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’