Freedom Innovations manufactures prosthetic materials and specializes in lower leg prosthetics or limb replacement parts. We manufacture the products and parts that instrument builders can use to create prosthetics for people who have lost a leg because of illness or disease.
Exactly what kind of company is Freedom Innovations?
“Freedom Innovations manufactures prosthetic materials and specializes in lower leg prosthetics or limb replacement parts. We manufacture the products and parts that instrument builders can use to create prosthetics for people who have lost a leg because of illness or disease.”
What is it that makes your company really special?
“Globally we are one of the leading and most innovative companies manufacturing prosthetic feet using carbon fiber. We are in fact co-inventor of that particular manufacturing process and that is quite exceptional.”
"Freedom Innovations is still a young and expanding company."
What makes Freedom Innovations such an ideal company for someone in your position?
“Freedom Innovations is still a young and expanding company. That's also why we are continuously exploring new markets and why we’ve chosen for the European market. Combine that with the enormous technological leap that we we've been through, from using passive materials up to applying robotics into our products in which we are currently very much involved, makes us a unique company.”
In 2011 you settled in Enschede, the Netherlands. What makes this particular region so interesting for your company?
“There were a number of important reasons why we settled in the Twente region. First of all we're very close to the German border here, and Germany is our main sales market. Furthermore we are surrounded by a number of innovative companies and institutions here that could be interesting for our future development. For instance you could think of Health Valley, rehabilitation center “Het Roessingh” and the University of Twente.
"There were a number of important reasons why we settled in the Twente region."
Was establishing your company In the eastern part of Holland a foregone conclusion?
“The funny thing is that when we were investigating the Netherlands for our new establishment, the city of Enschede really wasn't in the picture, at all. We thought the cities of Eindhoven and Nijmegen would be the only candidates. But thanks to Oost NL we finally chose for Enschede, Twente. They really surprised us with respect to the location and the commercial real estate policy.”
How important was Oost NL's role regarding the choice for Enschede for your new company location?
“When we decided to locate Freedom Innovations in the Netherlands, the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency (NFIA) connected us to Oost NL. Oost NL then let us discover Twente and, in addition to helping us on many practical issues, they were extremely valuable in establishing the right contacts within this region. Both for the present as well as for future developments. Oost NL made sure the whole of Enschede knew we were settling there and for that we are eternally grateful.”
What does the future for Freedom Innovations in Enschede look like?
“At the present time the research & development and production for Freedom Innovations is mainly situated in the United States. Because of our more recent development in applying robotics to prosthetics it could very well be possible that we will try to establish partnerships with European and regional partners. There could also be future research and development activities over here. We currently have an office staff of 4 and a field organization of 6 people. Our aim is to expand the field organization to 15-16 people and in that case the office personnel should increase by another 2-3 people. So, eventually, we hope to have many people working here!”