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Danish and Greek cooperation sets sail for new waters

April 2011

North Invent A/S satellite navigation monitor

The small Danish firm North Invent A/S produces navigation monitors for the international maritime industry. By making the most of networking opportunities, it managed to find a business partner in Greece, one of its key markets.

Built to withstand rugged conditions, the devices manufactured by North Invent can be found on some of the world’s largest vessels, from cruise ships to military carriers.

Pursuing opportunities abroad has always been a priority for the firm which exports 80% of its products to European distributors or agents, who then resell many of the products to South Korea or China.

“As one of the world’s largest shipping nations, Greece is naturally a very interesting market for us,” explains North Invent’s managing director Lars Nordberg-Hansen. Since they lacked time and resources to explore these business opportunities on their own, they got in touch with the Enterprise Europe Network which put them in contact with the Danish Export Association. The latter established contact with Anders Skeem, international project consultant at Denmark’s Agro Business Park A/S.

Thanks to the Enterprise Europe Network's large business matchmaking database, Skeem was able to suggest three potential partners in Greece. “We have close contacts with SMEs in all sectors,” explains Constantine Karamanis from the Greek Enterprise Europe Network branch.

North Invent pursued talks with Marel Electronics SA, a small Greek business that also produces onboard maritime navigation systems and has strong ties to Greek shipping companies.

After a couple of test runs, the companies found that their systems were compatible and so decided to work together. “With the Network’s help, we hope to expand our international horizons even further,” says Kyriakos Alexopoulos, Marel’s chief executive.

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