EEN Launch Conference 2015: Strengthening EEN India relations with network partners across the world

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The Enterprise Europe Network Launch Conference is the Networks’ main event, and this year, the conference was held in Brussels from 8th -10th June 2015. The event was attended by 800 participants from 56 countries including 650 Network partners, as well as representatives from European Institutions and key external stakeholders.

EBTC is the lead coordinator of the India chapter of Enterprise Europe Network India (EEN India), alongside partners - the Federation of Indian Export Organizations (FIEO), the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) / Global Innovation & Technology Alliance (GITA) and Steinbeis India.

This was a very important opportunity to increase EEN India’s visibility in Europe, develop, and strengthen relations with other network partners. EEN India was represented by EBTC’s Head of Operation, Mr. Joerg Uehlin, and Business Development Executives - Mr. Som Sekhar Ganguly and Mr. Tamil Selvan Chandru where they engaged in workshops and many B2Bs’.  

The plenary session on  8th June, 2015 was addressed by Ms. Zaiga Liepina (Deputy State Secretary, Ministry of Economics of Latvia), Mr. Jyrki Katainen (Vice-President for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, European Commission), and Ms. Kristin Schreiber (Director, DG for Internal Market, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, European Commission). 

A keynote speech was given by Mr. Nicolas Brusson (COO and Co-Founder, BlaBlaCar) where the importance of one large single European market and the benefits thereof were clearly visible. He shared insights on his pan-European approach straight from the inception of the business and illustrated how this enabled him to create an entity that had greater reach and was more capable of competing with more dominant tech players from places such as Silicon Valley in the US. The company started small, and later created the BlaBlaCar entity by merging it with other national European players to create a stronger, pan-European entity.

An important take away is the contextual link to EBTC where the same principle ‘model’ is being followed. Bringing different European players together under one umbrella for a larger impact and higher probability of success is not only useful in Europe, but most certainly also in emerging and growing markets such as India. As an example, EBTC is building a consortia for water treatment, solid waste management, river basin management and sustainable construction projects that will be able to tap opportunities as a European consortium, providing a broader and better solution to India’s requirements.

The conference stressed the importance of the EEN Partners outside of Europe such as EEN India. These are gaining more importance for European SMEs given their quest to internationalise and expand outside the European market. EEN is therefore also putting more focus towards these partners to increase the Networks presence internationally.

On 9th June, 2015, EEN India participated in a workshop – ‘SME Globetrotters: the hitchhikers guide to EU internationalisation services’ which was an opportunity to learn from over 200 participants, and of course share our insights and case studies, and illustrated hot opportunities in India such as those which came out of the recent Smart Cities India 2015 Expo held in May 2015.. 

Matchmaking sessions with EU EEN network partners were held throughout the course of the conference. Project opportunities from India were shared in these B2B’s, and it was encouraging to see that they were well received by network partners and numerous expressions of interest were made. Partners were particularly interested in the fields of renewables, waste water and ICT. EEN India will be following-up with partners that have expressed an interest in opportunities in India.

 

The feedback from the workshops, as well as from the many B2Bs was overwhelming, and reaffirms the need for EEN India to link and work very closely with European EEN partners (which includes many European chambers), and act as the bridge for European SMEs to explore, adapt and grow in India!

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