SwitchMed and UNIDO brings the opportunities of EU eco innovative applications to manufacturers in Egypt
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Guiding the switch to a circular economy through the application of sustainable business models, is a fundamental element of the SwitchMed programme for Egypt’s industry. On the 27th February, 300 stakeholders from the Egyptian industry took part in the UNIDO SwitchMed B2B networking event in Cairo, presenting EU eco innovative business solutions that could boost the transition of their businesses into circular business models.
The event uncovered the potential of 8 EU funded eco innovative solutions that had been carefully selected to match the needs of Egypt’s production sectors and challenges. With over 110 business B2B business consultations between 66 Egyptian businesses and the 8 eco innovation providers, the event could become a meaningful contribution to new cooperation’s agreements between the knowledge competences of the latest EU on eco innovative applications and Egypt’s industry.
Recognizing that SMEs in Egypt are facing difficulties in realizing their potential impact on sustainability, the application of EU eco-innovation solutions could contribute to lower the production costs and increase the environmental performance of their business operations. Multiplexed Laser Surface Enhancement (MLSE), one of the eco innovations presented in Cairo, could for instance assist the important textile industry in Egypt to save up 99% percent of energy costs in their textile finishing processes.
We are a relative new start up company, we have only been around for a few years. So, the opportunity to attend an event like this, gives us an opportunity to learn more about the Egyptian market and to see where our technology fits in. And to be honest, the results that we are getting back are very promising, because we see that the requirements that Egypt have got, across the board of economic solutions as well as environmental solutions, fit in with our holiness of what the company is, Graham Downhill, MLSE
Developing a business strategy that includes sustainability throughout all business operations, centred on life-cycle thinking, involving partners across the value chain, can become a crucial element not only in safeguarding the environmental aspects of the business operations, but also in offering opportunities to develop business models and increase competitiveness. Ms. Hoda Sabry, an expert in financial products for energy efficiency and cleaner production, claimed that, “I think that eco innovation is something that is very badly needed in Egypt and there are a lot of opportunities and a lot of potential for them. The only barrier, is that the technological expertise is not very well known here and I think that raising awareness about these innovations and solutions is something very important”.
An eco innovative approach helps SMEs, not only to identify significant sustainability impacts over the entire life cycle of their business’s products and services, but also to link these with new business strategies and new markets.
“I run a new business in the plastics sector, coming to this event can help me to new ideas how to run my business, so it is a good opportunity to see the potential of business” Mr. George Kaiser, CEO Magma Recycling Plastics Factory
Eco-innovation can become a key driver of industry efforts to tackle climate change and realise “green growth” calling for faster introduction of breakthrough technologies and for a more systemic application of available solutions. The SwitchMed B2B Networking events for EU eco innovations, held so far in Lebanon, Tunisia, Morocco and Egypt, have gathered more then 1000 stakeholders from the industry sector and created 320 B2B consultations between local businesses and European eco innovators.
As structural changes in economies will become imperative in the coming decade, eco innovation might be the key to adapt to the challenges of climate change adaptation and subsequent for the industry in the Southern Mediterranean.