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Belgium - Flemish company powers across the globe

EU trade deals lower tariff duties and other barriers to trade, helping small businesses grow

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WeWatt is a Flemish company with a lofty goal: to turn human kinetic energy into usable power. The start up was founded by Patricia Ceysens and Katarina Verhaegen in 2011 in a bid to address not only today's largely sedentary lifestyle but also growing concerns about climate change and sustainable energy.

The company creates innovative pieces of furniture equipped with pedals to generate electricity while users are waiting, working or socialising. WeWatt has gained most of its success from its presence in public spaces such as airports and train stations. It is now active in 20 countries around the world with international expansion becoming increasingly important.

The company recently raised €200,000 worth of investment from backers in Belgium and Germany which will go towards expanding its operations worldwide and optimising its products for various markets around the world.

A key destination is Canada, where WeWatt recently had its first taste of the North American market with one of their cycling installations which opened at Calgary airport in 2015.

The EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) eliminates trade tariffs on 99% of goods from the EU – helping WeWatt to offer its goods at more competitive prices. For an innovative company like WeWatt, the agreement's provisions to prevent illegal reproductions of EU innovations and patents are also an encouraging step.

Find out more about the EU's trade relations with Canada