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EUREKA project puts child safety first

Most parents would do just about anything to keep their children safe, but today, many youngsters are still being injured in road accidents because of poorly installed child car seats.

Research shows a staggering 60% of current child safety seats are not used as intended, but the problem is not that parents are lazy or careless. Conventional seats are often complicated to install and include a number of separate parts. There are different car seats for different age groups and they do not necessarily fit correctly in all vehicles. The EUREKA E! 3079 KISS project has developed a child safety seat that is cheaper, lighter, easier to install, and more importantly, easily adaptable to any existing car.

“The ‘Klippan Isofix Safety System’ (KISS) is a user-friendly rearward-facing car seat for all children under the age of three,” says KISS coordinator Bror Martin of Finland’s Klippan. “What we’ve managed to create is a completely new product for an important international market. Our seat is competitively priced, simple to use, suitable for a range of ages and it has no separate parts. All of this means a significantly reduced risk of incorrect installation and, in the end, fewer unnecessary injuries to children.”

EUREKA sense

The KISS concept makes sense for Europe on a number of levels, explains Martin. “Not only will it help keep our kids safe but it has also meant invaluable experience and know-how for participating European companies and suppliers, building competitiveness in the lucrative road transport equipment sector.”

Klippan needed to find suppliers and subcontractors who could produce parts at the right price while maintaining a high level of quality, explains Martin, and EUREKA was instrumental in making this happen, helping them find project partners in Finland, Sweden and Estonia. “The EUREKA concept really suited our needs perfectly. The project allowed the manufacturer, designer and parts suppliers to meet and work together to solve problems as a team.”

Once tested against official car safety regulations, the new system will be marketed in Europe as ‘Duologic’ seats by the Graco company. “Altogether, I would say this has been a great experience for our company and its partners,” says Martin, “but we are really just at the beginning, at the start of a new phase. We do see a great potential for this product once it hits the market.”

“Our initial market will comprise of the Nordic countries, where we can see ourselves eventually cornering 25% of the market, representing sales of up to 100 000 seats per year. We see an additional market in southern Europe for rearward facing seats, including car manufacturers, of approximately another 100 000 seats per year, giving us a total potential market of around 200 000 units per year,” says Martin.

Sally Horspool | alfa
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