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Exporting clean technology

Wattguard, a Swedish SME based in Malmö had built up a successful business helping companies save on energy costs. Swedish businesses - from supermarkets to recycling plants - had been won over by Wattguard's easy-to-install 'green box' monitoring device which reduced the energy needed to power lights and allowed them to save money.

Eager to take its pioneering technology further afield, Wattguard turned to the Enterprise Europe Network. The company was keen to explore the neighbouring Baltic region but needed help to find the right local partners.

"Clients are continuously faced with the challenge of finding the right international partner," explains Hamid Karimi of the Enterprise Europe Network in Jönköping, Sweden. "By making full use of the Network's connections and resources, we're able to respond to a company's needs - whatever its business."

Crucially, through direct access to Europe's largest database of business opportunities, Network advisers can pinpoint the very best international opportunities. They can also bring companies together through fast and effective matchmaking events at international conferences and trade fairs.

Knowing Wattguard's interest in the Baltics, Karimi invited the SME to a company mission on energy-saving and green technologies in Denmark. During the event, the Network team arranged for Wattguard to meet with Vacys ir Vacys, a Lithuanian company seeking new technological innovations to introduce to Baltic customers.

Following the meeting, the Network partners provided regular advice and support as the companies continued their negotiations. Shortly after, the companies decided to form a joint venture in Lithuania to license Wattguard's technology for use in the Lithuanian, Estonian and Latvian markets.

Both entrepreneurs are happy with the new partnership and the Network's assistance along the way.

"Finding a trustworthy international partner is never easy, but with the help of the Enterprise Europe Network, we immediately found the right personal and professional chemistry in order to proceed to a tangible cooperation," says Arnoldas Vasiliauskas of Vacys ir Vacys.

Finn Christensen of Wattguard International is equally enthusiastic, saying, "The Enterprise Europe Network has been a contributing partner of ours and we hope to continue working with them as our company grows."