Welfare Tech members looking to faraway markets
Welfare Tech hosted the matchmaking event at Health & Rehab Scandinavia 2016, Scandinavia’s largest health and rehabilitation fair. Many members grabbed the chance to explore worldwide market opportunities. The range of information available was great: from the need for intelligent adult nappy sensors in Japan to circadian rhythm lights in luxurious Turkish care homes.
Is it possible to sell an intelligent sensor for adult nappies produced by the Danish company SUMA Care on the Japanese market? Is Chromaviso interested in supplying its circadian rhythm lights to a luxury care home in Turkey? These were just some of the many questions asked and answered at Matchmaking @Health & Rehab which was held as part of Health & Rehab Scandinavia, Scandinavia’s largest health and rehabilitation trade fair, in Copenhagen on 10-12 May 2016.
The matchmaking event was organised by Welfare Tech in partnership with Enterprise Europe Network. Judging by the continuous buzz that filled the room from the 80 participants who held 115 match meetings throughout the afternoon, it was a great success.
- This is intensive matchmaking where two participants get 15 minutes to talk to each other and discuss partnership opportunities before they move on to the next match, says Karen Lindegaard, Senior Consultant from Welfare Tech.
Sound levels only fell slightly when a bell signalled that the 15 minutes were up. The tables were numbered and appointments had been made in advance so it was easy for participants to find their way to the next meeting. Then the buzz took off again.
As well as private sector businesses and public sector operators, a number of market specialists from the Danish Trade Council also attended the event. They proved to be popular discussion partners for Welfare Tech members.
Adult nappy sensor for Japan
One of the participants was SUMA Care, a Danish company, which has developed an intelligent sensor for adult nappies. The sensor sends a message when the nappy needs changing. This saves unnecessary, manual nappy checks and unnecessary changes. The sensor provides a better quality of life for patients as well as significant savings for local authorities. Those kinds of welfare technology solution have great potential in the Japanese market. Population forecasts predict that every other Japanese will be over the age of 65 by 2050.
Senior Commercial Officer Peter Takizawa from the Royal Danish Embassy in Japan was able to explain that the Japanese market for adult nappies is so big that they are marketed on television. This was not the case just five years ago.
For SUMA Care, this is good news. CEO Jörn Hamdoft anticipates that SUMA Care’s intelligent sensor will be ready for market by the autumn of 2016 – after which the conquering of markets will move rapidly. After Denmark, the plan is that the sensor will be rolled out in Norway, Sweden and Germany. The company will then take the leap into Asia.
- In Japan, care homes are operated by private sector companies. You need to find a local distributor. On the other hand, I don’t think that it’ll take you long to get into Japan, especially if you are ISO-certified, was Peter Takizawa’s advice.
Lights for luxury care homes
At another table, Mie Krog, Business Developer at Chromaviso, met Deniz Akkan from the Danish Consulate General in Istanbul. The Turkish population is relatively young, but already in ten years’ time more than 30 million elderly Turks will require care.
The welfare technology market is growing rapidly, and Deniz Akkan had received enquiries from Turkish entrepreneurs who were specifically looking for Danish welfare technology solutions for future luxury category care homes. This is a niche that fits well with Chromaviso’s Ergonomic Circadian Rhythm Lights solution.
- We are very interested in taking part in new-build projects. Our Ergonomic Circadian Rhythm Light is a very visible welfare technology solution which will be able to help entrepreneurs differentiate their buildings from their competitors. Ideally, we want to participate in one to two start-up projects and then work with a local partner, says Mie Krog.
Deniz Akkan is currently working on signing up Danish businesses for a market delegation to visit Turkey in June 2016 and will stay in contact with Mie Krog to discuss Chromaviso’s participation in the trip in more detail.
Although 15 minutes does not give the scope for much more than scratching the surface of any market opportunity, a wealth of contacts was made. Many will now be working further on specific ideas.
- The matchmaking event has lived up to our expectations. There was a great atmosphere and many meetings took place, and we have received excellent feedback, says Karen Lindegaard.
Welfare Tech will be organising another matchmaking event in October 2016 during WHINN, Week of Health & INNovation, in Odense, Denmark.
Find out more at www.whinn.dk
SUMA Care and Chromaviso are members of Welfare Tech.