Latvian translation software company Tilde used the Enterprise Europe Network to secure a research partner at short notice.
Riga-based Tilde Ltd. is the market leader for Baltic-language software products, ranging from language support to localised fonts and electronic dictionaries. The supplier to IBM and Sony Ericsson found itself in a bind when a partner backed out of a proposal for European research funding under the FP7 programme weeks before the deadline.
Lacking the resources to find a new collaborator at such short notice, Tilde turned to the Investment and Development Agency of Latvia (LIAA), part of the Enterprise Europe Network. Tilde had first come into contact with LIAA at a seminar sponsored by the Network and had stayed in touch.
LIAA project manager Anete Vitola got straight to work, helping Tilde prepare a one-page company profile and detailed search query for the Network's powerful database, part of the one-stop shop offer of free services the Network provides to SMEs in more than 50 countries.
Within two weeks there were 10 replies from companies in several countries, including a promising one from Slovenia. "This high level of interest was not surprising given Tilde's expertise and market-leading position," says Vitola.
She briefed the client on the responses from Network clients across Europe. When Tilde asked to be put in touch with the Slovenian SME, Vitola contacted her Network colleague there to emphasise the urgency of the request. The Slovenian SME, called Zemanta, helps publishers, bloggers and brands build website traffic.
The Network put the two firms in contact and brought them together. Shortly after the initial contact, Tilde invited Zemanta to join its consortium and contribute an expert opinion on the potential market for translation technology developed specifically for blogs.
Tilde won the tender and completed the research in 2012 for an online translation toolkit for corporate documents in five languages.
Having the Slovenian partner on board definitely "increased our project power", says Aivars Berzins, Tilde's EU project manager.
He added: "Enterprise Europe Network Latvia having a direct link to the Network in other countries was crucial, because they know which companies are best to approach for cooperation." Tilde continues to work with the Network, and regularly attends Network seminars.