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With 53 members, the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) was created in 1996 to foster dialogue and cooperation between Asia and Europe. It aims to strengthen relations between the two continents.

Since 2011, a working group has focused specifically on the best ways to position SMEs in the eco-innovation segment, focusing on information, training and future potential.

The delegation hosted by Luxinnovation on September 11th and 12th at the City of Science and Research in Esch-Belval was led by the ASEM SMEs Eco-Innovation Center (ASEIC) and its Secretary General Sejong Kim. It included 18 people representing Bulgaria, Cambodia, Denmark, Germany, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, South Korea and Vietnam.

An open platform in eco-innovation

Discussions focused on the need to further develop the ongoing activities of the Asia-Europe SME Open Innovation Platform. The main aim is to promote ASEIC’s research activities and to develop e-learning platforms for SMEs in the field of eco-innovation. The establishment of internship programmes within companies on both continents is also being implemented.

However,  it is also about developing consulting services, especially in terms of strategic forecasts and follow-up of a platform of eco-entrepreneur networks.

All these proposals will be presented on 18th and 19th October in Brussels during the 12th ASEM Asia-Europe Summit.

An atmosphere of innovative research

“A country like South Korea is already very advanced in this direction,” says Georges Schaaf, Head of Sector Development – CleanTech & Manufacturing Industry at Luxinnovation. “The idea now is to share this experience elsewhere in the world. Asian SMEs are looking for an international hub and Luxembourg is clearly positioning itself as a potential host country. It could also be done with the support of the Greater Region.”

In addition to the working meetings, the two-day programme also included visits to the Silversquare co-working space, the House of Entrepreneurship and the Stuff eco-district managed by the Kirchberg Fund.

Following on from this visit, I look forward to building on these substantial measures to  further strengthen together the Eco-Innovation competence of ASEM SMEs,” Sejong Kim said. “There is a Korean proverb that says, “even a piece of paper is lighter when lifted together”. Perhaps the moment has come for us all to promote, here in Luxembourg, sustainable growth in a spirit of eco-innovation. We appreciate the atmosphere of innovative research and the spirit of cooperation  in Luxembourg.

 

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