Partnering Event Namur: Networking at its best

The former flour mill “Les Anciens Moulins de Beez” was the perfect setting for constructive talks and spontaneous networking

The CORNET and IraSME Partnering Event, that took place in Namur on 27 November 2019, brought together more than 100 participants from all over the world who shared their innovative R&D ideas and wisdom from the think tanks of various fields of research. The atmosphere of the former flour mill “Les Anciens Moulins de Beez” at the Meuse river was perfect to let the ideas flow.

This year, our network partner SPW – Service Public de Wallonie hosted the Partnering Event and again ZENIT  and the EEN network were the cooperation partners of choice. The funding networks CORNET and IraSME, who are both financially supported by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi), presented a diverse programme to give participants an understanding of their funding possibilities and to help them to network with potential partners to set up international R&D projects for the benefit of SMEs.

Exploring different funding and cooperation options

Thierry Lemoine, host and key accountant of the CORNET network partner Service Public de Wallonie (SPW) welcomed all guests to the match making event. The programme then started with presentations of both funding networks, CORNET and IraSME, followed by a talk from EEN network who provides additional funding options.

The cinema-like hall “Audience” was a great setting for information about various funding opportunities.

Thierry Coutelier of the Wallonian research institute Sirris gave some insights on his experience working together with partners within the Wallonian-German CORNET project ValSmart, dealing with “Valorisation of the full potential of Smart interconnected products”. Mr. Coutelier reported, that the project has a very active SME User Committee involving ten companies in Belgium-Wallonia and six in Germany, who gave a very positive feedback as for the project results and working within a CORNET project. Several companies are already planning follow-up projects aiming to reach higher Technology Readiness Levels (TRLs).

In the further course, representatives of the German Canadian Center for Research and Innovation (GCCIR) introduced their funding organisation accompanied by a delegation of Canadian companies that gave a brief overview about their business profile and goals. The stage was now free for the “Elevator Pitch Sessions”, the heart of the event. Researchers from various fields of expertise pitched in just five minutes either a current project idea or their organisational profile.

Connecting people in face-to-face sessions

In parallel to the Pitch Sessions, several participants met up for face-to-face meetings which they had previously scheduled via the registration tool. This exchange on a personal level is a great opportunity to find the right partners and necessary international know-how to implement future CORNET or IraSME projects. The open, large foyer of the building was also a perfect platform for spontaneous conversations and networking.

The face-to-face meetings were held in the cafeteria with a view to the Meuse river.

The match making event in Namur offered a lot of added value for both, for those who are already experienced in setting up international cooperation projects and those who are new in this field.

Pawel Sokolowski and Marcin Korzeniowski from Wroclaw University of Science and Technology in Poland are currently involved in two CORNET projects and participated in the Partnering Event with the objective to find partners for new project ideas. They were enthusiastic: “We are positively surprised as we did not expect such a high number of participants. All of the six face-to-face talks we have held were very promising. We will stay in touch with all our conversational partners.”

Presentation Programme

EEN Wallonia

Presentations Elevator Pitch

11_ZENIT ReNewTex
12_GCCIR Canada
13_Aerosint use cases
14_IsaSME Stream Canada
15_Belgian Welding Institute
22_CORNET_Wroclaw Uni
23_IPT Brasil
26_Fraunhofer IPK

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