On 14 and 15 November, the European Innovation Council (EIC) pilot and SUEZ, in partnership with Naturgy, promoted a Corporate Day in Barcelona. 19 companies funded by the SME Instrument strand from the EIC pilot, shared their vision towards a circular economy with top corporate representatives.

The event was organised by Business Acceleration Services available to companies funded by the EIC pilot and was held at the Museu Agbar de les Aigües, a drinking water pumping station and a museum in Cornellà de Llobregat, Barcelona, Spain, as courtesy of the local water company Aigües de Barcelona All the companies present were selected by their innovative approaches to water management and distribution, waste management, air quality, data analytics, IoT, energy efficiency, asset inspection, and predictive management.

On the evening of the first day we attended a networking dinner and got a private tour of the Museu Agbar de les Aigües where we learned more about the water distribution system in Barcelona. On the morning of the second day, we had the chance to pitch Pydro to a jury composed of SUEZ and guest partners. The afternoon was reserved for one-to-one meetings, in an informal and relaxed setting, we were able to go in-depth into our business development needs and discuss possible partnerships and business ventures.

Speaking about the event, Andrew Collier, Digital Open Innovation Leader at SUEZ, said: “Open Innovation is really important for SUEZ because SUEZ is a big company and it doesn’t always move very fast, but because SMEs are more agile they can help us bring new solutions to market faster.” He also added “Today, we’ve met companies working on IoT, big data analytics and artificial intelligence. I’m confident that some of them can become great partners and help us bring new solutions to market for our customers or to improve our internal operations.”

María Monzó, Director of Innovation and Knowledge at Aigües de Barcelona, also shared her impressions on the event: “When we’re speaking about entrepreneurship, the two key issues are the idea and the team behind that idea – the strength and motivation of the people to develop the idea, to carry it out and to make it successful. I think we found both of these things on the companies we saw here today.”

“We’re very happy to have been selected for this event promoted by the EIC pilot. We believe our solutions are aligned with the business of SUEZ and we hope to start a partnership that can help us better understand our customers needs and further develop our product.” Mulundu Sichone, Co-Founder & CEO (Pydro)