ELBE Alliance organises the first internationalisation event for SMEs to the IPF 2021 (Virginia, USA)

Submitted by Ander González on 22 October 2021


ELBE Alliance organised the first physical business mission in this Clusters Go International call. All the projects and partnerships that began their journey during the pandemic are facing the challenge of organising internationalisation events for their SMEs. After lots of online contacts and webinars and streams... Things are starting to change. ELBE Alliance organised the last week of August, from the 23rd to the 27th, its first business mission with companies to the most relevant event in offshore wind in the USA, the IPF 2021, celebrated in Virginia.

After the previous cancellation of the event due to Covid-19, ELBE Alliance started the work again to organise the best agenda possible for the European companies. ELBE Alliance restart conversations with the US Offshore Wind Energy Network, organiser of the IPF, and the State of Virginia (including Virginia Beach Department of Economic Development) to organise the agenda for the companies, ELBE Alliance representation at the event and side visits / events during the week of the event in Virginia. The agenda started with visits to the port of Virginia Beach and a demo site of an offshore wind turbine in the coast of Virginia (managed by the operator Dominion Energy), including meetings with the main offshore wind energy operators and developers in Virginia, Avangrid and Dominion Energy.

Afterwards, the delegation attended for three days the IPF event. Three full days of B2B meetings, workshops and conferences. The International Offshore Wind Partnering Forum (IPF) is the premiere offshore wind energy conference in North America. Hosted by the Business Network for Offshore Wind, IPF connects global leaders and businesses in the supply chain, offers unparalleled networking opportunities, and delivers the most timely and relevant updates on the industry, from technology and policy, to safety and siting.

In addition to panels and presentations from public officials and industry leaders, IPF offers registrants a wide array of networking opportunities to grow your business, including the popular WindMatch ™ program.

ELBE Alliance participated in a panel called “Promising and emerging European technologies for floating wind development”, where the Blue Cluster presented the Alliance and four companies showcased their experience in the FOW sector. ELBE Alliance also had a stand in the IPF with a representation of several European companies.

In total, 17 companies, members of ELBE Alliance, were represented in this stand. 13 companies were able to attend the presential event, 10 members of the Belgian Blue Cluster and 3 members from the Basque Energy Cluster (IDOM, HINE RENOVABLES, EUSKALFORGING (SP), OCAS, Otary, Manora, Marlinks, 24SEA, Citymesh, Sarens, ENGIE, Smulders, Jan De Nul (BE)).

In addition, the 25th of August, ELBE Alliance signed a memorandum of understanding with US Business Network for Offshore Wind. The MoU is focused on supporting collaboration initiatives among both organisations and their members in the offshore wind sector.

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