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Santa Bárbara foundation hosts the Interreg REMIX event for EU Cluster Matchmaking

Events / 25-04-2019

The EU Cluster Matchmaking event was held this month at the Santa Bárbara Foundation facilities in Folgoso de la Rivera (León), in the framework of the European project Interreg REMIX. The main goal of this meeting was to stimulate European networks of interregional collaboration and boost innovation as the main strategy to promote growth and competitiviness in the European mining sector.

Speakers from nine EU countries (Spain, Germany, Belgium, Slovakia, Finland, France, Greece, Poland and Portugal) and several industry organizations, experts and public authorities (such as CONFEDEM, the Regional Government of Lapland, the Portuguese Cluster for Mineral Resources and the Finnish business organization Business Joensuu, among others) attended this event. They had the opportunity to analyze the potential of European industrial clusters in the mining sector to boost the competitiveness of their members through innovation.

The session began with the interventions of Ricardo González Mantero, general director of Energy and Mines in Castilla y León, Beatriz Casado, head of the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Department at ICE and Rodrigo Chanes Vicente, policy officer on Energy Efficiency and Raw Materials of the European Commission (DG Grow).

Representatives of different EU clusters, companies and other entities shared their best practices regarding interregional cooperation and the creation of new networks and synergies. They had the opportunity to present their cluster organizations, functions and structure, highlighting the main opportunities and services offered to their members, the most frequent barriers they face in their activities and the challenges they find to promote innovation and competitiveness in the mining sector.

A panel discussion followed, where attendees explored new ways to improve collaboration, coordination and learning actions between clusters and their members. They also discussed on how to offer more specialised and customised services for SMEs, and defined new collaboration strategies between European mining regions to promote competitiveness, emphasizing the need to coordinate efforts at all levels.

Santiago Cuesta, general manager at ICAMCyL, presented the Iberian Cluster for Sustainable Mining, launched in 2018. This cluster aims at promoting the participation of its members in international R&D projects, exploring new business opportunities, influencing European directives related to the mining sector and carry out a permanent technological surveillance to allow its members remain at the forefront of the new sustainable mining.

The event concluded with a visit to the factory of Toral de los Vados and the quarry of Corullón, owned by Cementos Cosmos, in which we could see first-hand two of the reference facilities of the cement industry in the region of El Bierzo. We also visited Energy Museum in Ponferrada.

This event was part of the Interreg REMIX project. The main objective of REMIX is to encourage efficient and environmentally and socially acceptable production of raw materials, including critical raw materials. REMIX brings together ten partners from nine EU countries, coordinated by the Regional Council of Lapland (Finland), and has a budget of almost two million euros.

More information about the Interreg REMIX project >

Find more details in the programme flyer >

Image: Santa Bárbara Foundation.

Video: La 8 Bierzo.



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