Enterprise Europe Network

Prescription for growth

A visit to a research lab in Germany arranged by the Enterprise Europe Network opens new doors for a Finnish health technology SME.

In 2011 Risto Koponen helped found LED Suutari Oy, a micro-company in central Finland developing ultraviolet LED solutions for medical uses. He recently got a call from the Enterprise Europe Network inviting him to join a three-day company mission to Berlin.

"We pro-actively recruit companies for targeted business matchmaking events abroad, then prepare detailed profiles so that the host country can find the most promising business partners," says Kimmo Häyrinen, a Network expert with Technopolis in Finland. For the mission he recruited LED Suutari along with four other SMEs specialised in energy, clean technology and LED technology.

Based on the Finnish firms' needs and profiles, his Network colleagues at the TSB Innovationsagentur Berlin picked local firms to visit. During the company mission, they also arranged for Koponen to get a guided tour of the testing laboratories and operations of research institute Optotransmitter-Umweltschutz-Technologie (OUT) e.V., where he was instantly impressed. A few months later, OUT agreed to test the Finnish technology in its labs.

"This state-of-the-art testing will shorten our development processes by months," predicts Koponen, who says the applications will be sold initially in Europe and then worldwide. "The Network helped us find a new partner we would never have found on our own."

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