Northern Connections

Pushing innovation together

20 January 2020 - Published by Anne Katrine Arentsen
This project is using the concept of Living-Lab Open Solution Pitches to reach a new sustainable solution to the challenges in the energy sector by giving SMEs an equal opportunity to come up with new solutions. The main purpose is to target measures that increase the companies’ innovation capacity and transnational activities that drive international business as well as cross-cluster opportunities across borders.

The overall objective of the Northern Connections project is to improve the innovation climate for enterprises, increasing the number of enterprises taking advantage of, as well as participating in innovation and engaging with partners outside their own country. The Living Labs are contributing to this, and the concept is driving the ability to share competencies across borders and functions as accelerators to transnational innovation collaborations in the North Sea Region.

FurthermoreThe Living Lab concept brings innovators, companies, and solutions together like never before – and this adds value to the challenge owners as they are informed about innovative solutions, methods, and ideas from all over the North Sea Region. However, the most valuable aspect of these events, is the fact that it brings people together and creates new business opportunities for both the challenges owners and the innovative suppliers. 

More than 550 people have participated in the Living Lab Events, and even though many companies are participating to receive and sign new deals with the challenge owners, many of the companies are also striving for the essential opportunity to expand their core network, meet other companies and share the experiences and challenges. 

Anders Mølgaard, the founder of Burntwood and Økotømrer in Denmark, has attended one of the events and says the following about participating: “Being a part of the event has given me more than 50 new contacts and hereby – indirectly - contributed to increased sales. The event was an incredible opportunity to create new relations, and everybody should try it.” 

Iori van den Doel, who was representing Skoon Energy at one of the Living Lab Events, recognize this feeling: “The event was a big opportunity to create relations and increase the network for the company. It was great being a part of in terms of meeting other innovative companies within the industry.” 

For Maria Malm, who was representing Ectogrid at the Living Lab in Brussels, the networking aspect was a secondary value add of the event, since they are in direct contact with one of the challenge owners about collaborations: “The main thing I took with me was; there are a lot of things happening in the energy industry, and the wheel is turning faster and faster within cleantech. The most interesting part of the event was, of course, meeting the challenge owner and afterward being in dialogue with them about creating partnerships. However, I cannot say how glad I am that we met so many fascinating companies and saw how the industry is developing.”

If you want to gain access new knowledge, expand your network and gain new business relations – participate at our next Living Lab Event HERE.