Around 20 senior executives from 14 environmental technology companies in the North West took part in a major networking event organised by Invest Northern Ireland.
The event, held at Invest NI’s North West Local Office at Springtown, was designed to assist the development of a business sector that is growing strongly in importance as a result of economic and social trends which are being strengthened by recent EU initiatives to promote a sharper focus on sustainable development.
Kevin Helferty, NWLO manager, says: “The European Commission recently pinpointed the environment as a vehicle for faster economic growth. In the North West, we have a small but significant cluster of companies covering a range of technologies, including energy efficiency, renewable energy sources, waste minimisation and recycling.
“The business opportunity is substantial. In 2003, for example, the global market for environmental goods and services was estimated at over £300 billion. The European eco-industries sector has also enjoyed a growth rate of around five per cent a year since the mid-90s.
“We are working with the cluster to encourage companies to focus on innovation and on exploiting the global business by exploring opportunities to export their products or services. The networking event was a key element in this process and was designed to provide a platform for participating companies to exchange information and knowledge and to facilitate business within the cluster.
“Invest NI can assist companies to expand their business by providing finance and other practical support in areas such as innovation and sales outside Northern Ireland through Green Technology schemes and R&D programmes such as START and COMPETE, as well as Passport to Export,” he adds.
Taking part in the networking evening were representatives from Business in the Community and North West Marketing.
Companies participating in the Environmental Technologies networking event:- Alpha Environmental, Coleraine; Bricklin Waste, Derry; City Industrial Waste, Derry; Croskery Environmental, Coleraine; JW Corry, Derry; Data Protection (NI), Derry; Erin Recyclers, Kinlough; Exus Energy, Derry; Grease Trap Services, Magherafelt; ISL, Magherafelt; Kingfisher Environmental, Claudy; Londonderry Port and Harbour; Plastic Recycling Solutions, Derry; and Rural Regeneration, Derry.