The first Twinning Meeting of I AM GREEN project took place on Monday 29 of March 2021, and it was hosted by the Italian partner Sinergie. The main goals of the event were:
- Presenting the innovation ecosystem in the three project countries: Italy, Israel and Ireland.
- Launching a debate on the perspectives of all the actors involved in the innovation process: start-ups, eco-investors, consolidated companies, incubators and innovation agencies.
- Identifying the main challenges and opportunities for green innovation.
- Colleting feedback for the draft of the Design Option Paper.
The main topics of discussion
The 1st Twinning Meeting was very successful, as each presentation was followed by lively discussions on start-ups, acceleration and incubation processes, the roles of seed and venture capital, and the overall eco-system for green innovation. As far as the Italian landscape is concerned, two speakers presented the realities of regional and local experiences, which are far more significant than a national level uptake due to the marked differences between regions. First, Lucie Sanchez presented how a private network such as ART-ER supports start-ups in the Emilia Romagna territory and enhances innovation on a local level through a number of networking and training activities. Secondly, Enrico Deluchi from PoliHub, the university incubator of the Polytechnic of Milan, explained how it focuses on developing a strategy to incubate and accelerate deep tech companies, and on the importance to interact with international networks in the field of digital innovation.
From Ireland, we heard from Kevin Donnelly and Keith Brock from High Potential Start-up Unit (HPSU) of EI, who focused in particular on how a state agency such as Enterprise Ireland needs to provide a transparent and fair support to start-ups, by enhancing in particular the most strategic experiences which succeed in answering the most current market trends. Then, Isabelle O’Keeffe from Sure Valley Ventures presented the point of view of an investor from the seed capital industry in screening and assessing start-ups.
The Israeli innovation ecosystem was represented by Yoav Fisher from HealthIL – Israel Innovation Institute who delivered an original speech on the process to assess innovative solutions, which goes beyond technology and the team, to also include specialties and technology components. Finally, Jonathan Haran, innovative entrepreneur and founder of Village in a box presented his idea for a circular redesign of city infrastructure.
In the second part of the meeting, two break-out sessions on the challenges and opportunities for green innovation were organised, with the groups taking part in a fruitful exchange of opinions. The first group discussed the challenges of climate change, energy and digital transition and a sustainable lifestyle. The second group talked about similar topics, and also focused on the opportunity to invest in sustainability as a long-term solution to the most urgent and current problems. Finally, the meeting was concluded by two young entrepreneurs who presented their business ideas: Federico D’Albenzio spoke about MIPU Predictive Hub, an AI-powered solution for energy management and maintenance; Mario Moschetta presented E-Co Work, a co-working solution targeted to digital nomads, who are thus invited to re-populate little villages and experience a slower and sustainable lifestyle.