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Early presence crucial for overseas success

Green Business Norway plan open an office in the Nordic Innovation Incubator in Masdar City, UAE
  • Published 28/06/2016
For Norwegian biowaste management company Cambi, physical presence over time has been key for their international success. A Nordic Innovation co-funded business intelligence programme have just might opened the door for a successful entrance to the UAE for Nordic cleantech companies.


Right from their foundation in Norway in 1989, biowaste management company Cambi have had a global approach. Today, they are a globally leading provider of innovative technology for converting sludge to renewable energy and high-quality biosolids with more than 50 plants worldwide.


“Cambi does most of its business out in the world. For us it is important to go in early in the process with our customers, so local presence is a huge advantage”, explains VP for Corporate Development at Cambi, Christian Isachsen.


That approach has led the waste management company to open offices in nine countries and doing 90 percent of their business outside Norway. Now Isachsen and Cambi believe their next success might be in the United Arab Emirates.



Systemic solutions as door opener

The UAE business opportunity is a result of Cambi’s collaboration with Green Business Norway (GBN) and their business intelligence programme, which is co-funded by Nordic Innovation. The programme is a network programme aiming to establish a Nordic platform for positioning and implementing cleantech solutions in the Gulf region.


“The dialogue we have with Cambi and the customer in the United Arab Emirates now is a direct result of us introducing a systemic solution where Cambi was part of it and other Nordic businesses contributing complementary technologies”, says GBN CEO Thor Sverre Minnesjord.


The systemic solution approach also resonates with Cambi, according to Christian Isachsen. “Networks are very important for us. There are many processes going on in a water treatment plant and delivering a solution together with other companies can be a great advantage”.



Presence over time gives results

By representing a Nordic network, rather than individual companies, Minnesjord believes they have a much better dialogue with potential customers. Their long-time physical presence – GBN have one person working full-time in the gulf region – are also giving results. Now they are looking to open an office in the Nordic Innovation Incubator in Masdar City in the United Arab Emirates.


“We have now been present with a network of world-leading innovative Nordic cleantech companies able to offer complementary technologies for more than two years. That has allowed us and the companies a kind of access to customers, especially in the public sector, we would not have managed to get otherwise”, says Minnesjord.