Mr. Huber, what are the SVUT’s tasks and objectives?
The SVUT intensively supports the development of safe and forward-thinking environmental, energy, waste and water management. It was founded in 1989 and is politically and economically independent. Our association includes companies, experts and service providers from all areas of environmental, energy, waste and water management. Thanks to our member network and participation in numerous committees in Switzerland, we can draw on unique expertise. We encourage an exchange of experience and contact between our members and impart knowledge at events and in publications. In addition, we work closely with national and international partners from science, business and administration; this makes us an expert partner for technical and professional matters.
How can SVUT support Swiss SMEs in their export activities?
Above all, we help our members to find the right local partners and put the cost-benefit ratio of Swiss products in the right light. When it comes to our foreign missions, we repeatedly find that establishing sustainable business relationships is especially challenging and time-consuming for SMEs, and particularly in emerging markets. In addition, at first glance, Swiss products are usually somewhat more expensive than competing products. Essentially, however, we do not consider it our primary task to support Swiss environmental technology companies with their export activities. Organizations such as Switzerland Global Enterprise (S-GE) or swiss export have more expertise and experience in this area.
What form does your partnership with S-GE take?
This is best illustrated with an example: We are currently planning a Fact Finding Mission to the United Arab Emirates: a business intended for Swiss waste management and recycling companies. The focus on the United Arab Emirates was set by S-GE. As an export promotion organization, S-GE knows very well where exporting Swiss SMEs find the best market potential and the most interesting business opportunities. As an association, we approach things from a more specialist perspective. Our main contribution to the program is organizing various thematic work-shops.
What exactly can participants expect from these workshops?
One key part of the business trip program is a visit to various potential clients – including local authorities responsible for waste and recycling and companies from the region. For each of these meetings, SVUT organizes half-day workshops. The idea is to give potential local clients a space to present their current projects, challenges and problems. The participating Swiss companies will then have the opportunity to present their technologies and show how they can contribute to overcoming the local partners’ challenges and problems.
What else is on the agenda for the Fact Finding Mission?
The program will be very compact and varied. In the mornings we will tour the facilities of the visited authorities and companies, including recycling facilities, landfills or disposal logistics. The program also includes an exchange of experience with Swiss companies already active in the Emirates. One special highlight will definitely be the reception of the Swiss Consul General in Dubai, where all participants will be invited to dinner.
About the SVUT
The SVUT pools the expertise of the Swiss environmental technology industry. It encourages an exchange of experience and contact between its members and imparts knowledge at seminars, conferences and trade fairs as well as in publications. In addition, the SVUT assists its members with technical, scientific and legal matters. As a trade association, SVUT is open to all manufacturers and suppliers as well as engineering and service companies in the fields of environmental technology, energy technology, waste management and water management. Universities, scientific institutions and schools, associations and organizations, the federal government and cantons as well as students, trainees, pupils or individuals can also become SVUT members.