Last week the DesignPro Renewables marketing and business development team had a very exciting and busy week exhibiting at the 17th Annual African Utility Week in Cape Town, South Africa from the 15th to the 17th of May (2018).

African Utility Week, according to their website, brings together over 7000 delegates and 300 suppliers for a jam packed 3-day exhibition and comprehensive conference programme. The event is the largest gathering of energy and water professionals focused on all aspects of the provision of energy services to the African market, including top decision makers, corporate representatives, investors, experts and the most active SMEs in the continent.

DesignPro Renewables exhibited as part of the EU Pavilion alongside 13 of its fellow H2020 SME Instrument top innovators from 10 different countries across Europe. Innovative projects ranged from heat storage (Energy Nest), solar water distillation (Aqua abib), satellite data acquisition systems (ICEYE), smart power solutions (PowerPlug) and energy IoT services (Wattabit) to name just a few.

The EU’s top innovator SMEs with EU Ambassador to South Africa Marcus Cornaro

The group of selected SMEs exhibited together as part of the first ever European Pavilion at Africa Utility Week. With thanks to the impressive work carried out by the SME Instrument-Overseas Trade Fair team there was constant activity at the pavilion as representatives from each company engaged with conference delegates and attendees creating important networking connections and finding potential customers. Each of the SMEs in attendance was provided with unique matchmaking services by the Overseas Trade Fair team and there was a high level interest in the projects from potential partners and customers. DesignPro Renewables met with key players in a number of government agencies, key associations, private investors and a number of large companies well established in the South African and wider African markets.

Sales and Marketing Manager Roisin Mc Cormack interviewed by ESI Africa.

The DesignPro Renewables team were kept very busy for the week attending workshops and talks as well as doing project pitches, TV interviews, project promotions and business to business meetings with interested companies.  One of the highlights of the week was meeting and discussing the hydrokinetic energy potential of Africa with the EU Ambassador to South Africa, Dr. Marcus Cornaro and his colleagues. Ambassador Cornaro later stated:

“Getting to know these companies under the European Pavilion has been mind-blowing. Business models and solutions are impressive, solid and sound and ready for global markets. The EU funding is making a difference supporting these highly innovative companies. This Pavilion is a great opportunity to showcase Europe as a solution for one of the most pressing problems in South Africa and in the whole continent”.

DesignPro Renewables also used African Utility Week as an opportunity to publicly unveil the first illustrations of our 25kW device that is to be deployed at the SEENEOH test site in France shortly. The illustrations show the device in both operation and maintenance mode and were very positively received.

The SME Instrument – OTF team hard at work.

DesignPro Renewables would like to extend our congratulations to the event organisers Spintelligent on pulling off such a successful event, to our fellow EU SME exhibitors for a great week of exhibiting and to the SME Instrument-Overseas Trade Fair team for their hard work before, during and after the event. We look forward to using the connections made at this event to strengthening our position in this exciting market in the future.