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Success story article17 February 2015

Producing glass with class

A top UK design company finds the expertise it needs in the Czech Republic's oldest glass factory thanks to the Network's local contacts.

When award winning UK design company Rokos was struggling to find an appropriate manufacturer for its iconic Gauge Vase, it reached out to the Enterprise Europe Network office at UCL in London for help.

Rokos wanted to experiment producing this borosilicate glass vase in crystal, which would allow the company to produce at a lower cost and expand its market reach. But few manufacturers had the exceptional craftsmanship needed to produce high quality glass to its challenging technical specifications.

Aware of the Czech Republic's distinguished glassmaking tradition, Enterprise Europe Network London contacted their Czech counterparts with a detailed brief of the technical specifications and quality required. Enterprise Europe Network colleagues in Prague then used their local knowledge and contacts to identify the most promising leads.

As a result, Novosad & syn Harrachov, s.r.o. - the Czech Republic's oldest glass manufacturer - was given the opportunity to demonstrate its potential to Rokos, produce prototypes, and secure a deal to manufacture one of the three sizes of the vase.

While product quality has been maintained, the new technology introduced by the Czech company has massively reduced production costs. Both sides are really pleased with the contact made and are looking to work on metal based products as well, and potentially other products.

British designer Jim Rokos said: "I know how incredibly difficult it is to find the right manufacturer and I can only imagine it must have taken a lot of work and brilliance. All my thanks to the Enterprise Europe Network and I can only recommend you to my former colleague designers who struggle to find the right match to make their product ideas happening."