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Unlocking the Potential of Central and Eastern Europe: A Focus on the Green Transition Forum

Green Transitio Forum cover
Image credit: Canva
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The Central and Eastern European (CEE) region is on the brink of a significant transformation towards sustainable development and green technology. This shift is not only essential in the fight against climate change but also represents a unique opportunity to drive innovation, economic growth, and enhance global competitiveness. 

Therefore, from June 26 to June 28, the 4th edition of the Green Transition Forum would emerge as a foundational platform to foster dialogue, showcase best practices, and facilitate the development of the region’s future sustainability roadmap. Founders, investors, researchers, policymakers and other ecosystem stakeholders can purchase their tickets here

Central and Eastern Europe is uniquely positioned to become a leader in green technology. The region boasts a diverse array of natural resources, a well-educated workforce, and a growing ecosystem of startups and tech companies dedicated to sustainability. Yet, the region still faces substantial challenges, including regulatory barriers, funding constraints, and the need for more robust infrastructure.

Addressing Challenges and Accelerating Progress

According to the Prosperity Index of EU countries published by Erste Group in the last week of May, developing the capital markets in the region would provide growth opportunities for years to come and help finance the green transition and further digitalization the region requires. 

The report identifies underdeveloped capital markets and pension systems as significant challenges. “The region … appears to be underdeveloped in terms of pension fund systems, a status that places burdens on private households’ budgets and public finances,” the report said. This underdevelopment could hinder sustainable financing for green transformation initiatives.

To accelerate progress, the building blocks to enable climate tech are being established and gaining momentum. However, the success of the climate tech ecosystem in CEE will likely require a holistic and mission-oriented approach, for example:

  • Coordinating efforts among private equity funds, especially early-stage venture capital, and government programs.
  • Setting up more dedicated climate tech funds.
  • Making climate tech a major R&D priority.
  • Leveraging existing technical capabilities and expertise to build innovative climate tech solutions.
  • Enabling regulation, incentives, and regulatory sandboxes for climate tech initiatives to flourish.
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It’s also important to observe the green transition and digitalization in historically strong sectors for CEE such as manufacturing. 

Last but not least, according to an Ember report, additional wind and solar capacity will lower CEE power prices by 29%, highlighting a practical benefit of the green transition.

The Role of the Green Transition Forum

The Green Transition Forum would look to serve as a vital platform for stakeholders across the region to come together, share insights, and collaborate on innovative solutions. This year’s forum promises to be a cornerstone in the ongoing effort to unlock CEE’s green tech potential.

The special session titled “Unlocking Potential: Driving Innovation in Central and Eastern Europe” will be moderated by Irina Obustarova, Co-founder and CEO of The Recursive. This session is set to feature an impressive lineup of speakers, including Iliana Ivanova, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education, and Youth; Rosen Karadimov, Minister of Innovation and Growth, Bulgaria; Svetoslava Georgieva, Chair of the EIC Fund Board; and Jason King, CEO of Yettel. Their combined expertise and perspectives will provide invaluable insights into the current state of green tech in CEE, the policy frameworks needed to support its growth, and the innovative initiatives driving the region forward.

Some of the other key sessions planned on the agenda include: 

  • Mobilising Capital for Green Projects 
  • Eastern European Agenda in COP29: Leading the Transition to Clean Technologies 
  • The Future of Energy: Renewables and Low Carbon Technologies 
  • Smart Cities: Integrating Sustainability into Urban Development 
  • The Strategic Role of Nuclear Power in Achieving Decarbonisation Goals 
  • Next Generation of Farming and Deep Agritech Solutions: Sustainable and Climate-Smart Agriculture 
  • Trends in Digitalization and Cybersecurity in CEE

A crucial element in unlocking the green tech potential of CEE is the active engagement of all relevant stakeholders. Founders, investors, corporates, policymakers, and representatives from the European Union all have a role to play. This comprehensive approach ensures that diverse perspectives and expertise are brought to the table, fostering a collaborative environment where innovative solutions can thrive. By aligning the interests and efforts of these stakeholders, the region can create a more supportive ecosystem for green tech innovation, facilitating the transition to a sustainable economy.

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Exploring Innovation Horizons

In addition to the main sessions, the forum will feature a “Fire Chat: Innovation Horizons: Exploring CEE’s Path to Global Competitiveness.” This engaging discussion will involve Marc Lemaitre, Director-General for Research and Innovation (RTD) at the European Commission, and Svilen Rangelov, Co-Founder and CEO of Dronamics, with moderation by Milena Stoycheva, CEO of Junior Achievement Bulgaria and former Minister of Innovation and Growth. This session will delve into the broader context of innovation in CEE, exploring how the region can enhance its global competitiveness through sustainable technologies and innovative practices.

By bringing together key stakeholders from government, industry, and academia, the forum aims to unlock the green tech potential of Central and Eastern Europe. The discussions and collaborations fostered here will play a crucial role in shaping the region’s sustainable future, driving innovation, and ensuring that CEE can compete on the global stage.

As the region navigates the complexities of the Green Deal, the Green Transition Forum stands as an essential platform where ideas can be exchanged, challenges can be addressed, and sustainable solutions can be realized.


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