Final seminar of Connect project was a success

The so called Connect project (Network support for Finnish Renewable Energy SME’s) held its final seminar titled ‘Enter Africa’ on 15th of May in Helsinki. More than 80 participants gathered to learn from the experiences of the project and to hear what the plans are for the near future. The project has focused particularly on Kenya, Nigeria and South-Africa.

The chair of the project steering group, Juha Pölönen, Export Sales Director from Finnwind was impressed by the results of Connect project; according to him highly relevant market information has been collected and useful networks been established.

Doranova's vice-president Jarno Laitinen emphasized that Finnish SME's cannot afford to ignore the market opportunities in Africa as European market are rapidly saturated. Connect-project partner from South-Africa Ronelle Potgieter (InnoVenton) highlighted the high quality of the Finnish renewable energy technologies, although said need to be careful for not overdesigning products for the African markets.

The project was funded by Tekes Groove program. Tekes representative Pia Salokoski told that together with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs they are planning to open a new funding instrument to support research and development targeted to the developing countries. The aim is to combine the interest of Finnish trade and the long-term experiences of the developmental assistance and to promote business with impact.

During the seminar, a student co-operative was officially launched which will offer, for example, market research services for Finnish companies interested in African markets. The co-operative is open for all FUAS students and alumna's.

Further information

Birgit Aurela, project manager, Laurea
tel. 040 566 2910


Sanna Nuutila

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