The project Cleantech Kvarken has been the first step in a long-term initiative for the development of the cleantech sector in Västerbotten, Vaasa region and Örnsköldsvik. Through cross-border collaboration the regional initiatives EnergyVaasa in Finland and North Sweden Cleantech is strengthened.
April 26th the end-conference for the three-year-project Cleantech Kvarken, took place in Örnsköldsvik. All participants were in complete agreement, this is just the beginning of a long term collaboration across the Gulf of Bothnia. “Cleantech Kvarken is a project in which we have taken the first step into building a cross-border business venture in cleantech and support companies with environmentally friendly solutions. Together we are a region to reckon with, with companies and competences that complement each other”, says Peter Hedman, the project manager in Cleantech Kvarken.
The project has collaborated with over 150 companies with environmentally friendly solutions. The project has just four different tools in the work of supporting the companies. The first is a company directory where the companies, test facilities, bigger investments and partners have been presented. The second is matchmaking where the project, in three occasions, have set up 100 unique business meetings between the regional companies. The third is Advisory board/company meetings where team members from the project in Vaasa meet companies in Västerbotten/Örnsköldsvik and vice versa, and help the companies concrete in their work to develop new business contacts across the Guld of Bothnia. The forth is to initiate and support the companies’ export to new markets, both the Nordic and the rest of the world, through export and exhibition trips and international networking.
In the interviews conducted with the companies, it is clear that the project has been highly appreciated. 97 percent of the companies (27 of 28) are interested in continued collaboration with the project. “Cleantech Kvarken has been an innovative project which has managed to connect companies across the Gulf of Bothnia through connecting the networks of key players and adjusting to the companies’ needs. Through widening the approach, the project has successfully managed to develop four efficient tools to connect companies and make business. It is of great importance to make sure that these results do not go to waste and continue to make business opportunities in the Bothnia region”, says Anna Rosenblom who is evaluating the results from the project and also presented the conclusions at the conference in Örnsköldsvik.