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ETPOA Green Talk: How TPOs can Assist their SMEs in being Informed of, and Using the EU Funds Dedicated to Sustainable Development?

Sustainable development is one of the main priorities of the European Commission, with 60% of the total European Commission funding to Member States related to sustainable development issues. Therefore, TPOCC has decided to guide TPOs in the use of EU funds related to sustainable development by organising a webinar on 27 May 2021: the first ETPOA Green talk was held, entitled: “How TPOs can assist their SMEs in being informed of, and using the EU funds dedicated to sustainable development?”. The objectives of this webinar were, first, to obtain an understanding of the European Commission’s policy framework. To this end, Thomas Pellerin Carlin, Director of the Jacques Delors Energy Centre, presented the main European Green Deal guidelines. In a second step, this webinar was an opportunity to discover the most relevant EU funds for concrete support to SMEs, start-ups and scale-ups. Penelope Nabet, Policy Officer at the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), presented their relevant tools. EIT aims to increase Europe’s competitiveness, sustainable economic growth and job creation by strengthening cooperation between leading companies, educational institutions and research organisations.

In addition, the webinar offered a special focus on the growth sector of green hydrogen. Firstly, Francois Paquet, Impact Director at The Renewable Hydrogen Coalition, gave a presentation on the role of renewable hydrogen in achieving climate neutrality. This was completed by testimony from Emmanuel Galland, Trade advisor on Energy Transition at Business France, on concrete events and actions executed by his TPO to support French companies involved in green hydrogen. For instance, participation in the Hannover Trade Fair and cooperation with Spanish and Italian TPOs in organising B2B meetings are some of the good practices he shared. Finally, Jose Manuel Capitan Romero, Program Management Officer at DG INTPA (European Commission) provided us with an outside perspective on the green deal, relying on its external dimension as well as the role of the private sector (in particular by presenting the functioning of the European Fund for Sustainable Development).

More than 50 participants followed this first green talk. This shows our TPOs are truly interested in these issues. For this reason, TPOCC would like to make this event the starting point for the creation of a sub-working group on sustainable development issues. With the planned creation of another sub-group, this time on digital issues, TPOCC will be able to cover the two main priorities of the European Union for the coming period, namely the digital and ecological transition.