Seven local companies working in renewable energy and environmental technology are working with Invest Northern Ireland to develop business contacts with Cleantech (clean technology) industry leaders in the US.
The group will visit Pittsburgh to take part in a unique Cleantech meet the buyer initiative from 21-24 February. The visit is designed to promote Northern Ireland’s capability in renewable energy and environmental technologies for both trade development and inward investment.
Invest NI has set up the opportunity as part of a Carbon Zero NI programme, which involves the six further education colleges in Northern Ireland and is led by the South West College and the Ireland Institute of Pittsburgh.
Companies taking part in the Invest NI Cleantech meet the buyer initiative will each have a programme of meetings with and visits to many of the leading businesses in the Pittsburgh area. A key feature of the transatlantic collaboration is the facilitation of R&D exchanges that could assist Northern Ireland companies to develop new products and services for opportunities now developing rapidly in the global marketplace.
Tracy Meharg, Invest NI’s Managing Director of Innovation, Research and Technology, commenting on the event, said: “The Cleantech sector in Pittsburgh, comprising companies such as Venture Engineering, Plextronics Inc and Wellspring Worldwide, has demonstrated an ability to grow during a time of difficult economic conditions and has done so through a commitment to R&D and new technology acquisition.
“This unique meet the buyer initiative allows Invest NI to access and maximise the linkages of the Carbon Zero NI Programme and the Ireland Institute of Pittsburgh, with the Cleantech sector in Pittsburgh to the benefit of Northern Ireland businesses which have innovative products and services to offer.
“Assisting the growth of this important industry is one of Invest NI’s strategic priorities. This event will provide a platform for our companies to explore opportunities in the US for joint ventures and partnerships,” she added.
This will be the first dedicated approach to the US market for a number of the companies. The meet the buyer initiative will capitalise on the extensive network of contacts among the business community in Pittsburgh developed by the Carbon Zero NI Programme and the Ireland Institute of Pittsburgh.
In delivering the Carbon Zero Programme South West College and the Ireland Institute have been collaborating on a series of initiatives aimed at developing workforce skills and knowledge of clean technologies in Northern Ireland. This includes the Pittsburgh Sustainable Leadership Programme which currently has a number of graduates from Northern Ireland working in clean technology companies in and around Pittsburgh.