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Boost to Finnish cleantech exports from California

Boost to Finnish cleantech exports from California

Jun 23, 2016
Renewables & smart grid
Bioproducts & materials

Forerunner cleantech companies from Finland met Californian companies and public sector operators on a Team Finland export promotion visit in Los Angeles and San Francisco in late May early June. Both valuable contacts and concrete results were established during the visit.

A total of 11 Finnish companies gathered in California on the Team Finland export promotion visit organised iby Finnish Ministry of Employment and the Economy, Finpro, Tekes and Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Looking at the economy, California is the largest state in the USA, and the area represents by the most cleantech private equity investments globally in relation to the size of the state.

"California is a forerunner of environmental technology and sustainability on a global scale. In those fields, a large amount of know-how, expertise and economical resources are focused in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Palo Alto areas. Finnish companies' visibility in California promotes business elsewhere in the world as well," says Ilkka Homanen, Head of Cleantech Industry at Finpro.

Cooperation opens opportunities

In California, the participating companies were offered the opportunity to meet with private companies, investors, cities and business accelarators. The Finnish companies together with the representatives from ministries, Finpro and Tekes had the chance to introduce Finland's vast cleantech proficiency to American actors while also representing the companies' own products and expertise.

"The meetings were numerous, and even the spare time in between meetings was utilised as sparring time for the companies. Representatives of Finpro and the Californian embassy offered the companies useful and concrete experiences and vision. The companies received tips, for example, for their sales pitches and future plans," Homanen continues.

Finnish cleantech was represented by Neste, BaseN, Danfoss and Fortum, among others. Each participating company had slightly different goals for the visit. Some wanted to gain investement or funding opportunities whereas others were set out to test their products. However, most of the companies had a clear commercial goal, and concrete business opportunities were discussed in California. For a few of the companies, deals can be expected to take place in the near future while all of the participants managed to establish useful contacts and to strenghten old connections.

"We are very satisfied with the scope of the visit and how it was organized. We gained several useful contacts with whom we are now continuing to discuss. This was the third Team Finland visit to California within two years, and all of the visits have been very fruitful. It is highly important to regularly organise these visits, reflecting the needs and wishes of the participants," comments Tuija Kalpala, the head of North American renewable products' chief of marketing from Neste.

Cooperation contract tied between Finpro, Tekes and LACI, a business accelerator from Los Angeles, was also published during the trip. For Finnish companies the contract brings, for example, office space, counselling along with investor and possible partner contacts.

Companies in the sector

Neste

Bioenergy & biofuels