House of Energy’s DeCarb stakeholders were gathered at a meeting arranged by The Danish Business Authority and Business Development Centre Northern Denmark on the establishment of a new decentralized business development strategy. The strategy will integrate the use of the European regional development funds 2021-2027, and as such the meeting also functioned as an evaluation of the governance of the Operational Programme for 2014-2020.

The focus of the stakeholder meeting was the policy addressed by Denmark: The National Operational Programme for the European Regional Development Fund 2014-2020, Innovative and Sustainable Enterprise Growth. In particular, priority axis 3: Energy-efficient and resource-efficient enterprises (thematic objective 4 – investment priority 4f: promoting research and innovation in and adoption of low-carbon technologies). 

The meeting started with a generel introduction to regional business development and the European regional development funds, which was followed by breakout sessions of five thematic areas: 

  1. Green transition, circular economy, resource-efficiency and CO2 reductions. 
  2. Digitalisation, automatization and new technology. 
  3. Turism. 
  4. International competitevness, cluster cooperation and innovation collaboration. 
  5. Qualified workforce. 

In terms of the specific objective of Denmark in DeCarb, the promotion of research and innovation in and adoption of low-carbon technologies, the following point was, amongst others, discussed as evaluation of the governance of the 2014-2020 structural funds in the thematic area 1 of green transistion, circular economy, resource-efficiency and CO2 reductions: 

  • Better scale-up advise for SMEs, especially those working with cleantech. 
  • Better usage of green actions as drivers for SME scale-up and export development. 
  • More assistance to smaller SMEs in handling the increasing digitalization demand. 
  • Better possibilities of getting scale-up funding for SMEs not situated in the larger cities. 
  • More help to SMEs in developing the business instead of just running the business. 
  • Intensify start-up assistance and funding - it is easier to scale-up than to start-up.  
  • Better knowledge in SMEs of the possibility for EU funding. 
  • More focused help in SMEs new leadership overtake, which currently cannot get start-up help. 
  • Innovation is not only high technology – a broader approach to innovation. 
  • More lobbying in getting public procurement to buy low-carbon goods. 
  • The sustainable energy transition of an SME should be the means to an economic growth – not the goal.