People with limited mobility can have trouble using furniture that's too low. Thanks to two companies brought together by the Enterprise Europe Network, there's now a simple solution on the market.
It comes in the form of easy-to use adjustable wooden device, developed by a two-person firm in central Sweden called Snickarboa, that can elevate beds, tables and chairs to the desired height.
The country's ageing population has increased demand for the device from Swedish municipalities, prompting Snickarboa to turn to the Enterprise Europe Network to find a subcontractor for mass production. The Network's 3,000 experts in more than 50 countries can quickly link SMEs with the right partners at home and abroad.
"By helping companies pinpoint exactly what kind of partnership they are seeking, we ensure a high success rate," says Zanna Rudh, Network information officer at Teknikdalen Foundation in Borlänge, Sweden.
Using its powerful business matchmaking database, the Network put Snickarboa in touch with Sirje, an Estonian woodworking SME and long-time client of the Network's Tallinn branch at the Estonian Chamber of Commerce and Industry. So far, Sirje has made more than 5,000 aids suitable for use by people with limited mobility for its new partner.
"Eventually, we hope to expand to other markets and to develop new products together," says Kjell Vestling, the carpenter who runs Snickerboa.
Sirje CEO Allar Toomik is just as pleased. "Thanks to the Enterprise Europe Network," he notes, "we found a partner in an unexpected but promising new business area."
Helping to create effective partnerships like this one is just one aspect of the Networks' activities. Teknikdalen Information officer, Anna Torsgården, points to the array of other services her team offers to businesses like Snickarboa. This includes providing valuable business advice, support and international business contacts; creating business profiles in the Network database and organising seminars and workshops.