revolBRAS: First trip to the focal country
In September 2022, RIITEC presented its revolBRAS project and revolPET technology® as a competition entry in the Startups Connected 2022 programme. A total of 17 German start-ups participated in the competition to place their products and services in Brazil. RITTEC won in the category “Innovation for Sustainability” and therefore was given the opportunity to organise a two-week roadshow in Brazil in cooperation with the German-Brazilian Chamber of Foreign Trade (AHK-São Paulo) and the German House of Science and Innovation (DWIH-São Paulo). From 20 to 31 March 2023, two representatives of RITTEC, Renan Louro Cardoso Franco (International Project Manager) and Charlotte Lücking (Project Engineer) visited Brazil.
Those two weeks of the roadshow were very successful for the two RITTEC representatives. Apart from project meetings with partners from the University of São Paulo and the SME Weee.do, meetings and visits to potential customers and future industrial partners were part of the undertaking. Another part of the trip was an invitation to the residence of the German Consul General in São Paulo for an intensive exchange with representatives from research institutions and technology centres. The German start-up made sure to underline its focus from the revolBRAS project regarding the cooperation with waste collectors’ cooperatives (cooperativas) and visited six cooperatives. It was very important to see and understand the reality of the infrastructure and social conditions of the PET recycling chain in Brazil. After the visit, Renan Franco underlines: “RITTEC’s goal is not only to provide an environmentally friendly technology, but also to support a social improvement for Brazilian society”.
RITTEC plans to expand the field study with waste collectors' cooperatives in Brazil to identify seasonalities of the PET market. After the roadshow, further partnerships with these stakeholders could be developed to ensure that the continuation of the gravimetric studies will be smooth. In addition, RITTEC has identified at least three sites in the state of São Paulo where a revolPET® plant could be implemented. The company's goal is to conclude an official partnership with a Brazilian PET recycler during the next visit to Brazil. Finally, discussions also took place with potential investors who could enable the realisation of the innovative business model from the revolBRAS project. Their initial reaction was very positive and follow-up appointments have already been made.