Sectors: Healthcare & Medical
Company Name: Star Syringe
Based in East Sussex, Star Syringe is a medical innovation company that aims to protect people through better, low-cost, sustainably produced, basic healthcare equipment. Their non-reusable syringe K1 AD is extremely cheap and, because it has been designed so that it cannot be re-used, has played a significant role in the fight against the spread of HIV and other diseases in some of the world’s poorest countries.
The syringes are simple to produce and licensed to manufacturers in countries all over the world, including Indonesia and Nigeria.
As a company focused exclusively on export markets where the need for their products is greatest, market intelligence is crucial. Star Syringe has accumulated considerable knowledge about its business, but even experienced exporters can benefit from outside assistance.
In this case, assistance came from Carolyn Bentley and Les Plant, International Trade Advisers with UK Trade & Investment’s (UKTI) South East. Les’ advice, in particular, is based on wide experience, giving Star Syringe the dual benefit of a trade sector adviser who has specialist knowledge of the healthcare industry from his days in private business.
Marc Koska reports on Star Syringe's success
Star Syringe has also taken advantage of UKTI services such as Overseas Market Introduction Service (OMIS) , which has dovetailed with their own market knowledge. As company founder and director Marc Koska said:
"In the case of Ghana, for which we commissioned an OMIS report, although this was not primary intelligence, it was invaluable in backing up our own market information and confirming courses of action and the correct market approach."
Marc Koska, Director, Star Syringe
On 15 May this year, Star Syringe staged an event supported by UKTI South East, among others, to celebrate the manufacture of one billion K1 AD syringes and the saving of up to five million lives.
In 2006, the company received a Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the International Trade category, and was recognised for the development of the K1 with the International Trade Award for Innovation in the 2007 “International Trade Today” awards.
Excerpted from Life-saving Disposable Syringe Makes a Difference to Overseas Healthcare