Northern Connections

A live edition of Innovation Tool of the Month

Monday, June 18, 2018 - Published by Christina Knudsen
The Innovation Tool of the Month is knowledge sharing and a practical aspect for our partners to use between each other. Innovation Tool of the Month is a new developed concept provided by our project Northern Connection, where our partners compose a theoretical aspect and create a webinar to show all our partners, how they use the tool in practice.

At our Transnational Working Days, a live edition of our The Innovation Tool of the Month was carried out. This session was presented by Frans Snijkers from CleanTech Vlaanderen. CleanTech Vlaanderen just got this new name and was earlier known as i-Cleantech Flanders, where the i was equal innovation and implementation. CleanTech Vlaanderen is a Cluster Organisation for cleantech within quadruple helix: industry, public entities, knowledge centers and interest groups and the cluster’s ambition is to accelerate cleantech in Flanders.

The Innovation Tool of the Month is the Interreg NSR Scale Up-project. Scale Up stands for: Supporting Clean-tech innovators in Accessing Large Enterprises through Unlocking Procurement. The core activity in the Scale Up-project is Meet the Buyer events, which brings large customers with cleantech innovation needs, together with SMEs with innovative cleantech products, services and solutions. Frans Snijkers gave the example of a car manufacturer looking for ways to reduce the cost and environmental impact of its production process, who might meet with environmental paint specialists, plastic recyclers or low carbon supply chain experts.

The Methodology includes many ways to run the Meet the Buyer events, but Frans presented a typical process for the event including the following steps:

  • Buyer selection
  • Develop the Corporate Need
  • Plan the event
  • Select suppliers
  • Pre-event supplier coaching
  • Run the event
  • Event Follow Up

The key to all Meet the Buyer activities is an understanding of both buyer and supplier needs, and the activities is always invite only. The buyer decides who can participate, and if a SME does not fit, they are not invited. The matchmaking can be a long process, and sometimes there is not a match.

Frans ended his presentation with a concrete example of a Meet the Buyer-event held in Gothenburg at the end of 2016. The business case from the buyer was to become energy neutral by 2050 supplemented with some primary and secondary challenges. The supplier was a start-up who delivers intelligent software that enables ‘prosumers’ of energy to trade locally among each other within a micro-grid. The positive result of this Scale Up-process was an order/collaboration agreement.

You can see the presentation, which Frans Snijkers created to TWD right here. 

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