The GREBE Project holds its 6th partner meeting in Norway

M Doran presenting

The GREBE project partners are holding their sixth partner meeting this week in Narvik, Norway.   The Western Development Commission and the Norwegian partners Narvik Science Park have been working together to prepare a programme to fit in as much as possible.

GREBE site visit

During the first part of our partner meeting we discussed our activities since our meeting in Finland in February and progress on rolling out our Entrepreneur Enabler Scheme to the partner regions, and plans for the next six months.  Discussions are taking place on other work package activities including the development of our online funding options decision making tool, our Virtual Energy Ideas Hub and the development of a Renewable Energy Resource Assessment Toolkit.  Tomorrow (Thursday) we will visits to Statkraft, Nordkraft, Fortum Wind Park and meetings with some other SMEs in the Narvik area.   We will have details of our activities in future blog posts and our next e-zine.

2017 Omagh Business Awards Now Open

oba17-enter-now

The 2017 Omagh Business Awards, sponsored by SSE and organised by the Ulster Herald and Omagh Chamber of Commerce, are now open. The Awards aim to celebrate local business dedication, commitment and success and in particular those who show initiative, business acumen and a great determination to grow the local economy.

Businesses can now enter any of the eight categories on offer and recipients will be announced at the Gala Awards Night in the Silverbirch Hotel on Friday, 19th May 2017.

By entering businesses can raise their profile, prove excellence, acknowledge team efforts and impress partners and clients.

Further details can be found on the Ulster Herald website http://ulsterherald.com/2017/02/01/2017-entry-page/

Eimur – a new innovation partnership in North East Iceland

A new innovation partnership has recently been launched in North East Iceland. The company’s name is Eimur and is founded by Landsvirkjun (e. National Power Company of Iceland), Norðurorka (e. Nordurorka Ltd. – Utility Company), Orkuveita Húsavíkur (e. Húsavík Energy) and Eyþing (Association of municipalities in North East Iceland), contributing 100 million Icelandic króna’s in the next three years.

Eimurs strategy is still being formed but the main goal will be to promote sustainability with increased and more diverse utilization of energy resources in North East Iceland and to encourage research and utilization of energy related innovation, i.e. by linking energy production and tourism. Furthermore Eimur will strive for finding new ways to use energy streams that are not being used at the moment, i.e. waste heat and other raw material that goes unused from various productions, industries, fishery and agriculture.

Eimur has high hopes for future various innovations and job creation in the area in cooperation with tourist industries, various industries, diverse production, researchers and universities. Moreover they aim for attracting investors both national and international.

In the inaugural meeting in June 2016, a number of companies introduced ideas who can in the future become role models for other companies with help from Eimur. Among those companies was Norðursigling which has whale watching boats driven on electricity only and few companies who introduced various ideas on how to accelerate electrifying cars in that area. The support from Eimur will be for companies of all sizes.

Eimurs newly hired general director is Albertina Fr. Eliasdottir but she will start work for the company early September.

The new GREBE website is live !

GREBE website 2

The new GREBE project website www.grebeproject.eu has been created by Future Analytics Consulting Ltd. (http://futureanalytics.ie/). The website builds on the branding theme created with the logo, which takes inspiration from the NPA programme and the priority (entrepreneurship) under which GREBE is funded.  The three hexagons in our logo reflect the entrepreneurs networking and sharing ideas, the renewable energy technologies, and the importance of renewable energy in everyday life.

Our website has information about the GREBE project, its aims and objectives, project deliverables, project partners and the NPA Programme.   We also have a section on our project activities and some information about renewable energy.   As the GREBE project progress, we will add more areas to the website and upload reports and guidelines to our ‘Publications’ page.

Visit the site to register your interest in the GREBE project.  If you would like more information on the GREBE project, please contact us at info@grebeproject.eu

GREBEs Entrepreneur Enabler Scheme participants selected in Northern Ireland

Mentoring image

Fermanagh and Omagh District Council (FODC) have now selected the 12 participants for the Entrepreneur Enabler Scheme under the GREBE project.  It was interesting and challenging to make the final selection.  FODC are keen to support all those applicants but having had to make a decision, will try and support those not selected in perhaps more appropriate ways.

The process of mentoring involves companies engaging with external experts whose role is to support and challenge the business to address issues which may be adversely affecting their capacity to grow and develop.  The GREBE pilot will work with a range of companies all engaged in a wide variety of activities around renewable energy.  These companies have indicated there is something with which they need specific assistance.

Mentor matching has now complete and we can confirm that first meetings have taken place.  Details of the businesses selected will be published in our next GREBE E-zine which will be published and circulated in August.  After this, we will focus on one company at a time and write summary case studies to demonstrate how the support measures are working for the businesses, as the project moves forward.  These will also be published on our social media platforms.

Over the next number of months, we will be working with these businesses to address some of the challenges that face entrepreneurs working in the renewable energy sector.  The inputs and outputs from this engagement will provide an exemplar of how businesses operating in this sector can be best assisted to operate.

The pilot will then be rolled out across the whole GREBE project which covers regions including Finland, Iceland, Norway, Republic of Ireland and Scotland.

The FODC project co-ordinator for GREBE, Una Porteous spoke of how exciting it is to have gotten to this part of the project where mentors are now in position and able to commence work with the businesses.

Low carbon economy sustains 238,500 jobs across UK

Wind farm image

Some 96,500 businesses were operating in the low carbon sector – from renewables such as wind and solar power to electric vehicles – in 2014, the most recent year for which figures were available.

A third of those (34%) were primarily focused on low carbon business, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) data show.

Energy efficiency products was the biggest sector, generating £21.9 billion in turnover and employing the equivalent of 155,500 people, while renewable energy generated £15.9 billion turnover and sustained the equivalent of 43,500 full-time jobs.

Energy efficiency products was the biggest sector, generating £21.9 billion in turnover and employing the equivalent of 155,500 people, while renewable energy generated £15.9 billion turnover and sustained the equivalent of 43,500 full-time jobs.

Overall more than 4% of non-financial sector businesses were active in the low carbon and renewable energy sector, and it generated 1.3% of non-financial turnover.

The sector generated exports worth nearly £4.8 billion and imports of £5.9 billion, with l ow emission vehicles taking the lion’s share of exports, accounting for 60% or £2.9 billion, the figures show.

Scotland had the biggest percentage of companies active in the low carbon sector, with 5.2% of non-financial Scottish businesses involved in clean tech, energy efficiency and renewables and providing the equivalent of 21,500 full time jobs.

http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/northern-ireland/low-carbon-economy-sustains-238500-jobs-across-uk-34726007.html

GREBE E-Zine is launched !

Grebe_Ezine190516_alt

GREBE has launched an e-zine to showcase the activities and ongoing goals of the project.

The first issue of the GREBE E-zine provides an overview of the projects aims and objectives and how the GREBE project will support renewable energy start-ups and SMEs in the Northern Periphery & Arctic (NPA) region.   This issue places a spotlight on the international launch of the project, which took place in Ballina, County Mayo, Ireland in February 2016.

GREBE Project Launch2

We will look at each of the project partners, Western Development Commission (ROI), Action Renewables (NI), Fermanagh & Omagh District Council (NI), Environmental Research Institute (SCO), LUKE (FI), Karelia University of Applied Sciences (FI), Narvik Science Park (NOR) and Innovation Center Iceland (ICE), the renewable energy sector in their region and activities in the project.

GREBE Partners

 

To read the GREBE E-Zine issue 1, click here

Excellent response to GREBEs Entrepreneur Enabler Scheme in Northern Ireland

EES Launch
Una Porteous of Fermanagh & Omagh District Council presenting at the Entrepreneur Scheme Launch in Balcas, Enniskillen in March 2016

Fermanagh and Omagh District Council have been delighted with the response to the call for businesses to engage with the GREBE project. The project has been oversubscribed and we are currently in the process of determining which businesses will be supported through the assistance available within the project. 

The applicants are representative of a range of providers across the Renewable sector, including some social enterprises, CHP providers, those involved in AD, biomass and those impacted by the removal of the RHI support that had previously been available.

The project co-ordinator for GREBE in Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, Una Porteous, can confirm that once selected these businesses will be involved in mentoring support to assist them in progressing within the RE sector and the diversity of activity that will be represented in the choice, will reflect the range of opportunities that exists for this sector in spite of the challenges that they have to deal with.

GREBE Industry Advisory Group meeting in Finland

Finland IAG meeting
GREBE partner Robert Prinz (LUKE) presenting project objectives at the Finnish Industry Advisory Group meeting

GREBE Industry Advisory Groups provide their insights on how project activities can most effectively be implemented in the region, how project can link and work together with other activities and results be disseminated to various beneficiaries.

The IAG in Finland includes representatives from the renewable energy SMEs, research and education, business development companies, regional authority and agricultural producers and forest owners union. The first meeting was organized at LUKE, Joensuu office in Tuesday 15th of March.

GREBE IAG meeting introduced the project (Robert Prinz, LUKE) and its contribution to the business mentoring through the Entrepreneurship Enabler Scheme (Lasse Okkonen, Karelia UAS).

The group discussion provided many valuable insights for the GREBE activities. For instance, the networks of companies and of research and development could be linked better with each other. Recommendations were given for the development of the Entrepreneurship Enabler Scheme. Currently mentoring is not a common practice in the region, but it was considered to have good potential. As a positive trend, the RE enterprises are increasingly cooperating and sharing information with each other.

IAG also discussed on how to share the information about GREBE among their wider networks and contribute to the policy development activities of the project.

Presentations from the GREBE Project Launch & Renewable Energy Seminar

Q&A session

In Ballina last month Mr. Paddy McGuinness, Chairperson of the Western Development Commission officially launched the GREBE project and renewable energy seminar.  The launch and seminar provided us with great opportunities to share experiences of renewable energy development in the project area, and meet with some of the renewable energy entrepreneurs in the Western Region.

The activities of the GREBE Project were outlined by the project co-ordinator Pauline Leonard, who added that “GREBE will equip SMEs and start-ups with the skills and confidence to overcome these challenges of their location and use place based natural assets for renewable energy to sustainable effect. The renewable energy sector contributes to sustainable regional and rural development and has potential for future growth”.

Pauline Leonard, GREBE Project Co-ordinator with the Western Development Commission welcomed the attendees and outlined the details of the GREBE project, how it was developed and the work which will be carried out over the three years.

Pauline Leonard, WDC

Pauline Leonard, WDC & GREBE Project Coordinator – ‘About the GREBE Project’

Michael Doran of Action Renewables in Northern Ireland, outlined renewable energy policy and funding mechanisms and how the GREBE project will progress this area.

Michael Doran, Action Renewables

Michael Doran Action Renewables – ‘Renewable Energy Policy & Funding Mechanisms’

Peter Wide of Narvik Science Park and Arna Lara Jonsdottir of Innovation Center Iceland discussed the influence of environment conditions and climatic challenges which the partner regions face.

 

Arna Lara Jonsdottir, ICI – ‘The Influence of Environmental Conditions’

Peter Wide, Narvik Science Park – ‘The Influence of Environmental Conditions’

Neil James of the Environmental Research Institute in Scotland presented linking renewable energy technology and resources in the partner regions.

Neil James, ERI

Neil James, ERI – ‘Linking Renewable Energy Technologies & Resources’

Lasse Okkonen of Karelia University of Applied Sciences and Una Porteous of Fermanagh & Omagh District Council presented details on renewable energy opportunities and business development support which will be available through the GREBE project.

Lasse Okkonen, Karelia UAS – ‘Renewable Energy Opportunities & Business Development Support’

Una Porteous, FODC – ‘Renewable Energy Opportunities & Business Development Support’

Lauri Sikanen from the Natural Resources Institute (LUKE) in Finland, presented details on the renewable energy sector in Finland and the benefits of knowledge and technology transfer and sharing.

Lauri Sikanen, LUKE

Lauri Sikanen, LUKE – ‘Knowledge & Technology Transfer & Business Delivery’