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Enterprise Europe Network – Sport Meets Business: How Entrepreneurs Beat the Recession

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BRUSSELS, September 12, 2012 /PRNewswire/ —

Orienteering, a popular sport in Norway, is about to get better thanks to a technology developed by a small firm in the U.K. A new video shows the winning partnership between the Norwegian Orienteering Federation and a British producer of body monitors. This joint venture was forged with the help of the Enterprise Europe Network, a business support network that helped more than 5 000 companies sign business and technology partnerships across 51 countries.

Jan Kobach is the Norwegian Orienteering Federation’s performance analyst. In this exciting sport, athletes race on foot, bike or skis, equipped with a map and have to find the fastest route to a destination revealed at the start. Kobach was looking for ways to improve his athletes’ performance when he discovered a body monitor that could be used to guide runners in their choices of track, speed and map use.

The tool is designed by Activeinsights, a Cambridge-based firm that mainly sells this type of product to medical researchers. The company contacted the Enterprise Europe Network to find business partners abroad and enlist new clients.

Joss Langford, technical director, Activeinsights: “We found more than a new client and partner, we discovered a new market application for our product.” With 3000 staff members, the Network helps small companies like Joss’ bring research and commercial applications together.

Speeding up international business

Launched in 2008 by the European Commission, the Enterprise Europe Network already served close to 2.5 million SMEs to find business and technology partners abroad, access EU funding and navigate the maze of EU legislation. Its more than 600 member organisations are located in Europe along with America, Latin America, the Middle East and Asia.

EEN’s key figures

3,000 staff
600 member organisations in 51 countries
375,000 questions answered on EU matters
5,000 companies signed business, technology or research partnerships
1,000 additional jobs generated yearly
€220,000 average company turnover impact
€450 million impact on sales growth
100,000 technology, IPR, finance and business reviews
19,000 SME-events with 750,000 participants

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