euWater4i-SD's second international event took place during the IFAT in Munich, gathering around 40 participants

On Wednesday, the 15th of May 2024 from 10 am to 5 pm took place the second international event of euWater4i-SD, four months before the end of the project. The event happened two years after the success of euWater4i-SD's first international event, which was also organised in Munich as part of the IFAT, the International Trade Fair for Environmental Technologies. Around 40 participants from all over Europe and Kenya gathered to meet innovative European companies offering water-smart solutions and to learn more about the opportunities of the Eastern African water market.

The event began with a Keynote Speech by Dr. Jenny Atmanagara, Manager for Cluster & Start-ups at the Baden-Württemberg International GmbH, on “Building Resilient Economic Ecosystems - Experiences and Lessons Learned from Baden-Württemberg THE LÄND”. The aim was to provide a fresh perspective on internationalization policies that can be applied at the regional level. Dr. Atmanagara shared best practices from Baden-Württemberg, hoping to inspire participants to adopt and relay these strategies to their own policymakers.

After her speech, Louise Gubanski, International Project Manager at Ecoliance RLP e.V., warmly welcomed the two Kenyan representatives who had traveled directly from Kenya for the event: Gathuru Mburu from Kipya Africa and Virginia Nchoko Nanetia from Kenya Water Institute. Both representatives were given a couple of minutes to introduce themselves and share insights about the opportunities in Kenya with the participants.

Louise Gubanski then presented the achivements and results of the euWater4i-SD project since its beginning in 2021. The five project partners (ACLIMA, CREA Hydro&EnergyEcolianceFrance Water Team, Green Synergy Cluster) have been developing and implementing a joint internationalisation strategy for their SMEs, focusing on the Eastern African and Latin American water markets. Many different tools and actions have been undertaken, including two exploratory missions to Kenya and Peru, two trade missions to Bolivia and Mexico, two matchmaking events in Spain and France, three online training sessions ("How to build an internationalisation strategy", "How to go international in Eastern Africa", "How to go international in Latin America"), four international market factsheets, vouchers for coaching & mentoring, 20 market intelligence bulletinsa guide on EU funding, and an eMarket place. Louise Gubanski emphasized that this second international event serves not only to conclude euWater4i-SD by reviewing its accomplishments but also to look ahead at what can still be achieved and improved.

Similarly to the event two years ago, four European SMEs were then given the floor to introduce themselves, present their solutions, and discuss their approaches to internationalization:

- Isabel Loder, Fonto De Vivo

- Radka Bumbová, AQUAPROCON s.r.o.

- Anna Shepelenko, Boreal Light GmbH

- Slavi Terziev, PV Power

Participants were then invited to stay for a networking lunch in the conference room, providing an opportunity to initiate conversations with potential new business partners.

The afternoon session focused on funding and matchmaking. Aleksandra Vladimirova, Network Coordinator at Green Synergy Cluster, presented the Guide on EU Funding, created at the request of euWater4i-SD by B. Link. This comprehensive document is designed for companies and serves as a practical, manageable tool to facilitate the discovery, application, and management of European funds and projects.

Finally, the last part of the event was dedicated to matchmaking for two hours. Participants had the opportunity to book meetings with other participants prior to the event using the b2match platform. In total, over 35 meetings, each lasting 15 minutes, took place at the 10 tables scattered throughout the room. Participants praised the format for enabling them to meet several interesting potential partners in person.

euWater4i-SD is delighted with the success of this event once again and thanks all the participants for their active involvement! Over the next few months, the euWater4i-SD team will be focusing on developing a long-term strategy for the project and intends to maintain communication with all the valuable connections established during the event.

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