With help from the Enterprise Europe Network, a Spanish maker of hospital beds designed to help prevent pressure ulcers and bedsores in patients finds a French distributor.
Lying in a hospital bed for any length of time can cause bedsores, an additional source of discomfort and pain for patients. To solve the problem, Spanish SME Commercial Quirurgica Farmacéutica pioneered a support mattress that adapts to the shape of each patient's body and alleviates the pressure that causes sores.
While the SME is well-established in its home market, expanding across borders proved to be a challenge until it enlisted the Chamber of Industry and Commerce of Toledo, among 600 Enterprise Europe Network branches in worldwide giving free business support to entrepreneurs in all fields.
"Business matchmaking in niche sectors is one of our strengths," says Network expert Gloria Ortega Rosado. Her colleagues started by drafting a company profile for the Network's database of 13,000-plus cutting-edge technologies.
Soon after, the profile was spotted by Network colleagues at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Brittany in Rennes, France, who thought it would be good fit for client Serge Huchet Santé Confort Innovation, a one-person medical equipment company seeking new products for distribution.
After putting the clients in touch with each other, Network staff in Toledo and Rennes helped the firms follow up on the contacts with translation and other support. Later, Network staff helped the clients complete the paperwork for a partnership agreement.
Thanks to the agreement, Santé Confort Innovation became the exclusive distributor for the Spanish products in French hospitals. To comply with French regulations, the manufacturer even added fire-retardant foam.
Both entrepreneurs are pleased with the partnership and say they would recommend the Network to others.
"The Enterprise Europe Network is capable and dynamic," says Huchet. Felipe Cabanas Burkahlter, the Spanish firm's international manager, agrees, saying, "The Enterprise Europe Network helped us to contact distributors in France and introduce our products to a new market."