Category 18 April 2019

Sharing information amongst actors in the environmental sector to identify new business and export opportunities

Green Net in Finland is a network of 60 environmental actors including universities, cities, regional organisations and companies. The network member organisations specialise in various cleantech areas such as energy efficiency, environment and ICT. They benefit by sharing expertise and collectively applying for public and private funding for developing innovative cleantech applications.

The challenge

The cleantech industry can only thrive in a context where the energy, environment and ICT actors exchange know-how and combine their expertise. Green Net meets this challenge by integrating environmental and energy sector expertise with that of ICT, and thereby creating a fertile environment for innovative and energy-efficient solutions, particulary for the urban environment.  

The network

Green Net has been set up as a non-for-profit organisation that aims at ensuring the development of environmental know-how and creating genuine cooperation between SMEs operating in the same niche. Through the network, the SMEs are offered resources and the experiences of larger technical centres & experts, universities and national and international NGOs. Green Net’s central themes include environmental monitoring and energy efficiency in the urban environment. Green Net is spearheading National Centres of Expertise Programme for environmental technology with the Helsinki region as a partner responsible for research and the commercialisation of environmental monitoring technology. This Finnish programme is coordinating cleantech cluster centres of expertise including those based in Oulu, Lahti and Kuopio as well as the national centres of expertise in Kajaani and Mikkeli.

The theme ‘energy efficiency in urban environment’ specifically looks at buildings, land-use planning, infrastructure and transport. The objective is to create projects to promote sustainable urban development with a focus on developing the role of ICT in energy efficiency to create new services and business ideas.

Green Net’s revenues are generated through a service fee to its membership (i.e. private equity funding for development, demonstration and commercial exploitation).

The benefits

The network helps its members in partnership building and provides matchmaking services which open up new business opportunities. Focused in the Finnish cleantech cluster in the Helsinki region, Green Net capitalises on the present knowledge in the cluster and promotes it both across Europe and internationally.    

Further deployment

The network presents a successful example of how diverse actors such as SMEs, universities and regional organisations can cooperate and mutually profit from each other. Since the Green Net has already exhibited successful completion of many projects (such as electric vehicle integration into the Ring Rail Line feeder system), the maturity of this eco-innovation is estimated to be 9 on the GML scale.