Bringing a delegation to the UK requires a considerable amount of work and effort. It began with the Potsdam IHK looking for suitable companies. Torsten Stehr and Olivia Liebert from the IHK and Green Ventures were the drivers for the event. Project delivery was handled in the UK by Mark Dodsworth and Petra Riemenschneider of Europartnerships, supported by their team Nora and Christina.
I (Chris Thomas) was brought in for the language assistance and peer support for some of the companies during their stay.
The delegates themselves came from a wide variety of different companies. Many of them were the CEOs, directors or managers, others were the sales managers. I’ll try and give a flavour of the people and their businesses, in almost alphabetical order!
Antje Vargas & Marius Vargas were from GeoClimaDesign. Their products were novel blue mats made with capillary tubing. Due to their high surface area, these are able to facilitate either heating or cooling, whether they are used in flooring on the walls and ceilings suited to a new generation of heat exchangers as energy-efficient heating systems.
Fritz Reusswig was the Deputy Head of Department at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). In conversation I discovered, that his interest in climate change was looking at the effects in quite localised environments, big cities. His colleagues are researchers from all over the world who work closely together to study global change and its impacts on ecological, economic and social systems.
Fritz Pressel represented the German Association for Waste Management (DGAW), an association with 380 members which represents the interests of the German waste management sector. DGAW wants to promote discourse and cooperation between representatives from local enterprises, not just in the waste management sector, but also in the water, commodities and energy industries.
Jens Bahnemann & Nico Rothaeuser, Richter Recycling. Their company needed bins, big bins, as Jens jokingly told me. The company deals with the collection and recycling of waste over an area that covers Berlin, Brandenburg, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, Mecklenburg, Thuringia and Hamburg.
Lutz Grundmann represented Callparts, The company dismantles test cars and sells packages of used spare parts from VW, Audi, Skoda, Seat and Opel. We had some lively discussions about Vauxhall and Opel and General Motors!
Michael P, i-save energy, specialized in the engineering and manufacturing of eco-friendly and highly efficient LED technology for industrial and commercial applications.
Peter & Simone Heydenbluth’s company ERV had moved on from conventional recycling to looking at the treatment of greywater waste from restaurants and other catering establishments. Their end products were clean water and oil and fatty wastes suitable for refineries producing lubricants.
Roman Dinslage, Intecus appeared to be the quiet one in the group. However, wherever we went, he would be the last to leave; immersed in discussion with a local expert or representative about the particular details of the plant or business we were visiting. Itecus provides consultancy services ranging from renewables and alternative energy sources. It’s project management extends from finding funding through to operation management on new projects.
Tristan Kretschmer, McPhy, was an enthusiastic proponent of using hydrogen as an alternative fuel store. The company provides solutions where excess energy is used to hydrolyse water. The hydrogen emitted can then be stored safely in a metal hydride matrix. The company even has its own superhero - Hydro-boy!
Every delegation has its own distinctive character. This one was characterised by an open-minded, relaxed and friendly approach to each other, the companies they talked to and the IHK/Europartnerships team that I was a part of. Their expectations were realistic and they saw the mission as an initial step to find out more about the UK market, making the first contacts.
I really enjoyed my time with this group!
Related links to articles, photo albums and videos:
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