Wednesday 24 September 2014

Day 2 – Cambridge: Green Ventures Mission to the UK

Fog and the London rush-hour delayed the bus with the German delegation. That plus a minor detour! But finally they arrived at Cambridge Cleantech. Hugh Parnell and his team had already set out the room and were welcoming the UK companies who had come to chat with potential German partners. Mingling with the delegates, some of whom had to get away early, I was able to prime a few quick connections between Brits and Germans over the welcoming tea and coffee.

I’ve personally been a member of Cambridge Cleantech for several years. It has grown from an initial core of business sponsors to a membership organisation of nearly 1000 companies. They are an ideal partner for Green Ventures, and Martin Garrett, CEO and director of the organisation was at hand to chair today’s talks.

There was an opportunity for Peter Heydenbluth to give a short presentation. Or rather, after our great partnership the day before, I was nominated to stand by him and give the short talk. We then made our way to a numbered table to await our meetings. By this time we were getting a clear picture of the UK legislative and environmental background.

After a buffet lunch, we wandered over to the SmartLife Centre to look at the training facilities for students from the nearby Regional College. Trainee plumbers, electricians, heating and solar power installers would get their first practical glance at the rapidly expanding field of cleantech and recycling here.

The next stop was AmeyCespa’s recycling plant just north of Cambridge. It was interesting to see a different type of facility dealing with municipal waste. It had grown and developed quite considerably since I had first been on the tour there over a decade ago. There are still fossil ammonites in my desk drawer from a walk across the clay underlying the site. For more info on the recycling facility see the relevant link below this article.

I re-joined the delegation after they had checked in at their hotel and we walked into groups into the centre of Cambridge to meet up with representatives from Visit England and Conference Cambridge. They had arranged a tour guide to take us on a walk through Cambridge on a balmy autumn evening.

I’d brought my videocam along and conducted some spontaneous interviews as the walk progressed. Again, check the relevant link below.

Winding our way through Cambridge’s streets, we passed into St John’s College and wandered through, admiring the ancient college buildings. We emerged close to the St John’s Chophouse pub, where we were hosted to an excellent dinner by Visit England.

It was 11pm when I took a group of early leavers from the revelry back to their hotel. Having missed the last bus back to Milton, I was glad I had my cycle to wend my way home. It was going to be another early day tomorrow.

Related links to articles, photo albums and videos:

Day 1 – London: Green Ventured Mission to the UK.
Day 2 – Cambridge: Green Ventures Mission to the UK.
Day 3 – Birmingham: Green Ventures Mission to the UK.
The Delegation - Green Ventures Mission to the UK.
Recycling waste in the UK - Green Ventures Mission to the UK.
Unternehmerdelegation nach Großbritannien: Neue Märkte erkunden. Beispiel Potsdam Green Ventures.
Online Photoalbum of Green Ventures – Mission to the UK
Interviews with delegates and helpers at Green Ventures – Mission to the UK

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