysing and understanding the economic impact of Covid-19 and climate change in tandem, and initial thoughts about how to increase financing for green activities while ‘de-browning’ the economy;
  • How to strengthen capability around data acquisition and reduce friction in sharing data at a national level and ensure there are effective legal and governance frameworks in place.