Opening indoor hygiene SME’s exports to Middle East construction markets

P1 Competitive economy

1.3. More exports by the Central Baltic companies to new markets

Central Baltic

01.03.2018 - 31.05.2021

€2 176 372

€1 662 352

Project Summary:

Novel solutions are desperately needed to prevent the global spreading of serious infections. IHMEC-project combines existing offerings to tailored indoor hygiene (IH) solutions and exports them to the Middle-East (ME) markets. The ME climate forces people to remain indoors and hence, large crowds meeting daily at e.g. shopping malls, airports, schools, and hospitals are at risk of catching infections. Although ME market holds lucrative business opportunities, they cannot be utilized by a single company or cluster. All actors involved in planning, designing, building, and furnishing indoor spaces are needed to reach effective IH results. However, most of the business actors in IH field are small or middle sized (SMEs) and lack the necessary knowledge and resources to export to host markets of considerable cultural and physical distance.

IHMEC offers a combination of local, indoor hygiene, and marketing capabilities. IHMEC creates and exports joint IH solutions of Central Baltic (CB) area SMEs into Middle-East construction markets using indoor hygiene as a competitive edge. IHMEC integrates relevant clusters from Sweden, Estonia and Finland into a meta-cluster; compiles a database on IH research, technology, and the target markets; develops, tests & tailors IH solutions; designs viable networked business models, market entry strategies & sales operations; as well as involves experts from the host markets for CB companies to enter the markets and close sales. The aim is to target customer segments with which long-term business relationships can be developed.

IHMEC novelty highlights: 1) Integrated CB region meta-cluster on indoor hygiene (IH), 2) Up-to-date knowledge data-base on IH technology and reliable test results, 3) Novel and tailored IH guidelines and IH solutions that fit the target markets, 4) Networked business models that support the export of the IH solutions, 5) Tailored market entry process to ME markets resulting in 12 export sales.

Lead Partner

Turun yliopisto

Country: FI


Partner budget: 670.797 EUR

Amount of ERDF funding: 502.292 EUR ERDF

Project Partners

Satakunnan ammattikorkeakoulu

Country: FI


Partner budget: 452.850 EUR

Amount of ERDF funding: 339.637 EUR ERDF

Kungliga Tekniska Högskolan

Country: SE


Partner budget: 323.840 EUR

Amount of ERDF funding: 242.880 EUR ERDF

Uppsala Universitet

Country: SE


Partner budget: 420.106 EUR

Amount of ERDF funding: 315.079 EUR ERDF

Sihtasutus Tartu Ärinõuandla

Country: EE


Partner budget: 71.708 EUR

Amount of ERDF funding: 60.952 EUR ERDF

Eesti Puitmajaliit

Country: EE


Partner budget: 237.072 EUR

Amount of ERDF funding: 201.511 EUR ERDF

Associated Partners

Suomen Sairaalatekniikan yhdistys ry

Country: FI

Achieved results

Project result in category -
New cluster co-operation exporting to new markets

IHMEC accelerated sales in the Middle-East for companies developing indoor hygiene products

IHMEC project aimed at creating business opportunities for Estonian, Finnish and Swedish companies at Saudi Arabian markets. The project supported number of companies from the Central Baltic region from several sectors to being able to achieve sales, raise investments and to prepare collaboration agreements.

upported companies came to the project from various business segments – water control and solutions, timber building, surface materials, cleaning chemicals, hospital equipment, furniture solutions etc. – where the common nominator for all of these was indoor hygiene solutions. Altogether 28 companies participated in the project activities.

Besides direct export market entry support, the project supported companies indirectly in entering process. The project tested several surface materials from the viewpoint of hygiene. Partners also created an indoor hygiene databank (indoorhygine.fi) to illustrate and distribute information about the indoor hygiene, its importance, and possibilities. Knowledge of companies’ products from the perspective of indoor hygiene can be a selling point when entering to the market.

COVID19 pandemic shook the world when the project was in halfway of the implementation. This unfortunate situation brought plenty of new opportunities for the companies in the field of indoor hygiene. The importance of the project increased, new contacts were created and media attention was received.
The project resulted in indoor hygiene solutions which can be exported in Saudi Arabian markets. By the end of the project, IHMEC actors have reached altogether two (2) sales, two (2) distributor agreements, one (1) non-disclosure agreement (NDA), and two (2) memorandums of understanding (MoU) in the field of indoor hygiene.

The project produced 3D animation “indoor hygiene model space” (IHMEC Indoor Hygiene Solutions) which can be used for marketing purposes by the involved indoor hygiene cluster projects. Future export possibilities are also supported through an indoor hygiene model in room which will be created in a hospital in Saudi Arabia.   
Indoor hygiene solutions https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YCdmQDSj6HM

Project page in database
At a glance
  • Help companies enter the Saudi-Arabian market in the field of indoor hygiene
  • 28 participating companies
  • New hygiene products that can be exported

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