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A successful 2nd Networking Event for ECOLINK+

​On the 28th of November 2011, ECOLINK+ celebrated its 2nd Annual Networking Event in Düsseldorf in parallel with the European Venture Summit, Europe’s largest VC investment matching event in high-tech sectors.
 
On this occasion, eco-innovative member companies of the ECOLINK+ Top 100 Business Club (BC), namely ViGIE Solutions, SP3H, Responsible Hotels, Morphosis and NTS Energie- und Transportsysteme presented their solutions to an audience of industrial players, investors, cleantech clusters and business experts from across Europe. They also took part in lively panel discussions with significant contributions and to one2one meetings to exploit synergies and create partnerships. For this reason, BC members had been also provided with the chance to receive a dedicated session of coaching in the ECOLINK+ Academy in order to fine-tune their presentations and get the most out of this opportunity.
 
Alain Lunati, president of SP3H, newly recruited ECOLINK+ BC member from the ECOLINK+ trans-regional event in Cambridge, was awarded as one of the best cleantech companies at the European Venture Summit. Expert investors expressed their investment interest and founded “the company’s potential market attractive and their business model strong. Technology and product solutions developed are state-of-the-art and well advanced compared to the competitors. SP3H team showed the skills and experience to grow the business and willing to work with Industry and Research.”
 
Thanks to this award, SP3H will participate to the final of The Civica European Venture Contest (CEVC) 2011 on the 13th and 14th of December 2011. The CEVC evaluates and awards world-class innovative companies with the potential to dramatically impact their industry and contribute to increasing European competitiveness and growth. The 25 finalist will compete for the prize of 90,000 euro which will be equally distributed among the 3 winners in the fields of cleantech, life science and ICT.
 
During the ECOLINK+ panel session dedicated to “Regional dimension in Eco-innovation – Sustainable policies, strategies and procurements”, it was highlighted how Regions can play a decisive role as Innovation “triggers”. In particular, Tomi Tura (Lahti Science and Business Park) from the Lahti Region, one of the most competitive and fastest growing regions in Finland, explained how the current difficult economic conditions can be overcome through smart specialisation efforts. Following the example from Finland, Hans Rijkenberg (Sapience ’00 BV) presented how the City of Rotterdam, in the Netherlands, is successfully undergoing its transformation from a product-oriented to a service-oriented economy. “The European Union plays a crucial role in achieving this goal. Upgrade your regions to Europe!”, he stated.
 
Shifting the focus on the key role played by public and private investments in Innovation, Stephan Decher (Clean Capital, UK) stressed need for having “reliable and long lasting public procurement and investing, regardless of political changes.” From BC member companies’ side, it was also highlighted by Guido Lütsch (NTS Energie) how more flexible should be the funding for Research and Innovation and how it is important to avoid rigid participation criteria hindering innovative solutions. Furthermore, during the “Eco-Industry” discussion panel, Lloyd Fleming (Carbon Trade Exchange) emphasized the multi-dimensional role that Eco-innovation can play both at social and economic level, also saying that “CO2 reduction is not just a political goal but it can also contribute to business competitiveness.”
 
Back to the participating BC companies, at the end of the ECOLINK+ Annual Networking Event they expressed their satisfaction with the organisation and the opportunity that they had in participating to this event. According to Helder Matos Fernandes (ViGIE Solutions), it represented “a wonderful opportunity to grow networking with entrepreneurs, experts and VC companies. This was the most impressive event we have ever attended as a start-up company and I am sure it will have a huge impact for our near future.” Alan Lunati (SP3H) was also impressed by “the quality of the International reviewers and the participation of the main VC funds”.
 
Once again, ECOLINK+ has demonstrated how an integrated action, addressing both the business and policy sides, is the best way to ensure a real involvement of the wide eco-innovation community.
 
Learn more on the feedback from participants to the ECOLINK+ Annual Networking Event.