Connecting an innovator with manufacturers, distributors, co-developers and suppliers overseas.

Our relationship with Oxford Innovation is ongoing

The company

Reading-based company KYMIRA is developing innovative solutions to help address the increasing demand placed on global energy and healthcare resources by a growing and aging population. Founded in 2013 by Tim Brownstone, the company is developing and microsizing energy-harvesting technologies that can be embedded into textiles that can generate electricity, and be used to create garments able to monitor bio medical data, track fitness and performance, or charge consumer electronics.

KYMIRA’s wearable technology solutions have potential applications across a diverse range of sectors including e-sports, military and defence, medical monitoring, health and fitness, and space exploration.

The company have already launched a range of sportswear products featuring KYnergy – KYMIRA’s unique, patented infrared technology. KYnergy recycles the wearer’s body's waste energy, using it to enhance performance and accelerate recovery processes.

The challenge

When KYMIRA wanted to add cycle clothing to the growing range of sportswear products incorporating KYMIRA, the company needed to find a specialist garment manufacturer with experience producing high-quality cycle wear, and the equipment and expertise required to work with the high-tech material.

Tim Brownstone explains:

“Sourcing is a very time consuming process, and we’re always trying to refine and optimise our pipeline. We were already working with a number of factories for other products in our sportswear range, but were specifically seeking a cycle wear garment manufacturer. Although I’d been looking for a suitable partner more or less since first starting the company, after three years I had still not managed to find one that met with all of our criteria.”

The solution

Working closely with the team at KYMIRA, Oxford Innovation helped create a detailed partner profile, and circulated the brief to a Europe-wide database of potential manufacturing candidates.

This was conducted via the Enterprise Europe Network (EEN) a service delivered by Oxford Innovation to businesses in the South East of the UK to help them innovate and grow internationally. EEN provides Oxford Innovation with access to a strong and trusted network of EU and non-EU partners.

Following a process which involved Oxford Innovation pre-screening all initial responses, KYMIRA were introduced to a specialist cycle garment manufacturer based in Spain.

Tim Brownstone comments:

“I don’t think we’d have found our new Spanish manufacturing partner if we hadn’t been introduced to them by Oxford Innovation.

I was aware from our initial meeting that the service Oxford Innovation could provide to us was potentially very valuable, but I didn’t know at that point how effective it would be or how we would utilise it. One of the challenges of being a small company with the same amount of work to do as a large one is that resources are limited. We’re often approached by service providers but just don’t have the time to execute properly on opportunities. Working with Oxford Innovation was really easy for us though, because they were so hands-on in the process.”

Oxford Innovation were able to consolidate KYMIRA’s search efforts to identify and appoint their ideal partner through EEN, facilitating all aspects of the process from inception to delivery - at minimal time cost to the company.

The future

KYMIRA have ambitious plans to grow their sportswear brand internationally, and have briefed Oxford Innovation to assist them in expanding their retail and distribution network by introducing them to suitable partners in mainland Europe.

Tim Brownstone concludes:

“Our relationship with Oxford Innovation is ongoing. We currently have a profile out there seeking retailers and distributors for our sportswear brand in Europe, and this brief is likely to remain open for some time as the brand grows and receives more international exposure.

However, integrating energy-harvesting solutions into smart sportswear is just the beginning for Kymira. It is a vehicle to commercialise and validate our technology ahead of introducing it into multiple markets including healthcare, where our ultimate goal is to develop a medically certified smart health monitoring system which will be powered by the wearer, helping to improve and even save lives.

Oxford Innovation’s service makes working with international partners highly accessible, and as we take our technologies into new markets, it’s very likely we will call on their expertise to help us source other specialist manufacturing partners.”

Oxford Innovation delivers Enterprise Europe Network services in the South East that connect innovators with manufacturers, distributors, co-developers and suppliers overseas. Our experts advise those looking to commercialise new ideas and succeed in new markets.