Teesside University helping to create European business champions
Business staff at Teesside University are using their specialist expertise to help companies in the region take advantage of the lucrative European market.
Laura Woods and Mark Thorpe
As part of the Enterprise Europe Network North East, the University is one of 600 organisations across Europe registered to deliver a wide range of support services to businessess looking to expand into Europe.
Because the Network is co-financed through the EU’s Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme, it means the University can offer European advice and assistance free of charge.
This can include helping businesses to develop new markets, get advice on property and patents, meet potential business partners and get a better understanding of EU markets, policies, regulations and initiatives.
One company which has benefited is Aesica Pharmaceuticals, which has UK premises in Cramlington, Newcastle and Nottingham.
The company, one of the world’s leading contract developers and manufacturers of pharmaceuticals, recently acquired plants in Germany and Italy and sought expertise on EU regulations in order to form a Works Council for its European employees.
Teesside University Business Advisor Mark Thorpe used his knowledge of EU employment law to deliver a bespoke workshop to Aesica employees and management teams.
The workshop gave the company an understanding of the legal requirements and processes involved in expanding into Europe, with a specific focus on workers’ rights. Mark’s support formed the basis for Aesica’s European Works Council which is essential for taking the German and Italian plants forward.
Mark, whose industry background includes working for engine manufacturer Cummins, in Darlington, said: 'My first contact with Aesica came at a networking event when they informed me about their plans to expand into mainland Europe and asked if I could give them advice.
'Through the Enterprise Europe Network North East scheme I was able to offer them tailored help. As chairman of a European Works Council for over 10 years, I gained extensive knowledge of the legislation we had to abide by, and I have been able to pass this information on as part of my role at Teesside University.'
The European Works Council applies to companies with 1,000 or more employees and allows workers across the EU the right to information and consultation on company decisions at European level.
Alison Doering, Marketing Manager at Aesica Pharmaceuticals, said: 'The support and training we received from Teesside University was invaluable in terms of understanding the complexities of EU regulations.
'Our aim is to become the number one supplier to the pharmaceutical industry and in order to do that we have to succeed in the European Market. Knowing that Teesside University was there to offer us tailored expertise was a huge boost and has helped to drive the company forward.'
The Enterprise Europe Network North East is a partnership of three organisations: Teesside University, the Centre for Process Innovation and Newcastle Science City.
Laura Woods, the University’s Director of Academic Enterprise, said: 'The Enterprise Europe Network is a great way for regional companies to find out how they can make the most of the European marketplace. Together with our partners, we offer access to business, research and technology opportunities across Europe, as well as providing practical help with advice on European legislation and policy.
'Mark’s work with Aesica is a good example of how companies can benefit from the network’s services in a really practical way.'
To find out how the network can help your business contact Teesside University on 01642 384068 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
10 July 2012