Benefits of the HEALTHTRONICS economic missions in improving the marketing approach of SMEs and going international

Submitted by ROTARU Flaviana on 27 February 2022

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The ”NE4HEALTH - New European Electronics for Global Health and Wellbeing” project brought incredible networking opportunities for the SMEs operating in the field of Flexible Electronics and Sensors for Health, by organizing three virtual economic missions in January 2022.

In the value chain analysis conducted at the beginning of the project implementation, the organizations that expressed their interest in being part of the project's network showed a great interest in promoting themselves to the markets, research networks, and investors in the USA, Israel, and Japan.

Therefore, the cluster consortium representatives have organized three economic missions, but each one had to be adapted to the specific culture of the targeted country.

1 HEALTHTRONICS EU-USA Bridge – Jan. 18-19, 2020
Organizers: ROHEALTH – The Health and Bioeconomy Cluster (Romania) and Massachusetts Innovation Network in the United States of America

2 HEALTHTRONICS EU-Israeli Bridge economic mission – Jan. 27, 2020
Organizers: Interizon together with Trade & Economic Mission Embassy of Israel in Poland…

3 HEALTHTRONICS EU-Japan Bridge economic mission – Jan. 31, 2020
Organizers: Organic Electronis Saxony and INOEL – The Innovation Center for Organic Electronic of Yamagata University-Saxony

The program of each event has been adapted to the business culture of the targeted country. As per common organizational rules, the program has included a pitching session offering five minutes for presentations and a matchmaking session with 20 minutes for each business / partnership discussion. The mission in Israel and Japan included also presentations of companies from the targeted countries and also a poster session in Japan.

The pitching companies had the opportunity to enter in contact with different business cultures during the preparation period and during their meetings at the economic missions and the follow-up ones, and this fact will help them in their process of marketing and internationalization.

All the KPIs of the project have been reached.
- 436 participants have joined the three missions.
- 168 SMEs have attended
- 156 meetings have been conducted during the missions to the targeted countries (one of the business partners being a member of one of the project partner-clusters).

For all European SMEs, this event was a gate to international co-operations, to meet innovative early-stage technology entrepreneurs, to diversify their intervention markets, and to support the next generation of MedTech innovation in Europe.

As a cluster-oriented project, NE4HEALTH developed its activities based on the assertion that innovation thrives in specific companies and regions that have the right conditions, competencies, and capabilities. These regions were identified and brought together in the three missions.

The results of this project will help SMEs find a focus for strengthening and further building their own businesses to more successfully bring their own product or service to market.

The greatest benefits to SMEs achieved through missions in the third targeted countries are:
1. unique opportunities to identify opportunities for their own products and services in foreign markets.
2. unique opportunities to find partners in foreign markets for their own products and services.
3. unique opportunity to understand the target market
4. unique opportunity to recruit highly qualified talent from third target countries
5. understanding government incentives (many countries offer incentives for high-tech companies that want to expand their business internationally)

1. Raising the rank of a cluster organisation, through intensive cooperation with the clusters in the respective target countries
2. Access to new international partners for further projects,
3. Greater benchmarking opportunities,
4. Increased competitiveness and greater exports among key enterprises,
5. Better access to potential foreign investors,
6. Reater level of external financing used by the region or country.

Project partners shared their lessons learned and give a recommendation based on their experience, considering the specificity of reaching the Target Third-Countries' markets. A consolidated list of learnings and recommendations, based on the project partners’ experience considering the specificity of reaching the targeted third-country markets, is included in ”D2.4 Report on Networking Events and Missions”, one of the deliverables of the project.
About the project NE4HEALTH - New European Electronics for Global Health and Wellbeing
The main objective of the NE4HEALTH - New European Electronics for Global Health and Wellbeing, is to build up a partnership of world leading clusters to configure a “European Strategic Cluster Partnership – Going International” focused on electronics (printed, embedded…) technologies applied to health and wellbeing sectors, and make EU SMEs on these fields better connected internationally.

The NE4HEALTH project consortium is formed by 5 European Clusters activating in the fields of electronics (printed, embedded) technologies applied to health and wellbeing sectors, which are aiming to enhance partnerships between clusters and their members and Third Targeted Countries Clusters.

The five clusters partners in the project are:
- Functional Print Cluster - FUNCPRINT SPAIN -
- Organic Electronics Saxony - OES Germany -
- ROHEALTH - The Health and Bioeconomy Cluster in Romania, Romania -
- Interizon Foundation - INTERIZON, Poland -
- LETERA Cluster - Latvian Electronics and Electrical engineering cluster, Latvia -

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