Wednesday 24 September 2014

Day 3 – Birmingham: Green Ventures Mission to the UK

Everyone was counted aboard the bus and we set off for Birmingham, only to realise within five minutes of our journey that we left one delegate behind. We picked up the lost soul outside the hotel and were soon onto the A14 for the two-hour journey to the National Exhibition Centre.

Whilst everyone else got out at the NEC, I stayed on the bus with Lutz Grundmann of Callparts. We were off to Stratford-upon-Avon, the home of Shakespeare! Sadly, our destination was on the outskirts.

The 40 minute drive gave me a chance to learn about another fascinating reuse and recycling industry. As Lutz explained, the automotive industry generates a number of test and trial series of cars. Not just one or two models, but runs that can go into the hundreds if not thousands. Rather than being scrapped, they now have to be painstakingly taken apart. The only things that are destroyed are the outer shell and any top-secret parts in testing. The remainder is effectively a car in a box.

Callparts specialism was to do this deconstruction on a grand scale, providing dismantled vehicles to interested buyers on demand. And the benefit? Apart from avoiding waste, buyers could obtain parts from cars that, although regarded as used, were substantially equivalent to new.

After one meeting that appeared to generate some interest, we hopped onto the bus and travel to the north of Birmingham for another. Here we learnt some useful business insights and contacts to take us further.

It was 3 PM when we finally made our way back to the NEC. We were met by Mark Dodsworth and taken to the meeting rooms hired within the NEC. We dived for the remaining sandwiches and drinks.

Our delegates were wondering in and out of the rooms as we had tables where they could meet with UK visitors if they wanted to. Alternatively, people could have meetings at the stands within the exhibitions at the energy event.

I pulled out the trusted videocam, grabbed the remaining delegates that I haven’t interviewed individually and found a good well lit spot for our talks. See the bottom of this article for links.

By 5:30pm, most of the delegates were finished with the talks, apart from a hard-core sitting around one table, including Peter Heydenbluth. Eventually, as all were boarding the bus, I said my farewells. They were looking forward to an evening meal in the Cafe Opus in Birmingham, with perhaps a sightseeing walk.

I look forward to a three hour train journey back home via London!

The next day the delegates boarded the bus for the last time, to return to London Southend airport. They had had three days, three very full days with little sleep and must surely have looked forward to being able to relax and thoroughly digest the sights, sounds and information that they had seen on a short trip to the UK!

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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