KIB Newsletter February 2020

Posted on: 3rd February 2020

Innovative Sector Exchange (ISE) Project Update

Through the ISE project, Kent County Council and Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce are organising the following events in early 2020 in which Kent companies can participate:

  • A Digital & Creative sector Cluster meeting in Lille from 12-13 February. This will be a chance for digital & creative companies in Kent to focus on joint working & collaboration opportunities on the theme of Smart Cities with businesses from France, Belgium & the Netherlands.
  • Visit for manufacturing & engineering companies the to the Kortrijk, Belgium to see the inspiring ‘Factories of the Future‘ initiative in West Flanders. 6 March.
  • A visit for Kent’s agri-food businesses to the Tavola fine food & drink trade show in Kortrijk from 16-17 March
  • The ISE Innovation Summit in West Flanders on 24 March with keynote speakers from several global companies and a chance to interact with businesses and contacts from Kent’s neighbouring European regions.
  • Participation in an Innovative Ingredients event for the ISE Food & Drink Cluster companies in Ghent on 28 April

These events are all free of charge and further details will be available on the ISE website – please click here to visit the site for more information.

Horecava 2020

A group of Kent food & drink businesses attended the Horecava trade show in Amsterdam in January to see the latest trends in the Hotel, Restaurant & Catering sector. They also met with companies from Flanders and the Netherlands and the East of England and gained valuable insight into the Dutch market from industry experts.

Book a free 121 Diagnostic:

Kent businesses still have time to request a 121 innovation & internationalisation assessment with an international trade expert from Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce which will give you some practical recommendations to help your business grow.

For more information about ISE Project please email Natasha White or visit the project website:

ISE Project Logo
Group of Kent companies outside the Horecava trade show

Diary Dates:

International Trade Events in Kent (and a few nearby!) for early 2020:

Futurebuild Matchmaking

Wednesday 4 March 2020, ExCeL, London

Enterprise Europe is organising a matchmaking event at Futurebuild, one of the biggest events in the world for sustainable construction.

The matchmaking event gives the opportunity for participants to pre-arrange meeting with businesses, research organisations, and construction companies active in the Eco-construction sector.

Register now for this FREE matchmaking event by clicking here and meet new partners from all over Europe in one day!

Thematic Focus

  • Sustainable design
  • Progressive and efficiency technologies (low energy, passive, intelligent, ecological)
  • New building material and technologies
  • Systems and equipment using energy from alternative sources
  • Heating equipment
  • Control and metering equipment

You can find out more about the Ecobuild trade fair and seminars by clicking here.

DIT South Korea Digital Health Roadshow – 18 February, London

With a market estimated at GBP 2.4 billion in 2015 and expected to reach GBP 4.4 billion by 2020, the digital healthcare market in Korea is growing rapidly. With active support from the government, the next several years will see an increase in the commercialisation of smart healthcare products and services in both the domestic marketplace and in consumer goods developed in Korea for international markets.

South Korea offers strong opportunities for UK digital healthcare companies with the government, major hospitals, large conglomerates and a growing number of tech start-ups all investing heavily in the field. The country is grappling with rapidly-increasing medical costs due to its ageing population and an increased rate of chronic disease and this, coupled with its highly-developed ICT infrastructure and willingness to embrace new technologies, makes Korea an attractive market for UK digital healthcare businesses.

There is a growing awareness in Korea that the UK is a world leader in the field of digital health, particularly genomics and smart healthcare, so British companies with the right go-to-market strategy should find a warm reception among potential Korean customers and partners.

Find out more about this events and sign up by clicking here.

Meet experts from Southern Europe – 24 Feb, Gatwick

Explore Cyprus, France, Greece, Israel, Italy, Portugal and Spain

Are you an export-ready company?
Department for International Trade (DIT) South East invites you to meet 1-2-1 with leading market experts from across Southern Europe for one-day only.

Why Attend?
The Southern Europe Meets Southern England Roadshow is a fantastic opportunity for businesses who are ready or considering selling their products in Southern Europe. Apply now for the chance to:
• Meet 1-2-1 with DIT Commercial Officers
• Explore new markets; Cyprus, France, Greece, Israel, Italy, Portugal and Spain
• Gain insight and personalised advice
• Make connections with the right people in your target market.
• Discover potential entry and export opportunities.

Who should attend?
DIT Commercial Officers are interested in meeting companies from Southern England who are focused on the following sectors and sub-sectors:

Eco and Natural Products
• Including sustainable fashion, toiletries and retail products, free-from food and drink.
Great Tech
• Cybersecurity, agritech, fintech, edtech, e-commerce, medtech, cleantech.
• Including artificial intelligence, big data, tangible technologies and software
Life Sciences
• Including pharma, technology, telecare and innovative solutions for hospitals

If your goal is to grow in Europe, then you cannot afford to miss this event.

Apply now to secure your place. Find out more by clicking here.

Export Masterclass Series

The Department for International Trade is organising an Export Masterclass Series to help ambitious UK businesses fast-track growth overseas.


The masterclasses focus on four critical elements of international trade:

  • Researching & Selecting International Markets
  • Managing Overseas Agents & Distributors
  • Export Pricing in International Markets
  • Linked In & Social Media for International Trade

 The events will take place in different locations across the South East in February and March. Places are limited to 20 companies per masterclass.

Find out more about the masterclasses by clicking here.

Enterprise Europe Network Logo
Futurebuild event logo

Proud of your Export Achievements?

Why not let others know by applying for an export award. Winning not only gives your business additional kudos but can motivate staff and re-assure potential new clients.

The Kent Excellence in Business (KEIBA) Awards ‘Success in International Trade’ Category is now open for entries – deadline for applying is 21 February 2020. Find out more by clicking here

INNOFORM Brokerage Event 2020, Poland

The Kuyavian-Pomeranian region in Poland has been a leader in manufacturing tools and processing plastics for years. It is called the Polish tools valley for a reason – several hundred enterprises engaged in manufacturing tools for processing as well as processing itself operates here. Enterprise Europe Network in Torun (Poland) is pleased to organize the 4th edition of the Brokerage Event at the International Cooperative Trade Fair of Tools and Processing Industry “INNOFORM 2020“, 4th March 2020 at the Bydgoszcz Trade Fair and Exhibition Center.

Who should attend?
Owners, management and technical staff who use tooling and plastics processing technology at their manufacturing plants are invited to sign up. The sector focus is metals, machinery, electronics and electrical power engineering, automotive, railway, aviation, household appliances, food, medical, chemical, pharmaceutical and packaging.

Why participate?
• target potential tech & business partners in pre-scheduled one-on-one meetings
• boost your business with qualitative meetings
• present, discuss and develop new collaborations under different perspectives
• find out and discuss about market trends and innovations
• initiate cross-border contacts and long-lasting co-operations

Registration closes on 28 Feb 2020.

Find out more by clicking here to visit the Innoform website.

Click here to visit the dedicated website for the brokerage event 

Logo for KEIBA 2020 awards
Innoform Event Logo

Have you considered the German Market?

They say “Every cloud has a silver lining” and the Brexit cloud has been hanging over all of us for too long.  However, for NRW.INVEST, the state-owned inward investment agency for North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), Germany it has meant a flood of enquiries as UK firms consider complementing their UK operations by also growing in Germany.

NRW is Germany’s most economically successful state and the most populous with 18 million inhabitants. It is the country’s industrial and technology heartland and is adjacent to The Netherlands and Belgium.  NRW comprises Düsseldorf, Cologne, Essen, Dortmund and Duisburg. It is also the logistics hub for Europe with 160 million people living within a 500km radius of the state capital Düsseldorf – almost one third of all the consumers in the EU.  NRW’s transport network is comprehensive with Germany’s densest road and rail network plus six airports and the River Rhine.  No wonder Amazon has seven facilities in NRW!  There are over 1,500 UK firms already based in NRW including AO, BP, Computacenter, Dyson, GKN, JCB, Johnson Matthey, Lush and Vodafone.

Many UK companies are currently considering their strategies for mainland Europe in the light of Brexit uncertainty.  Others including many from Kent, are expanding in Europe anyway, as their business on the Continent grows.

NRW.INVEST offers free and confidential advice on doing business in Germany and can also help UK firms in three specific ways.

  • Advice on establishing a legal entity in Germany (usually a GmbH)
  • Advice on recruiting in Germany
  • Advice on buying or renting property

Andrew Harfoot is NRW.INVEST’s UK representative and is based in Tonbridge, Kent. Contact Andrew by email by clicking here, by telephone 01732 375412 or visit the website by clicking here.

North Rhine-Westphalia Image