Anoxymer GmbH is an Esslingen-based company with a business model based on strategic collaboration and a strong focus on international markets. This means it is key for the company to find business partners that can take care of specific parts of the value chain, from initial ideas to the finished product – such as analytics, quality management or product testing. Whenever possible, the products are then marketed jointly in foreign markets. With the support of the Steinbeis-Europa- Zentrum (SEZ) and the Enterprise Europe Network, Anoxymer found suitable business partners in Europe.
Anoxymer is focussing on the extraction of health-promoting substances from edible plants to be brought onto the market in foods, drinks and nutritional supplements. The company approached the Steinbeis-Europa- Zentrum with a request to work with the Enterprise Europe Network to find business partners outside Germany that have an interest in Anoxymer’s technologies and products. The SEZ has already been helping Anoxymer for some time with regular technology requests and offers from other European countries. It has also been helping the company initiate business contacts.
“Together with Anoxymer, we took a look at their business strategy in terms of innovation – and wherever we identified a need for more products, we set up a search profile. We shared these search profiles across Europe through the Enterprise Europe Network. For example, a member of the Enterprise Europe Network in northern France saw the profile and forwarded it to a firm in Canada. The companies’ profiles were an exact fit and thanks to the network, cooperation talks got underway,” explains Dr. Petra Püchner, the managing director of the Steinbeis-Europa- Zentrum in Stuttgart.
To search for potential business partners for clients, the Enterprise Europe Network partners use databases, brokerage events and personal networks built up over many years by each of the 4,000 Enterprise Europe Network innovation consultants. This makes it possible to match supply and demand precisely. Anoxymer struck a collaboration agreement with Oceanova from Canada and the Western Switzerland University of Applied Sciences in Sion. Anoxymer and its Canadian partner have now conducted and evaluated in-vitro and in-vivo trials, plus clinical studies. The collaboration supplies both partners with new customers, markets, applications and innovative products. Also, Anoxymer has been able to forge many new contacts in other European countries.
The SEZ also plays a role in setting up ideal networks with expert partners in the local area. Since August 2010, Anoxymer has been a member of the “Bioactive Plant Ingredients” network, a cluster dedicated to the development of bioactive foods that have a positive effect on health. The same month, the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology began sponsoring the network for one year . The idea for the network stemmed from the SEZ’s work with companies and research organizations in Baden-Württemberg. The SEZ provides a manager for the network and works on the strategy and business model of the cluster, which encompasses 17 partners from industry, research and marketing.
Prof. Dr. Norbert Höptner
Dr. Petra Püchner