The idea behind Green Partnerships originated from the business promotion efforts done connection with COP15, the UN Climate Summit in Copenhagen, in 2009. Companies from all over the world came to Copenhagen to showcase their products at the Bright Green exposition, including small innovative American cleantech companies as well as large enterprises with various green operations and initiatives. Many of the American attendees remarked that they saw a number of opportunities to collaborate with Danish firms, but did not have the opportunity to identify or meet with them amidst the swirl of COP15 activities.
Green Partnerships 2010
As a direct result of this, the U.S. Embassy and Confederation of Danish Industry, who organized the Bright Green conference, proposed co-hosting an intense one-day workshop entitled Green Partnerships in May 2010, bringing together large American enterprises and innovative Danish cleantech firms. The particular focus of the event should be to facilitate the creation of new partnerships and providing opportunities for collaboration with the focus of building sustainable energy economies.
The first Green Partnerships event introduced six large American companies to a more than 60 innovative businesses from Denmark and the Faroese Islands. The event was based on a compact and time-efficient setting where companies through a series of “speed dating” had a chance to present their ideas and businesses for the American Anchor Firms. For the small and medium sized Danish businesses, this was a rare chance to showcase their technologies to the appropriate-level representatives from suitably matched American companies.
Rather than relying on plenary presentations and seminars, Green Partnerships was primarily one-on-one interactions in short, pre-scheduled meetings, allowing each participant to meet as many firms as possible. We also introduced representatives from Washington based U.S. government agencies, the American Chamber of Commerce and relevant U.S. Embassy personnel to the event. The first Green Partnerships event concluded with a networking reception at the U.S. Ambassador’s residence, providing the particiapnats with more changes to network and to finalize discussions.
The Green Partnerships 2010 event was funded through sponsorships and fees from the participants. Registrations and payments were handled by the Confederation of Danish Industry and lunch sponsorship was provided by the American Chamber of Commerce in Denmark. The event was a great success with more than 150 one-on-one meetings in one day and with several new connections made. These will hopefully lead to increased trade and investments and raise the competiveness of American and Danish companies all over the world.
It was early on decided that Green Partnerships should be replicated in the United States. The Embassy wanted to expose large Danish companies with small and innovative American companies and make sure Danish companies were aware of the many important developments in the country. Danish companies are providing a very important contribution to the development of Green jobs in the United States and it is estimated that more than 19,000 Americans are employed by Danish cleantech companies.
The Embassy and the Confederation of Danish Industry took a further look at the success of the first Green Partnerships event and decided to focus on the Renewable Energy Technology Show (RETECH) show in Washington DC for the matchmaking part. Washington DC was also chosen for the proximity of government institutions and to make use of the Danish Embassy to host a similar networking reception as for the first Green Partnerships event in Copenhagen.
Green Partnerships 2011
On May 31, 2011, Ambassador Fulton hosted a reception to promote the new Green Partnerships event at her Residence. The reception was sponsored by the Confederation of Danish Industry and both the Ambassador and the CEO of the Confederation encouraged the companies to attend. More than 135 business and government executives helped kick-off the second Green Partnerships event. On September 19-22, 2011, Ambassador Fulton led the Green Partnerships delegation to Washington DC. The delegation consisted of a number of leading Danish cleantech companies, representatives from the Faroese government and industry and the American Chamber of Commerce in Denmark.
The four day program included a long series of visits and meetings which included visits to the National Governors Association and to the U.S. Department of Energy where the Acting Assistant Secretary from the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy hosted the group. The companies also met with the Executive Director of Select USA.
A main focus of the visit was the RETECH 2011 trade show taking place at the Washington Convention Center. Here they attended the opening ceremony and had a number of pre-booked one-on-one meetings with small- and innovative American companies that participated in the show. Finally, the delegation was hosted by General Electric and Lockheed Martin for tangible discussions about how to work together and create mutual beneficial partnerships all over the world.