The importance of SMEs for economic growth in Europe to be one of the themes at the Forum
A large number of representatives from businesses are expected to attend the EU-Russia Innovation Forum this year, which is being held for the third time. The Forum will also host the EBN Congress, the annual meeting of the European Business & Innovation Centre Network. A total of 200 European representatives of global business are expected to attend. Furthermore, the emphasis of the EU–Russia Innovation Forum’s programme this time is more and more on companies. The venue is Lappenranta University of Technology, LUT and the events will take place between 13 and 15 June 2012.
“The essence of cooperation between the EU and Russia lies with companies,” says Minna Martikainen, Vice Rector for International Affairs Lappeenranta University of Technology. “Such cooperation is badly needed, especially in the current economic climate challenging Europe. Small and medium-sized enterprises may have a major role to play in economic growth in Europe. In order to grow, Finnish and European companies need to internationalise.”
Internationalisation depends on SMEs having a knowledge of their target markets. Many businesses are keeping their eyes on developing markets, for example, in China or elsewhere in Asia, although it is Russia that Finns are most familiar with. Trade with Russia goes back a long time, and the Finns have learnt how to operate in Russia.
“People still look down on the Russian market – it is considered to be just too difficult. But companies would find it easiest to expand into that very market. Information is readily available and Russia is nearby - it isn’t an unknown market a long way away. Russia is no longer an opportunity for Finnish companies – it is a necessity,” says Martikainen.
The aim of the EU–Russia Innovation Forum is to crush the myths surrounding trade with Russia and to facilitate cooperation between European and Russian companies by providing useful information and contacts. The event will also cover the following themes: megatrends and their impact on business in the EU and Russia, the importance of training, skills and expertise in internationalisation, and the latest information and business opportunities in different sectors such as nanotechnology and energy. Companies can also take part in a ‘matchmaking’ event to promote networking.
Registration for the Forum has now begun. To register, visit www.eurussiainnoforum.com.
Further information from:
Vice Rector, Professor
Lappeenranta University of Technology
tel. +358 40 569 2652
Representatives of the media are welcome to the events. Attendance requires accreditation at http://www.eurussiainnoforum.com/registration
Enquiries concerning accreditation and requests for information on practical matters should be addressed to:
Tel. +358 44 052 3056
The EU–Russia Innovation Forum and EBN Congress will be held in Lappeenranta 13–15 June 2012. The events are designed to promote practical cooperation between the EU and Russia through information and networking. The themes this year include energy and the environment, logistics and mobility, and business matchmaking. The organisers are the City of Lappeenranta, Lappenranta University of Technology and the European BIC Network.
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