The World Circular Economy Forum 2017 is the ground-breaking event of the year that gathered together the most recognised experts and decision makers in the field, and presented the world’s best circular economy solutions, becoming the global epicentre of the circular economy. There were 1,630 participants from as many as 92 countries on June 5th – 7th, 2017, bringing a global atmosphere and amazing networking opportunities.
The programme of WCEF 2017 consisted of 17 plenary and parallel sessions showcasing circular economy solutions for business, cities and finance. Three days of discussions, networking, workshops, side events and business excursions.
One of these side events, in which Water2REturn was presented, was called “Promoting Green Investments: Matchmaking opportunities for SMEs and EU Projects in the Circular Economy“. The side event was co-organised by EASME/European Commission and the Switch-Asia Network Facility in collaboration with the European Investment Bank, FinnishRoll up promoting green investments for a circular economy Business Angels Network (FiBAN), the Finnish Venture Capital Association (FVCA) and the Finish Innovation Fund SITRA. The registered investors also included, for example, the EU KICs (Food, Raw Materials), the Nordic Investment Bank, ING, etc.
This one day event presented funding and investment opportunities for the circular economy with a focus on Asian and EU-funded projects and SMEs. Through a dedicated pitching session and a networking lunch, audience got familiarised with innovative circular solutions and business models of both innovators and investors and had the chance to build new networks. It aimed to present the new Horizon 2020 Circular Economy projects together with companies stemming from the EU LIFE, CIP and SME Instrument projects. There were many opportunities to meet a wide range of investors, donors and stakeholders to promote the innovative and circular solutions linked with these EU funded projects.
The event included three sessions:
Session 1: Introduction to EU-funded programmes supporting elevator pitch circular economyCircular Economy innovations, business models and to international funding/financing landscapes.
Session 2: Pitching for investment opportunities.
Session 3: Networking at the “Circular Square” and 1-to-1 meetings.
H2020 projects were involved in the “pitching session” (SMEs), in the “1-to-1 meetings between SMEs/projects and investors”, and in the Networking / Matchmaking session (coordinators and SMEs).