CB2East has officially started!

On November 17 CB2East project partners Finnish Water Forum, Gren Net Finland and CleanTech Latvia gathered its partners and other interested parties to the new projects’ kick-off event which took place in Break Sokos Hotel Flamingo, Vantaa, Helsinki, Finland. Overall the kick-off event gathered more than 20 industry representatives and entrepreneurs from Finland and Latvia.

The event was opened by the managing director of the projects’ Lead Partner Finnish Water Forum Katri Mehtonen. During her opening speech she wished success and fruitfull collaborations for all the project and event participants.

In the first part of the CB2East opening event participants were introduced with the project and the planned activities. Iakov Dondych, project manager of Finnish Water Forum, presented the overall of the project and its main activities packages – pilots (business leads) in North-West Russia (concentrating on activities in St. Petersburg) and pilots in Central Asia.

Planned activities, outcomes and possibilities to get involved in the project activities in North-West Russia (St. Petersburg) was introduced by project manager of Green Net Finland Evilina Lutfi. Her partner Nikolay Pitirimov, Executive Director of the International consortium “St. Petersburg Cleantech Cluster for urban environment” gave an insight on projects, cluster activities and updates of industry in St. Petersburg.

Project activities, outcomes and latest updates of political and financial situation in Central Asia was introduced by Partner of CLEANTECH LATVIA Janis Zviedris who is also a representative of “Vega 1”, Ltd. which was also presented in companies’ pitching. Overall the Finnish and Latvian companies networking pitching session introduced 9 companies with interests to work internationally as well as to participate in CB2East creating base for further discussions in interactive sessions.


A major part of every projects’ implementation is the financing, so the participants were also introduced with NEFCO which is an organization financing environment investments. Its representative Maria Maliniemi, investment manager, presented different options for environmental project funding and gave an insight into NEFCO’s recent projects in such countries as Russia, Belarus and Ukraine.

In the second part of the event companies were divided into two working groups depening on their interests and working scope – one of the groups was working on project activities in St. Petersburg while the other was working on the activities in Central Asia.

St. Petersburg working group was lead by representatives of Green Net Finland – Suvi Häkämies and Evilina Lutfi. At the end of the session they admitted that the session was successfull although only one discussion at that short time is not enough for a successfull 3 year plan for the whole project and to cover all companies’ interests. Central Asian working group was lead by Finnish Water Forum which also said that the discussion they held was fruitfull although there were a lot of activities which were not covered due to the time restriction.

At the end the project partners concluded that the work should definitely be continued, companies interests should be gathered and more events like this should be made for the project to be as successfull as possible and for the project participants to get more insights and to foster their cooperation.

More pictures from the event are added to Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/cleantechlatvia/albums/72157661498158756

CB2East is a Finnish-Latvian collaboration project aiming at strenghtening Central Baltic Areas’ economical competitiveness by creating commercially targeted open innovation platforms in between Latvia and Finland. Key areas are sustainable eco-efficiency and water expertise solution needs in North-West Russia and Central Asia.

It creates unique combinations of competences with good potential to develop specialized solutions to the target market needs. These strategic platforms support transnational cluster’s intermediaries on their operational projects helping companies in their business development and fruitful commercialization of joint ideas internationally. Platforms help to create concept and capability development, improve resource management, knowledge sharing, new market exploration and help companies to plug in to global value chains.