The intense 2020 agenda: More than 250 Chilean companies participated in the 17 Virtual Brokerage Events co-organised by Eurochile
Although the pandemic forced the transition from face-to-face to virtual format, Eurochile’s work was far from diminishing. On the contrary, the new format helped increase the presence of Chilean SMEs in the encounters held with Europe through the EEN network, which helped generate almost 190 business meetings so far this year. “There is a huge interest on the part of Chilean companies to participate and, without a doubt, this has been very fruitful for us as a Foundation,” says Nina Morales, director of Business Cooperation at Eurochile.
2020 came as a complex year for the realisation of fairs and brokerage events. The closure of borders and sanitary restrictions forced us to rethink traditional ways and innovate to continue advancing. The full potential of virtual technology emerged, helped us to keep connected, and the interest in the events increased. “Due to the Covid-19 crisis, the interest from European organisers to carry out virtual activities increased. There is also a notable interest on the part of Chilean companies to participate and, without a doubt, this has been very fruitful for us as a Foundation, given that one of our objectives is to generate commercial and technological links between Chile and Europe ”, says Nina Morales, Director of Business Cooperation at Eurochile.
Today the balance is more than positive: more than 250 Chilean companies have participated in the 17 virtual brokerage events co-organised by Eurochile during the year, which have generated almost 190 meetings. This has increased their opportunities to access the European market, generate collaboration agreements, find partners for commercial and technological projects or simply generate alliances for the transfer of know-how.
“A positive factor is that Chilean companies have been able to participate virtually, without the need to travel and incur expenses to meet with their European counterparts. The encounters are unique opportunities, and this year they really have been, since we have been seeing results of agreements and collaboration agreements between companies and entities, which makes us very happy as a Foundation”, affirms Nina Morales.
The main tool for the success of this work is that Eurochile is, since 2008, the only member in the country of the European network “Enterprise Europe Network” (EEN), which operates with the endorsement of the European Commission and has 600 affiliated institutions in 60 countries, and has approximately 4,000 experts. It is a reliable and effective tool that offers business opportunities, technology transfer and first-hand information on European legislation and programs, opening up multiple opportunities to innovate and develop new businesses.
It is with the help of this network that Eurochile co-organises the events, which this year were aimed at different sectors as wind energy, recyclable materials in food packaging, smart cities, circular economy and agro-food, Covid-19 , environment, apple production and calls for the Green Pact, ICTs, Sciences and green solutions. All events are free, and the only thing that companies require is to upload their profile to the platform through Eurochile and fill in the requested data, and then you can generate your own meeting agenda.
For the Director of Business Cooperation of Eurochile, in this new health and economic scenario that we are experiencing “it is very important to identify new ways of working with networks and platforms, with the aim of generating and promoting collaboration spaces, creating a range of commercial possibilities and future projects as well as developing new relationships with national and international counterparts, in this case, Europeans”.
“During the months of confinement -adds Nina Morales-, as a Foundation we realised that now, more than ever, cooperation, the generation, construction and strengthening of networks, the identification of new markets and associative work are an added value for this new reality that we are experiencing at the national, regional and global level. In this context, Eurochile, as a business bridge between Chile and Europe- through the Enterprise Europe Network- happens to have a very important role in being a pioneer and knowing the challenges and new strategies that are being handled in the old continent”.
Full 2020 agenda
Of the 17 brokerage events co-organised by Eurochile in conjunction with organisations from the EEN network, the following stand out: Food Connections 2020 (17.22 and 24 September) in Belgium, dedicated to agriculture and food; Match2Pack2020 (September 21-25) in Germany, dedicated to recyclable materials in food packaging; and PIC (Plant Inter Cluster), which was carried out in June. Between April and June, the Technology & Business Cooperation Days 2020 was also held on Industry 4.0, sustainable energy and mobility.
To these is added the Meet in Italy for Life Science 2021 (September 15, 2020 – May 14, 2021), a virtual encounter still in development dedicated to the entire life sciences value chain, from research to business and development, manufacturing, distribution, supply chain, regulatory affairs, professional and consulting services and investment.
In October the Sustainability and Circular Economy for Food Technology was developed (October 8-10, 2020), to support international cooperation between SMEs, Clusters, Research and Technology Centers and Universities on sustainability and circular economy in the agro-food sector. On the 13th and 14th of the same month, the Horizon 2020 Virtual Brokerage Event on the European Green Deal call was held, an event that presented the calls for the European Green Deal.
In November, it was the turn of the Smart City Live 2020 Brokerage Event, the traditional event focused on smart cities and new technologies that this time was held in virtual format. On the 19th and 20th of the same month, the Interpoma fair was held, an event dedicated to the apple from the production, cultivation, processing of the product to its distribution. At the beginning of December, meanwhile, it was the turn of the Green Days Pollutec 2020 in Lyon, France, and the WindEnergyMatch 2020, a platform to generate valuable contacts and identify new aspects of possible international collaborations in the field of wind energy. Between November 30 and December 4 it was the turn of DIGITAL ICT WEEK, to explore the latest trends in ICTs.
Added to this are two virtual encounters that have been running for a few months and remain open until December 31: Innovation in Environment & Energy & Circular Economy (May 30-December 31), focused on circular economy, waste and recycling, renewable energy , water and energy efficiency; and Care & Industry together against Corona (March 30 – December 31), a platform that seeks to bring together available offers with the needs that emerge in the fight against the pandemic, bringing together the different actors working in this area both in Europe and abroad.
Two other instances still in operation are “The Community for Hyperspectral Imaging for Industry” (until January 2021), a global network to connect the hyperspectral industry community and promote this technology; and “Women Steering the New Economies” (until March 18, 2021), whose objective is to strengthen the capacities of women entrepreneurs to internationalise their businesses and promote business opportunities in the energy, technology and green solutions for women.
One of the main events to close this year was the “Brokerage Event” within the framework of the “Circular Economy Conference”, held between December 9 and 11. The event brought together the main experts from Chile and Europe to analyse the advances that are being made in the circular economy, a global trend that today appears as one of the main responses to the global social and economic crisis caused by the Covid 19 pandemic and the climate change.
This work, says Nina Morales, will continue in 2021 with the same intensity, always within the framework of the European EEN network to support SMEs in the search for information on European regulations, support from experts from that continent, the search for partners that allow generating collaboration agreements, participation in national and European fairs, and the organisation of business missions and brokerage events, among others, to promote the exchange of experiences and knowledge that allow SMEs in the country to be more innovative.
“We invite entrepreneurs to participate in the meetings that are still in development, to be part of the Foundation. We are at your disposal to support you in connecting and linking with Europe. And for the year 2021 new encounters are coming, surely virtual. We will be informing about these in due course”, she adds.