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‘Japanese partner is our launching customer’

Image: ©Compumatica.

Dutch cybersecurity expert Compumatica partners with utility company Tepco to introduce its products and services to Japan. The Dutch embassy in Tokyo facilitated the match between the family owned company and the Japanese energy supplier. ‘We met at a matchmaking event from the embassy.’ An interview with founder Petra van Schayik and her son.

Compumatica develops encryption and network security equipment for governments, the military and organisations with highly confidential data or networks. Petra van Schayik, an engineer in technical business administration, founded Compumatica in the 1990’s. Nowadays she runs the company together with her son Nort van Schayik.

‘We serve Small and Medium Enterprises (SME’S) too, although they are a relatively small part of our client base’, Nort explains. Germany and the Netherlands are the most important markets for Compumatica, where the company has research and development (R&D) departments in respectively Würselen and at its headquarters in Uden. In total the company employs about 35 people, of which 15 work in the R&D facility in Germany.

Trade mission

First time Petra visited Japan was in 2015 during a trade mission. In preparation of the Olympic Games Japan has to improve its cybersecurity. Compumatica might be able to supply the expertise needed. The company further explored the Japanese market in the years that followed as a member of a Partners for International Business (PIB) programme of the Dutch government. Petra: ‘Being part of the PIB and supported by the embassy helped us to get in touch with our Japanese partner Tepco, that supplies power to 34 million Japanese households.’

Image: ©Compumatica.

After two years of explorative meetings a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed on 10 June 2019 in Tokyo. Nort: ‘We met each other about six times, Japan and the Netherlands, to get to know each other and develop a good relationship.’

The focus on relationship in Japan can be interesting for SME’s with a specific expertise such as Compumatica, Nort explains. ‘Large companies usually have complex procurement procedures. However, in Japan emphasis are more on the relationship. This allowed us to develop a partnership with Tepco, now our launching customer for the Japanese market.’

PIB Nanotechnology: Holst Centre, Eindhoven

Holst Centre, set up in 2005 by the technology and research institutes ‘imec’ from Belgium and ‘TNO’ from the Netherlands, is supported by local, regional and national governments. As a member of the Partners for International Business programme Nanotechnology of the Dutch government, it is one of the key players of a consortium existing out of companies, highly innovative small and medium enterprises (SME’s) and knowledge institutes. For more information, go to Holst Centre.