NEXPO 2013 International Municipal Fair, organized from 25-27 September 2013 in Rijeka and Opatija, the Republic of Croatia, under the motto “Paving the Road to EU Integration”, brought together over 2000 participants from local governments, businesses and development agencies.

In its second edition, this largest SEE municipal event offered one more important service: opportunities for matchmaking, through a Matchmaking Platform, which enables the municipalities and the private sector to meet, present each other and identify collaboration opportunities in the areas of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.

The interaction started a few months before NEXPO, with the online Matchmaking Tool available at the NEXPO 2013 website, where participants were able to post their profiles, learn more about other NEXPO 2013 participants and schedule matchmaking meetings during NEXPO.

Until the event, 162 profiles were posted in the Online Matchmaking Tool and 52 meetings were pre-scheduled by 30 entities. There were 5876 profile views before and 1064 profile views only the first week after NEXPO 2013.

The talks continued beyond the matchmaking meetings, at the Mayors’ Cafe, workshops, business presentations and exhibition booths. “We set a goal to make 100 contacts during NEXPO, but we have achieved this during the first day. We are very satisfied with NEXPO, from what it offers and the whole atmosphere, which is great”, said Jasna Radman from the company GDI Gisdata.   

As part of the Matchmaking Platform design process, NALAS conducted a Needs Assessment, to determine the needs of the South-East Europe (SEE) municipalities and the business sector in the area of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, as well as their matchmaking priorities. The findings of the Needs Assessment are presented in the Publication “Matchmaking for a Greener Europe” . Further on, the publication explains the matchmaking platform and its elements. Finally, it compiles SEE local government profiles and plans for EE/RE investments in the next five years, as well as profiles of companies active in the EE/RE sector. This publication provides a valuable contribution for getting to know each other and enhancing the collaboration among SEE municipalities and the private sector, for the benefit of the citizens and a greener and healthier South-East Europe.

The Matchmaking Platform has been developed with support from the Open Regional Fund for South East Europe, Modernization of Municipal Services (ORF MMS).