Enterprise Europe Network

Let the games begin!

New game in town involving good old-fashioned sportsmanship and fun.

The football-themed board game is the brainchild of Luca Giay, a former aerospace-industry worker in the northern Italian town of Turin. Designed for two players, the game is grounded in fair play since opponents don't see one another's moves. Just like football, whoever scores the most goals wins.

"I remembered playing a similar game in my grandfather's house when I was a child, but it disappeared and I could never find another," says Giay. Undeterred, he crafted a version from memory for his children and then decided to launch it commercially.

Giay wanted his new game to meet mandatory 'CE' marking rules. This mark indicates that a product complies with EU legislation on health and safety or the environment. After some web research on the topic, he concluded that he was getting nowhere. So he turned to the Enterprise Europe Network branch at the Chamber of Commerce for the Piedmont Region in Turin. With 3 000 experts in more than 50 countries, the Network helps aspiring entrepreneurs get started.

Network expert Monica May gathered the relevant information on CE marking for toys along with the documents Luca Giay needed to complete. "We do all the digging so the client doesn't have to," she explains.

She ran through a sort of checklist with her client. Together they read the 2009 EU Directive on toy safety, consulted a toy safety guide on the European Commission's DG Enterprise site, and noted the basic safety requirements of relevant EU law.

"Our aim was to discover what a toy manufacturer selling a product in Europe must do to comply with EU legislation," says May. "So we looked at the role of technical standards, product assessment bodies, and the graphic rules around CE marking."

May and her colleagues also presented to Luca Giay the Network's other services, especially the potential commercial contacts to be found on the Network's database containing more than 12,000 partnership profiles.

The biggest challenge was finding a local notified body for toys assessment. "We discovered there are none, so we put the client in touch with appropriate bodies in Lombardy, the nearest region to us," adds May.

With "Goooal" now launched, Giay has started selling his game locally. The focus to date is trade fairs open to the public and consumer product fairs. He is also exploring other market avenues and will post his profile on the partnership database, with a view to entering foreign markets.