In 2017 EU Gateway | Business Avenues organised a first market-scoping mission to Japan for companies in the Railway Technologies & Services  sector.
The 40 European companies selected for the mission attended the Mass-Trans Innovation Trade Fair  in the Chiba-Tokyo Metropolitan area, where they had a built-up booth to exhibit their technologies and services and had the opportunity to hold pre-arranged business-to-business meetings with local prospects.
Chosen for the mission was Italian company IVM . Set up in Naples, IVM (which stands for Innovative Vibration Monitoring) develops monitoring and diagnostic systems for the railway industry, concentrating on the measurement of what occurs at the wheel-rail interface.
Thanks to the EU-funded mission, IVM started long-lasting cooperation with a partner for the Japanese market.
There are undeniable benefits to attending market scoping missions organised by the EU Gateway | Business Avenues programme.
Financial support aside, the missions are also great opportunities to discover new markets in Asia, receive promotion among local prospects and an introduction to targeted industry stakeholders.
Planning a strategy for the mission week ahead of time is essential. That’s where the pre-departure meeting in Brussels comes in play. The companies selected for the programme attend a daylong event where they meet the other chosen European companies and receive briefings on doing business in Japan.
When the time comes to attend the business mission, delegates from the participant companies have the necessary knowledge to rapidly initiate connections with eligible prospects and acquire new partners, agents and clients, and following the mission they can work on reinforcing these connections and update their business pipelines in the region.
Such is the case for IVM. The Italian company met its key partner during the market scoping mission and has strengthened its ties in the region ever since.
During the 2017 mission, we had the chance to meet many people from the prestigious Company East Japan Railway Trading Co. ltd (EJRT). They were interested in our product and company, so they offered to start cooperation as our local partner in Japan and we accepted. From that day, EJRT has become our Japanese representative, signing an official Agency Agreement at the end of 2018. – Eng. Francesco Mannara, Co-Founder – Engineer, IVM s.r.l. (Italy)
While the partnership is relatively newly formed, IVM has great plans to expand on the market through the new partner.
EJRT is working hard to get our product POWERVE known on the market. – Eng. Francesco Mannara, Co-Founder – Engineer, IVM s.r.l. (Italy)
POWERVE (POrtable Weigher for Railway VEhicles) is the company’s innovation that makes it possible to determine the distribution of weight force of rolling stock on each wheel. The system has been awarded by Horizon 2020 – SME Instrument , the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, and has been thoroughly certified by competent industry forces.
Besides the partnership with East Japan Railway Trading , IVM is also following up on other leads collected during the mission that are interested in its products. Such rapid progress in Japan has been made possible thanks to its participation in the EU Gateway | Business Avenues mission.
Today, a new round of 40 European companies is meeting in Brussels to prepare for the upcoming Railway Technologies & Services mission to Japan .
Furthermore, new EU-funded missions targeting many sectors in different Asian markets will soon be opened for application, thus giving to ambitious European companies more chances to realise their business expansion goals. Is your company one of them? Choose your next mission on the business mission calendar  and apply online.