Aurelia Turbines: EEN Part of the Path Leading to EU Funding

His plan was to move to Berlin for a couple of years, but so it happens that Matti Malkamäki has been calling Berlin his home for thirteen years.

Matti Malkamäki, CEO of Aurelia Turbines. Photo credits: Aurelia Turbines.

Having a strong background in the biogases industry, Malkamäki noticed that there was a need for CHP solutions, i.e. combined heat and power production, especially in small and medium sized industries. These were the building blocks for the founding of Aurelia Turbines in 2013, in collaboration with Lappeenranta University of Technology.

Aligned with EU´s Green Deal

The journey that lead Aurelia Turbines to receive over two million euros of funding has been a valuable learning experience during which capabilities, networks and practices have evolved.

The company received phase 1 funding for the Horizon 2020 SME instrument with their first application. However, Phase 2 funding was a more challenging process, as the number of applications rose. The turning point was when they found a consultant whom highlighted the paramount importance to align the application with the EU objectives.

Because Aurelia Turbines is focused on turbine technology, many associate it with emissions and pollution. Thus, the focus on EU funding was changed: the bio fuel focus changed to clean hydrogen which is aligned with the EU’s Green Deal.  Aurelia Turbines received more than € 2 million in funding under the EU Horizon 2020 SME instrument, for FUTURBINE project.

International Networks

During the journey, a variety of international networks have been created. Business Finland has used the company as a success story and this has spread the word of the company, resulting in having contacts around the world.

EASME, The Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises of the European Commission, has for example organized CEO day in which companies that have received EU funding have been invited to Brussels. Malkamäki says that the day was a fantastic opportunity, as the outcome was new contacts and learnings; he warmly recommends to participate in these kinds of events for all those who have been granted EU funding. Enterprise Europe Network is also a program coordinated by EASME.

Contacts to Baltics via Partnerships Database

Also Enterprise Europe Network helped in networking. Advisor Maarit Vuorio helped the company in creating a partnership business request to Partnerships Database (Yrityskontaktipörssi in Finnish). Here the company found contacts to the Baltics (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland). The international networks of EEN gave not only contacts, but also local knowledge. Aurelia Turbines received lists of local companies in Poland and Estonia, so the local knowledge was invaluable. Vuorio appraises the good collaboration within the Enterprise Europe Network.

Power of Networking

Aurelia Turbines heads to the future. Together with a German partner a power plant is built, which is an important reference for both the companies. EU Funding has not only given funding, but also the opportunity to get to know partners and suppliers that have technology that others do not yet have. Also the other contacts established during these years are greatly valued.

It is essential for them that they do not want to do all by themselves, but rather make good connections in networks and create together. Malkamäki enhances that networks are an integral part of the company`s industry and values. “It is in our foundation to want to build networks.”

Read more: FUTURBINE project, Aurelia Turbines

Writer: Elina Satta