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Breaking into new markets for green services

9 November 2011
Going international | Environment
The Enterprise Europe Network helped a German green engineering company make its all-important first steps towards business abroad.

Wolfgang Perbix heads a consortium of engineers that specialises in rehabilitating contaminated buildings, brownfields and landfills, as well as improving the energy efficiency of buildings. When he was looking to expand outside his German base, the Enterprise Europe Network in Hessen was on hand to help.

One of the key roles of the Enterprise Europe Network is to help companies to reach new markets, identify technology partners and access EU funding.

Perbix set his sights on eastern Europe: a ripe market for environmental consultancy work.

“We drafted the profile of the type of company he was looking for,” said Margarete Kessler, a consultant with the Development Agency for the State of Hessen, the local Network contact. “He wanted companies that could help bring in new projects that required special qualifications, experience in environmental protection and language proficiency. There were a lot of expressions of interest, particularly from Portugal, Poland and Croatia.”

Network partner organisations working from about 600 locations across Europe and beyond share company profiles and help find good matches. Kessler received 50 responses from her colleagues in 10 countries.

Kessler first brought Perbix to Porto in Portugal, where three meetings were organised in coordination with the local Network office, the Instituto de Apoio às PME e à Inovação. Contacts were also followed up in Croatia and Poland. Three partnership agreements came about as a result, as well as the first planned project: an assessment of environmental pollution at sites in Croatia.

“The Network is the best way to find contacts in Europe. These contacts are essential for market entry in foreign countries,” says Perbix.

Network partners involved