Launch of Renewable Business Portal at the successful seminar “From resource to sustainable business” & GREBE policy workshop

The GREBE project successfully organized – in cooperation with the IEA Bioenergy Task 43 – the joint seminar “From resource to sustainable business” and the GREBE policy workshop. Both, seminar and policy workshop took place on the 9th of February 2017 in Joensuu, Finland.

The goal of this seminar was to discuss the topics and aims of GREBE and IEA Bioenergy Task 43 presenting and elaborating key aspects and opportunities from the resource to a sustainable business for sustainable energy. The joint seminar “From resource to sustainable business” included discussions of the more than 40 participants around the topics “Biomass Feedstocks for Energy Markets”, “Generating Renewable Energy business”, “Mentoring & support for RE business” and “Global energy markets & opportunities for sustainable business”.

A key milestone for GREBE was the launch of the Renewable Business Portal. Transnational sharing of knowledge is a key part of the GREBE project and therefore the portal provides a platform to demonstrate the full potential of the renewable energy (RE) sector and showcase innovations in RE technology. The Virtual Energy Ideas Hub enables connecting renewable energy businesses to develop new opportunities locally, regionally and transnationally.

The GREBE policy workshop after the seminar focused on energy policy and promotion of renewable energy. The GREBE policy workshop dealt with current issues from the Finnish and North Karelian point of view. There was active participation from regional stakeholders as well as from international participants (IEA Bioenergy Task 43 & GREBE). The results of the workshop will be utilized in drafting the roadmap towards an oil-free and low-carbon North Karelia 2040.  Details of this will be included in our next e-zine.

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Alternatively, participants had the opportunity to join an excursion in the Joensuu region visiting first the company Kesla Oyj and then the Sirkkala Energy Park.  The successful day ended with a joint dinner. The event was co-organized by the GREBE partners Luke and Karelia UAS.

The GREBE Renewable Business Portal can be found under: www.renewablebusiness.eu

The GREBE Project meets in Finland

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The GREBE project partners are holding their fifth partner meeting this week in a very cold (minus 25oC) Joensuu, Finland.   The Western Development Commission and the Finnish partners Natural Resources Institute Finland (LUKE) and Karelia University of Applied Sciences have been working together to prepare a programme to fit in as much as possible.

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The first part of our partner meeting was held today where we discussed plans for rolling out our Entrepreneur Enabler Scheme to the partner regions. The meeting will continue tomorrow where discussion on other work package activities will take place. Our meeting is taking place in Metla House where LUKE are based. Then on Thursday we will hold a joint seminar with IEA Bioenergy Task 43 ‘From Resource to Sustainable Business’.  On Thursday afternoon, we will hold two parallel sessions of either site visits to Kesla Forest Technology and Sirkkala Energy Park or a GREBE Policy Workshop.  We will have details of our activities in future blog posts and our next e-zine.

GREBE reviews and analyses business growth strategies: A guideline report now available

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Small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) and micro-scale enterprises (new and established) have a key role to play in generating new employment in peripheral regions. However, from knowledge of local markets it is clear that only small numbers of SMEs are consistent in generating new employment opportunities i.e. they are successful growth enterprises. SMEs that are most successful are those that successfully deployed growth strategies to optimize their business activities.

The growth strategy guideline reviews successful business growth strategies for SMEs and micro-scale enterprises in the NPA regions and analyses how these can be adapted for application to the RE sector. Business growth strategies based on new RE and energy storage technologies are identified by a case-based approach. Successful strategies allowing for business growth in current or new domestic or international market areas are available for replication across the NPA area facilitating economic growth and improved market access of new RE solutions.

The guideline report introduces firstly the contexts of business growth and main types of growth strategies. Secondly, it provides a baseline of business growth issues, preconditions of growth and support needs, basing on a transnational survey for 70 business enterprises in the NPA region. Thirdly, it provides examples of the growth strategies in renewable energy and energy storage sectors. Finally, conclusions provide more generic guidelines for the business growth strategies in the sector.

The guideline report is available for download on the GREBE website here

“From resource to sustainable business” Seminar & GREBE Policy Workshop on 09.02.2017 in Joensuu, Finland

The GREBE project is organizing – in cooperation with the IEA Bioenergy Task 43 – the joint seminar “From resource to sustainable business”  and a GREBE Policy Workshop on the 9th of February 2017 in Joensuu, Finland.

 

Key aspects from GREBE Project and IEA Bioenergy Task 43 will be presented and the opportunities from the renewable energy resources and developing a sustainable business from sustainable energy will be elaborated within the joint seminar “From resource to sustainable business”.

The GREBE Policy Workshop will focus on energy policy and promotion of renewable energy. This will examine the current issues from the Finnish and North Karelian point of view and takes place after the seminar in the afternoon of 9th February. The results of the workshop will be utilized in drafting the roadmap towards an oil-free and low-carbon North Karelia 2040.

Alternatively, in parallel to the policy workshop, participants have the opportunity to join an excursion in the Joensuu region visiting the Sirkkala Energy Park and the company Kesla Oyj. The event is co-organized by the GREBE partners Luke and Karelia UAS.

Event page & Registration

More details are available on the here on the event page where you see programme and practical information. The goal of this seminar is to discuss the topics and aims of the “GREBE – Generating Renewable Energy Business Enterprise” and “IEA Bioenergy Task 43”.

You can register here at the latest by 31.01.2017. The seminar participation is free of charge. Registration is mandatory. Maximum number of participants to the event is 60.

We welcome you to join us in Joensuu, Finland.

The GREBE Business Supports Catalogue

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This GREBE Business Supports Catalogue has been developed following a review of Renewable Energy business support funding mechanisms and funding options available to support the development of renewable businesses in the NPA region.

It provides information on the funding mechanisms currently available in the partner regions (Finland, Iceland, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Norway and Scotland).  The information will be useful to both funding agencies (e.g. business support agencies and municipalities) and to SMEs giving details of funding options available in their regions.

The main focus is on public body support for renewable businesses but both private sector and social investment options have been included where appropriate. The supports included are for SMEs and Micro businesses but also include options for those SMEs expected to grow rapidly (e.g. High Potential Start Ups).  The business support funding mechanisms considered vary from standard ‘hard’ business support options (e.g. loans and venture capital) to softer supports (e.g. innovation schemes, business partner search supports etc.)

A short introduction on the methods and types of supports in each partner region is provided.  Information for each partner region is it then organised under the following categories:

  • Financial Support (grants, loans, equity investment)
  • Taxation or welfare supports or concessions for businesses
  • Soft supports e.g. mentoring, training, specialist advice, networks
  • Research and Development Supports
  • Social and Community supports (focused on not for profit)
  • Other- e.g. Incubation space or office space etc.

Within each of these categories there is considerable variation in the ways different funding options are implemented and these differences will impact on the success of schemes. We hope that by using this catalogue those who seeking funding and support for renewable businesses will have a clear portfolio of options which are available to them.

In the future the information in this catalogue will be used to create a web based tool allowing users to search for available funding options and to consider different types of funding available in each region.  The catalogues is available on the GREBE project website here

Growth Open (Kasvu Open) provides growth support for 450 SMEs in 2017

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The name of the competition combines two words “Kasvu”, which means growth in Finnish, and “open”, summarizing the idea of the competition being open for every type of a company and for any expert willing to share own knowledge on a pro bono basis.

Kasvu Open is the largest project for sparring growth-oriented companies in Finland. In this competition, companies have an opportunity to present their growth plan to number of experts free of charge. As a result, companies will have a clarified growth plan, enlarged network of growth venture experts and potential investors in the country.

In 2017 over 900 experienced managers will meet 450 small and medium size companies for a total amount of time exceeding 4550 hours. Following the main goal of Kasvu Open, hundreds of experts offer their knowledge and skills on a voluntary basis. Kasvu Open gathers growth professionals, investors and other partners into one solid network, which supports the attending companies.

Although first defined as a competition, Kasvu Open does not aim at competition for the titles. It builds a platform where entrepreneurs introduce ideas, test them, receive feedback, polish their plans and try to solve problems together with the experts. Anyone can participate in Kasvu Open, regardless of the scale of growth or goals.

Karelia UAS key partner in North Karelia, Bio10 Ltd. attended at 2016 Growth Open achieving Fast Track Bio Citation Award. Bio10 was established in 2007 to treat organic waste and produce biogas based energy and both organic and conventional fertilisers. In addition, the company provides expertise and training services in biogas, waste treatment and recycling.

Christmas Greetings from the GREBE Project

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From all of us at GREBE Project, we wish all our followers a very Happy Christmas & all the very best wishes for 2017.

2017 will be a busy year for GREBE, and in February will we have our next partner meeting in Joensuu, Finland where we will launch our online knowledge sharing platform. We are joining with IEA Bioenergy Task 43 to hold a joint seminar on Thursday 9th February ‘From resource to sustainable business’.  Further details on this will be available in January on our website http://www.grebeproject.eu/ and social media.

Growth strategy guidelines for SMEs and micro-enterprises and a report identifying technologies which can be transferred from areas of best practice to areas where renewable energy uptake is low will also be published in February.  Later in 2017, we will roll out of Entrepreneur Enabler Scheme in Ireland, Scotland, Finland, Norway and Iceland.

Please continue to follow our project and share with your colleagues and friends !