ECO-INNOVATIONat the heart of European policies
To guide potential cleantech investors through the diverse environmental technology sector in southwestern Germany, the Ministry of the Environment, Climate Protection and the Energy Sector of the German region of Baden-Württemberg introduced in 2011 an online ‘Competence Atlas’ (
This has since been updated. The latest version, now known as ‘CompA RE’, the Competence Atlas Resource Efficiency and Environmental Technologies Baden-Württemberg, went live in July 2014.
CompA RE lists about 400 companies and research institutes. Each profile available via the tool is associated with at least one area of cleantech competence under the headings environmental technology, energy efficiency and material efficiency. Potential investors or cleantech partners can search and filter the database in a number of ways, including by sector, by clusters and networks, and by awards that green innovations in the region have received.
Translations into English, Spanish and Chinese show the international ambition of the project. Philipp Oswald, Team Leader Environment Technology at Umwelttechnik BW, says, “the number of users is increasing every month. In March 2015 we counted 2000 different users who spent an average of four minutes on the site”. About 20 percent of the users come from abroad. Umwelttechnik BW is a state agency that together with Baden Württemberg International (bw-i) manages CompA RE.
What makes CompA RE unique according to Oswald is that it enables users to precisely filter the information. In addition, the companies and institutes in the database manage their own profiles, with a range of options including videos and images. “Instead of a regular database, we wanted to offer our users a modern online presence,” Oswald says.
As the new CompA RE has only been online for less than a year, it is too early to tell what its impact has been. However, the regional government is committed to expanding the tool. One aim is to increase the number of companies listed. Another plan is to improve and increase its functions in order to make the atlas even more user-friendly.
CompA RE could also prove to be a template for broader initiatives. “On the basis of the existing concept of CompA RE, we’re also planning a mapping of the Environmental Technology Network Danube Region (ETNDR),” Oswald says. The establishment of the ETNDR is part of the European Union Strategy for the Danube Region, an ongoing cooperation initiative involving a range of partners from countries along the Danube (see http://www.danube-region.eu).
The cost of CompA RE is a medium five-figure sum, according to Umwelttechnik BW.
CompA RE is available at http://compa.pure-bw.de