The Gothenburg region has one of the most advanced district heating systems in the world and there are many companies in the region that provide innovative solutions for smarter heating. Wideco Sweden is one of these companies, which are now increasingly looking at foreign markets for expansion, including China. The company offers efficient leak detection and sealing concepts to firms in the district heating, district cooling and industrial sectors.
“Our expansion initiative in China has so far been extremely successful and opened doors for us that would have been impossible for us to open by ourselves,” says Robert Andersson, Head of Sales at Wideco Sweden AB.
The process from inital meeting…
It all started on March 24th last year. Green Gothenburg arranged a program for the director of China’s National Energy Administration, Nur Bekri, as a part of the Swedish program orchestrated by the Government Offices of Sweden. Topics addressed during the meeting were green ports, biofuel production and smart city cooling and heating systems. The director was very interested in the subjects and saw the export potential for Swedish companies within the energy sector.
Later during spring, on April 27th, Green Gothenburg arranged a program “Smart energy solutions – for cleaner air” for the Beijing Gas and Heating Engineering Design Institute. Innovative cleantech companies were invited to join the program and pitch their solutions, and Wideco was one of them.
Sweden responded with a trip to China in June, under the direction of the Swedish energy minister, Ibrahim Baylan. Thanks to the Green Gothenburg program for the Chinese Energy minister, Business Region Göteborg was invited and brought with it representatives from three energy companies from the west of Sweden.
During the Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM8) meeting, the exhibition “Mission Innovations” took place. It was planned by the Government Offices of Sweden and the Swedish Energy Agency in collaboration with Business Region Göteborg/Green Gothenburg.
Green Gothenburg participated at the Swedish Energy Agency stand and Wideco Sweden presented its monitoring solutions in district heating and cooling for a delegation from Beijing which included Wan Gang, the Chinese Minister of Science &Technology. A meeting was also booked with Beijing Gas & Heat, provider of district heating in Beijing, representatives of which Wideco had previously met in Gothenburg during the study visit.
… to expansion in China
For Wideco Sweden, one year has passed since the first meeting with Chinese representatives.
“The result is that China will be a central part of our internationalization work. We aim to achieve annual growth of 20 -25% in the coming 3-4 years through expansion to new markets. Key success factors for us have been the opening of doors and dialogue with decision makers such as Wan Gang, Minster of Science & Technology, as well as contact and meetings with numerous leading players in the industry, says Robert Andersson, Wideco Sweden AB.
Green Gothenburg provider of opportunities
Bernt Svensén, senior advisor at Business Region Göteborg AB, Cluster & Innovation, Green Gothenburg, who participated in all the steps in this success story, summarizes.
“The recipe for us at Green Gothenburg is to provide contacts, networks and knowledge so that all pieces of the puzzle can fall into their correct places. Add the right timing and the possibility for business internationalization is there for the taking for the companies involved.”
Sofia McConell, head of Green Gothenburg, stresses the purpose of Green Gothenburg:
“We work to increase international and national recognition of the Gothenburg region as a leader in green system solutions. This work attracts many international decision makers to visit the region and thus we can offer valuable business contacts for our companies providing sustainable solutions.”
The success story – best practice – of Wideco Sweden, is one of many, and we look forward to reporting many more in the future.