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Comate nominated for most innovative company!

27 November 2015

Comate and co-creation

Comate nominated for most innovative company

Out of 257 companies, Trends nominated 5 companies in each province for the category "innovative company". The criteria were innovation and sustainability, coupled with a healthy and profitable growth.

Engineering & design

A passionate creative and a cool engineer working together. It is the engine of growth for the Leuven based SME Comate.

Comate - pronounced 'comet' - is a growth company established in 2010 at the Vaartkom in Leuven. Engineers and designers develop products that need to be better and more innovative than what is available on the market. "We are convinced that engineers and product developers should be in one team," says Wouter Foulon, founder and manager of Comate. "A designer gives a product the right identity, matches it to the user and makes it exude quality. The technical expertise of an engineer guarantees the performance, durability and quality of the product."

The Comate team has grown in five years to a team of eighteen employees, including three freelancers. When it comes to recruiting new employees, the company ensures that the fixed ratio of 70 per cent engineers and 30 per cent designers is maintained. "With this well-balanced combination of creativity and technical expertise, we have already developed many innovative solutions," explains Foulon. The mutual exchange leads to the registration of an average of seven patents a year. The intellectual property rights go to the customer.

Comate strives to find solutions that can force a breakthrough in the market. The search isn't confined to one sector. "Through this broad view, we can link research in one sector and a challenge in another. It is about a way of thinking, and that is, in principle, cross-sectoral."

"Also, our engineers and designers are all experts in their fields, which contributes to diversity. We have also appointed a knowledge manager. He collects all knowledge of each colleague, each problem and its solution, of each project and all materials and production techniques. The whole team can rely on that."

Turnover times four

The company has already designed products for AB InBev, imec and Tyco Electronics. But also instruments that enable hip operations to be performed more efficiently and a solution that helps Parkinson's patients become less dependent. The company's turnover has already quadrupled compared to the first financial year. For the future, the company expects growth of one third per year. Comate wants to sustain this growth by further expanding its presence in the sectors in which it already operates and tapping into foreign markets.