European clusters work on the internationalization of innovative solutions for various sectors of sustainability in Brazil

The European Union has played an important role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Currently the bloc has a target to reduce 40% by 2030, and a study by scientists has shown that emissions dropped 1.7% from 2018 to 2019 in the region. In its 28 member states, they have implemented effective solutions to promote sustainability in different sectors such as renewable energy, precision agriculture and energy efficiency and, with initiatives such as Low Carbon Business Action in Brazil, they promote the internationalization of technologies that can be replicated and adapted to other realities.

European companies that have innovative technologies have been meeting through Clusters with research institutes in associations that discuss ideas and resources to support the competitiveness of regional strategic industrial sectors. The European Cluster Collaboration Platform (ECCP) is the main action of the Programme of Internationalisation of Clusters for SMEs, funded by COSME (Programme for the Competitiveness of Enterprises and SMEs), released by DG GROW of the European Commission in 2016.

An example of collaboration for internationalization of European solutions in the low carbon sector is CLUST-ER AGRIFOOD, from Italy, which has supported the transfer of precision farming technologies to Brazil, with three projects participating in Low Carbon Brazil. One of them, created by means of a joint-venture with a Brazilian consultancy, will be able to reduce water and fertilizer consumption in the field by up to 20% and pesticide consumption by up to 15%.

The renewable energy sector also receives support from European associations, which in addition to companies of different sizes, are composed of researchers, consultants and engineers who work with various innovation and collaborative infrastructures. Some of the clusters that have supported intercontinental partnerships through Low Carbon Brazil in this segment are German EnviMV, the European Association of Research and Technology Organisations (EARTO), Italian Lombardy Energy Cleantech Cluster and Bulgarian Green Synergy Cluster.

The European cluster EARTO is an association that brings together over 150,000 researchers, engineers and technicians for the promotion of innovative solutions in the renewable energy sector and for the sustainable development of industries. In Brazil, it is supporting a pilot project expecting the construction and commercialization of a 1 MW solar photovoltaic (PV) plant in the state of Goiás. On the other hand, EnviMV is supporting two projects participating in Low Carbon Brazil in the biogas sector, which will use technology from European group ME-LE for the treatment of waste from agriculture and industry, applying anaerobic digestion processes and fermentation for decentralised and renewable energy production.

Belgian KIC Climate Clusters is focused on urban transitions and sustainable production systems and supports three projects participating in Low Carbon Brazil. The association brings together business and academic partners as well as from public sectors to create specialized knowledge networks, also identifying investment funds that promote innovation. One of the initiatives supported in Brazil expects the transfer of technology from a seasonal climate forecast module to help agribusiness decision making, a sector that contributes more than 20% of the country's Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Austrian Green Tech Cluster, in turn, promotes R&D initiatives, assessment of technological trends and market opportunities in the sustainability sector, as well as the establishment of global contacts. At Low Carbon Brazil there are four projects supported by the association. One of them expects the construction and operation of an urban farm on the roof of a building in downtown São Paulo, the largest city in Latin America. Another project is focused on the design of a prototype biomethane-powered vehicle, the CH4PA, to serve agricultural producers.

"These associations promote valuable discussions, facilitate the exchange of experiences and seek to promote competitiveness by means of broad strategies that allow to take truly innovative technologies to other countries. We have identified a lot of synergy between European and Brazilian companies that participate in our program and we really believe that Brazil has a great potential to benefit from solutions that contribute to generate more intelligence and efficiency in different sectors of sustainability", observes Mercedes Blázquez, leader of Low Carbon Brazil.

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