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EU-Mexico Cluster & Business Cooperation Seminar and Matchmaking Event

In Support of Renewable Energy, Energy Efficiency, Waste Management, and Wastewater Technology Fields

Mexico City, Mexico, 25-27 October 2016

A delegation of 14 European cluster organisations and 26 European SMEs conducted some 310 meetings with 56 Mexican cluster organisations, associations, and businesses to identify potential interests and concrete cooperation.

The European cluster organisations specifically conducted more than 200 meetings during the three day event, making the event a great opportunity for the participating European cluster organisations and SMEs to gain knowledge on the extremely complex and large low carbon technology Mexican market.

The event aimed to foster cooperation between clusters and SMEs from Europe and Mexico related to the fields of renewable energy, energy efficiency, waste management and wastewater management. It provided a unique opportunity for representatives of European cluster organisations interested in cluster collaboration with Mexico to explore possible common areas of interest for cooperation and complementarities, in terms of sectoral, value chain, and market focus of their SMEs and other companies.

The European cluster delegation included 14 cluster organisations from 8 different countries having responded to a competitive call for Expression of Interest (Austria, Bulgaria, France, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Romania and Spain). The delegation had a packed agenda for the full three day event, which left them with a solid and well-rounded knowledge of the potential for low carbon technologies within the Mexican market. They participated in a range of informative and networking activities that included: a seminar; a Cluster-to-Business (C2B) matchmaking session; a Cluster-to-Cluster (C2C) matchmaking session; a visit to a Mexican company; a visit to The Green Expo; and informal networking sessions.

The three day event began with a cooperation seminar that provided a range of views on the potential for EU-Mexican cooperation on low carbon technologies. The seminar was opened by Mr Andrew Standley (Ambassador of the European Union Delegation in Mexico), Ms Susana Duque (Chief of Staff in Promexico) and Mr Luis Enrique Zavala (Director General of ANIERM). Presentations by Mr Enric Pedrós, expert, and Mr José Freitas, European Commission policy officer (DG Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs), provided their perspective respectively on the market potential and how different EU initiatives involved with EU-Mexico relations help facilitate access to the market, more specifically the project European Cluster Collaboration Platform, the project Low Carbon Business Action in Mexico1 and the project ELAN European and Latin American Business Network2 . The European Commission’s commitment to assisting European cluster organisations and SMEs in accessing the Mexican market is clearly demonstrated through the projects that were highlighted during the seminar.

The seminar established a common understanding of the significant market potential in this domain, and further identified cooperation potential for the participating European and Mexican organisations. In this way, the seminar was a perfect launching platform into a series of matchmaking sessions that were conducted over two half-day periods. 1 https://www.lowcarbon.mx/ 2 http://www.elannetwork.org/

The first matchmaking sessions were designed to allow the European cluster delegation to meet with Mexican businesses across a range of low carbon technology related fields. Some 73 SME pitches were provided primarily by Mexican SMEs, but also by EU SMEs3 and generated business opportunities for both sides. Each European cluster had then approximately six formal meetings with Mexican businesses. They found the meetings to be very useful and, through the initial feedback, identified concrete cooperation opportunities for their SME members.

The second wave of matchmaking sessions allowed the European cluster organisations to meet with Mexican business associations, clusters and other intermediary organisations. Despite the limited participation of Mexican intermediary organisations, the European cluster organisations had the opportunity to conduct six matchmaking meetings with Mexican intermediaries allowing them to gather relevant information on the market and establish contacts with local organisations of common interests.

The seminar and matchmaking sessions were complemented by an intra-European C2C matchmaking session, and informal meetings during the coffee breaks and during a hosted cocktail the first evening of the event. Overall, each cluster had at least 12 meetings with Mexican businesses and intermediary organisations, as well as at least 3 meetings with other European clusters.

The final part of the event included a company visit, a seminar on the IPR HELP Desk seminar, and a visit to “The Green Expo”. The company visit involved a company specialised in the application of solar energy in support of the fruits and vegetables dehydration process (www.labizet.info). While the visit to the “The Green Expo” (http://thegreenexpo.com.mx/en) and Aquatech Mexico, both fairs taking place in 3 EU SMEs were supported by Low Carbon Business Action Mexico project. Mexico City, gave the European delegation a chance to interact with Mexican and international company exhibitors in the fields of environment, renewable energy, water and green housing. The three day event was clearly an opportunity for the participating European cluster organisations to gain a greater knowledge of a complex, highly diverse, and large low carbon technology Mexican market; while developing a stronger appreciation for the challenges that exist within the Mexican business community in general. These types of events are an important first step for European cluster organisations to acquire a solid initial understanding of an international market. The Event was jointly supported by the DG Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (European Commission) and ProMexico (Mexican Government). The Event was organised by the European Cluster Collaboration Platform in collaboration with , Low Carbon Business Action in Mexico, and ProMexico
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