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EU – Brazil Cluster & Business Matchmaking Event

The Pollutec Fair 2016 was the perfect occasion to hold the EU – Brazil Matchmaking Event. Focused on environmental equipment, technologies and services, the Fair offered an enriching context for the Brazilian and European delegations taking part in the Event facilitated by the ECCP.

On the 29th of November a delegation of 18 European clusters and 6 SMEs conducted 189 formal matchmaking meetings with 34 Brazilian clusters, associations, businesses and government bodies. During the following days both delegations attended additional networking activities within the scope of the Green Days, which was also held at the Pollutec Fair. Preliminary feedback from the European delegation indicates the delegates conducted an average of 10 formal and informal meetings with Brazilian organisations, which resulted in an average of 3 strong opportunities for EU-Brazilian cooperation. This is in addition to an average of 6 formal and informal meetings with other European organisations.

The event aimed to foster cooperation between clusters and SMEs from Europe and Brazil related to the fields of energy efficiency in buildings, solid waste management, renewable energy (solar, biomass) and biogas. The event was a unique opportunity to boost Brazilian contacts and partnership agreements through the exploration of possible 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 18 cluster organisations from 9 countries, namely Belgium, Denmark, France, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Spain and United Kingdom. The delegation responded to a competitive call for Expression of Interest that allowed participants to take part not only in the EU – Brazil Matchmaking Event, but also in the Green Days Matchmakings held on 30th of November and 1st of December.

The EU – Brazil Matchmaking Event’s agenda began with a seminar where the European Cluster Collaboration Platform (ECCP) and the Low Carbon Business Action in Brazil were introduced by Ms. Noelia Dosil (ECCP Event Coordinator) and Mr. Gustavo Arnizaut (LCBA Communication & Matchmaking Expert), respectively. The presentation "Strengthening Clusters for the Added-value Production Chains in the Brazilian Context" by Mrs. Gabriela Maretto (Brazilian Ministry of Industry) offered an insight on the Brazilian clusters, their structure and the public policy and initiatives concerning these organisations.

The seminar established a baseline for the common understanding of the market potential in the domains aforementioned. In more general terms, it also provided an approach to the business community in Brazil and the challenges that foreign companies might face when doing business in the country. In this sense, the seminar was deemed a perfect launching pad for the matchmakings sessions held during the same afternoon and the following days.

The first matchmaking session fostered the initial contacts between the European and Brazilian delegation. Some impressive 189 meetings (C2C, B2B and C2B) were held in just one afternoon with very positive results for the participants. Each European cluster and SME had approximately 8 formal meetings with a range of Brazilian organisations. The Brazilian delegation represented many different energy related areas, with an emphasis on the Brazilian waste management area.  

It is worthy to mention that the event attracted attention from other companies present at the Pollutec Fair. For instance, at least one cluster and SME outside of the official delegation took part in the matchmaking.

Feedback has been very encouraging so far, describing the meetings as valuable and identifying several cooperation opportunities. In this regard, the feedback confirmed the interest of the clusters and SMEs in the Brazilian market and how the event enabled them to start various collaborations and gain expertise that otherwise could not have been achieved. There were several comments on how well the event was organised. Interestingly enough, some participants suggested to include group meetings as well as one-to-one matchmaking meetings in future events to foster more dynamic discussions on possible cooperation. This will be considered for events organised in 2017.     

The second matchmaking was organised by the Green Days. In this case, the meetings did not have any specific condition so the delegates could freely choose with whom they would like to meet, as the scope of participants was wider than in the previous matchmaking. This proved to a useful complement the EU – Brazil Event. It provided another opportunity to meet with those organisations that were not scheduled previously, with new ones and even to reinforce the initial contacts through a second meeting.

Additionally, the European and Brazilian delegation had the chance to participate in field visits organised by the Green Days to local companies on November, 28th.  Citytechs in Lyon, Waste treatments at Plaine de l’Ain and the European Centre for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Genève were the three available options.  Moreover, they could also participate in another inter-cluster matchmaking session celebrated on December, 1st.

Lastly, the delegations had complete access to the Pollutec Fair 2016, one of the largest events in the environmental field at international level. More than 2500 specialists representing 8 sectors took part in the Fair, allowing European clusters and SMEs to profit from a total experience during their stay in Lyon.

In summary, the EU – Brazil Matchmaking Event helped the European organisations to gain greater knowledge on the complex Brazilian market. The event was also an important first step for European clusters and SMEs to have access to key players in the Brazilian market, which could act as door openers to the Brazilian market and ultimately to full Latin – America market.

The Event was organised by the European Commission (DG Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs) through the European Cluster Collaboration Platform (ECCP) in collaboration with Low Carbon Business Action in Brazil.