How do you get finance when you’re a small or medium sized enterprise specialising in research? First you have to identify your needs, make the most of your potential and find great partners. And luckily the Enterprise Europe Network helps companies do just that!
Electrical activity in the brain can be analysed using microchips connected to the neurons of mice. This small German company markets models of this electrical activity and sells them to laboratories which are developing treatments for diseases of the nervous system, for example. Launched with 4 people in 2007, the company now has 17 employees and their turnover doubles every year. Great results which are due to hard work and a little free help from the European network.
Alexandra Voss, Chief Scientific Officer, Neuroproof, said: “With the European Network, we found partners for specific calls. So within these calls, we established specific models with our method. We had one project which was related to pain. So we established the pain model. One project is working with stem cells. We established models for stem cells. This is what had really helped to find the right partners for this kind of projects.”
And thanks to these partnerships, the company has taken part in research projects and been awarded around 1.4 million in EU grants. These projects allowed them to update their technology.
Alexandra Voss said: “Without this help, we would not have had the focus to establish new technologies and our methods like human stem cells, like transgenic models and stuff like that. Because, they are so time and work consuming, and money consuming, you really need projects with international partners for that.”
And today, the company continues their collaboration with Frank Graage, one of the 3,000 experts in the Enterprise Europe Network. Now that the technology is up to date, she has even recruted three more people to help develop the business.
Frank Graage, Enterprise Europe Network Expert, said: “Nowadays, the application is much more advanced. Now, they know exactly which areas they focus on, which markets they focus on. So today, we have to look for different perspectives to help them. Now we are looking much more for business partners. And not so much for research partners.”
Alexandra Voss said: “For me, the keys to success are: find global partners for your business developement, and for your scientific development. And, most important: keep your people happy!”