On Thursday 21st March, Cleantech and Smart City companies from the East of England have the chance to explore the many opportunities the Scandinavian market can offer to their business.
This free event brings the Department for International Trade technology experts from Denmark, Sweden and Norway to the city of Cambridge, the East of England’s very own technological hub.
The event has been led and organised by ETSL Growth Trade Adviser, Richard Carey-Evans. We sat down with Richard to find out more about the event, and why it will be beneficial for East of England technology companies.
Hi Richard, thanks for speaking with us. Are you able to just outline what Smart City & Cleantech is for any readers that might not know?
Smart City is any type of technology or service that makes a city work better, safer and more sustainably. This technology usually has a Cleantech aspect too, particularly as companies now understand the impact climate change is having on the planet. It is rare that new products are developed that are environmentally damaging.
Cleantech is very broad and can be applied to many sectors, including manufacturing, oil and gas and the automotive industry. It is technology that is built to be environmentally friendly and work sustainably.
As you can see, there is a big connection and overlap between both.
What is your experience within the sector?
Before working as an ETSL Growth Trade Adviser, I have previously set up and managed a sustainable construction technology company. I was involved in growing the business from a start-up, propelling the company to success throughout South America, Africa and Spain. With this experience, I now work largely with technology companies in the region and the Cleantech and Smart City sectors very much fall into that remit.
Why have you targeted Scandinavia for this event?
The Scandinavian markets are looked upon as being the ‘top of the tree’ in terms of Cleantech and Smart City technologies. Businesses from the region are very tech savvy, and I think that makes them ready to buy the innovative technologies that the East of England has to offer. Given the market’s close proximity to us and its cultural similarities, it seems to be a great match for our clients.
How is the event going to help East of England businesses within the sector?
The event is going to highlight the opportunities and routes to market for Cleantech and Smart City technologies in Scandinavia. It’s going to give companies an overview of the market itself, the projects they can get involved in and should allow them to make decisions on the best way to reach those opportunities and work in the market.
The event is open to companies of all sizes, whether they’ve dipped their toe in the water before and want to build on existing business, or to those who may never have exported to the Scandinavian markets before but would like to learn more.
What speakers have you got coming to the event?
We’ve got experts from the Department for International Trade (DIT) in Denmark, Sweden and Norway speaking at the event. They will be outlining the current export climate in their markets during the morning’s presentations, before joining round table discussions with the delegates and partners in the afternoon.
Partners can often really help smaller companies who have fewer resources, so it’s great to have them at the roundtable discussions alongside the DIT experts. The partners we have attending include Cambridge Cleantech, Business Sweden, Invest Denmark and Enterprise Europe Network (EEN). EEN have their own partner finding service, so I would recommend businesses to speak with them at the event to find out more information.
You mentioned experts from DIT Sweden, Denmark and Norway will be leading the presentations. What can they offer to businesses in the region?
If you want to export to an international market, you need information to make a decision on whether the country is a good fit for your product, and you also need contacts. Without these, you will find it very difficult.
DIT officers who are based in market can provide you with that information to allow you to make those decisions, as they are working with businesses on the ground in that country. If your product is a good fit, and you begin to find an appetite in that territory, there are services that they can provide and they can often sit you down in front of potential clients which is always really useful.