In the morning high-level panelists were finding common ground on opportunities EU Green Deal and Horizon Europe present. It was highly agreed that there are many opportunities and we just need to move to action.
As the Director of Regional Development at the Helsinki-Uusimaa Regional Council Juha Eskelinen highlighted, the goal of Europe to be the first climate neutral continent helps to create market opportunities for our businesses in the global level. Large-scale deployment, demonstration of new technologies across sectors and across the single market and building new innovative value chains are needed. This challenge is beyond the means of individual Member States, thus highlighting the need for cross-regional research and innovation cooperation between all actors and partnerships (public sector, private sector, R&D&I actors, and citizens).
Companies play a vital role. From the Horizon Europe program innovative companies can have funding for their research and innovation activities with better terms and more long-term perspective than from national programs. Even more important than funding is though the possibility to join European wide networks and new business contacts.
Concrete topics for cooperation mentioned during the workshop were e.g. decarbonising energy sector, new materials in biobased plastics and new fibres in textile sector, circular agrofood solutions, agroecological symbiosis and green chemistry. Climate solutions, circular economy and digitalisation are also important themes for the Helsinki-Uusimaa Region, whose main target is to be carbon neutral by 2035.
During the afternoon very interesting concrete projects and companies were introduced: