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EU eco-innovative technologies for Morocco’s industry – an investment that could pay off

Morocco has set itself ambitious targets that seek to adapt its economy to the realities of climate change. Finding ways that will protect the scarce natural resources of the country is, however, both an opportunity and a challenge for the Moroccan industry. The SwitchMed B2B event in Casablanca presented eco-innovative technologies from the EU that could help Moroccan businesses to embrace new and more environmentally friendly production techniques – an investment where serious returns for the businesses and the environment are to be made.
Published on Feb 08, 2017

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The existing linear model of 'take-produce-dispose' production and consumption is fast becoming a remnant of the 20th century. To end the plunging model of waste generation, SwitchMed together with the EU is helping industries in the Southern Mediterranean to rethink and redevelop their processes, turning waste it into an asset and to generate savings in energy, water and raw material.

On the 24th January stakeholders from the Moroccan industry had the opportunity to meet 17 European businesses, introducing EU funded eco-innovations during the SwitchMed B2B event hosted by UNIDO in Casablanca. The eco-innovative solutions, deriving from the framework of EU´s Eco-Innovation and Life programme, had been carefully selected to match the needs and characteristics of the Moroccan manufacturing sector for maximum effect.



“Eco innovative solutions do not only help business to better save resources, they also represent a paradigm shift, as well as a huge, hidden, business opportunity that will unlock new ways to make and export clean products around the globe, and create innovative businesses that are more sustainable and competitive in the long run “Raul de Luzenberger, Deputy Head of EU Delegation in Morocco 

 

 

 

 

As investments for raw material, energy and water rise, it is crucial to look into innovative ways that could accelerate sustainable solutions in resource efficiency. During the event Moroccan SMEs and industry stakeholders were able to enter in 70 business consultations with the businesses from the EU, exploring new technology solutions for their operations that could help them save costs while at the same time generate more revenues out of their production. The SwitchMed B2B event has to date been held in Lebanon, Tunisia and Morocco, and has generated over 200 business contacts between local industries and EU eco-innovation providers. 



“Over the B2B events with UNIDO we get to meet entrepreneurs from the industry sector that are interested in innovations and solutions for water savings in the agro-alimentary industry. Coming from the last SwitchMed B2B event in Tunisia, where we now have four projects of this type in the pipeline, I would like to congratulate the whole UNIDO team to the important work in promoting a sustainable industrial development in the African countries”, Christophe Cambier, Director Kieselmann Group, France

 

 

 

While the Moroccan government has lifted the subsidies on diesel, gasoline, and heavy fuel oil to encourage a more responsible use of energy, companies need to reconsider their current processes and seek to find new ways of operating more cost efficient. This B2B event was to a large degree complementary to the activities carried out under the MED TEST II project in the framework of the SwitchMed programme, which seeks to establish new resource efficient production patterns in the Southern Mediterranean that could help industries to operate at a lower cost for the business and the environment.

"Our goal is to transfer this methodology and to eventually have qualified consultants in each region who can follow, accompany other companies in becoming more resource efficient and to create a service market for environmental friendly production solutions", Ms.  Roberta De Palma, Chief Technical Advisor, SwitchMed

Besides building up the technical capacities for a more resource efficient production in the Southern Mediterranean, MED TEST II also seeks to cooperate with European and local financial institutions to support private sector development in the European Neighbourhood region. Miroslav Maly, from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), together with William Fellows from the Sustainable Energy Financing Facility in Morocco for energy efficient and small-scale renewable energy investments, MorSEFF, enacted with several Moroccan businesses at the sidelines of the event on the subject of sustainable investments for SMEs and the role of MorSEFF. 

The next SwitchMed B2B event will be take place on the 27th of February in Cairo.