Spotlight on... Energy Cluster Denmark – Christian Munk Jensen and Gustavo Ferraz de LunaEnergy Cluster Denmark is the national innovation network and cluster organization for the Danish offshore industry. Energy Cluster Denmark has 240+ members; manage a portfolio of roughly € 40m in 30+ projects. They have been rewarded with the Cluster Management Excellence Label Gold continuously since 2012. Christian Munk Jensen and Gustavo Ferraz de Luna, both Project Managers of Energy Cluster Denmark, talk about their organisation, Inn2POWER and their personal involvement in the project.
Christian, Gustavo, please introduce yourselves and Energy Cluster Denmark involvement and responsibilities in the Inn2POWER project.
Gustavo: “I am responsible at Offshoreenergy.dk for the development of WP3 in which we aim at creating transnational collaboration between SMEs in the European Offshore Wind Supply Chain. We apply two tools – Inn2POWER Company Directory (http://inn2power.eu/mapping), an online database which will consist of more than 1.000 SMEs in the North Sea region, and the Networking Tool, an intuitive matchmaking system.
By merging the two, and combining with B2B events, we get a qualified match of real value to the SMEs. Large companies tend to look for solutions and systems rather than single equipment and products. To be considered as a subcontractor or supplier, SMEs often need to collaborate with each other to play a part in supplying the larger companies. We aim at supporting the development of SMEs’ innovation capacity in order to complement one another, from both a commercial and product development perspective”.
How did you get started in the wind industry? What was your personal motivation to get involved when you started and what inspires or encourages you now?
Christian: “Providing the society with the needed energy resources – at the lowest possible environmental impact and cost – is a motivator for both Offshoreenergy.dk and me. I have made a personal journey from ‘classic green hard-liner’ to a more holistic understanding of a sustainable energy system. Since 2015, I have been a Project Manager at Offshoreenergy.dk working primarily with offshore wind and wave energy”.
Gustavo: “I came from the Oil/Gas Industry as a business developer. As offshore wind grew, I followed in that direction and helped Offshoreenergy.dk to develop an internationalization strategy into the Offshore Wind as well. It is very motivating to work in an industry with such an innovative drive. The Offshore Wind Industry is growing, both in the North Sea region and globally, and Denmark has an international first mover-status with lots of competencies and expertise. That is an inspiration.”
From your personal point of view, what are the most interesting aspects of the Inn2POWER project?Christian/Gustavo: “Providing easily accessible test facilities to SMEs and improving the SMEs’ access to harbour logistics could serve as a way to secure more innovation in the industry. The SMEs often lack the resources or knowledge for pursuing international markets in comparison with major players. However, they may offer innovation and agility, as the SMEs are an integral part of the value chain supplying valuable innovation power”.
What was your favorite moment so far during the Inn2POWER project?
Christian: “The atmosphere at the Inn2POWER test facility visit at the Danish company PolyTech stands out. PolyTech’s close integration of test facilities in their processes was an eye opener and inspiration for me and the other participants in terms of innovative use of testing”.
Gustavo: “The Offshore B2B event in Esbjerg with more than 100 participants and 320+ meetings was definitely a highlight. Seeing that the model worked in real life and that it provided a genuine value for Danish and international participants: They were matched with relevant contacts, which can potentially lead to transnational collaboration. We got results, and our participants benefitted! That has to be a highlight. Now we expect to expand the concept to the other partner's regions. It has been transferred to good use in The Netherlands and will be used again in Belgium. That is also very encouraging”.
Christian, Gustavo, thank you both for the insight into your organisation and your work!