|CCFE united with leading British companies to promote the UK’s capabilities for the ITER project at the ITER Business Forum in Manosque, France in December. The event showed the breadth of commercial opportunities available at ITER and was a reminder to industry to get involved or risk losing out.
UK delegates view the ITER construction site at Cadarache
Already, UK industry has secured over €170M of contracts ranging in value from k€ to several M€ from the building of ITER, the next-generation international fusion experiment. ITER will commence operation around 2020 and during the construction period European companies can expect contracts worth on average around 400M€ annually. Representatives from more than 35 British firms – second only to France – attended the ITER Business Forum to drive home the message that UK industry is ready, willing and able to play an even greater role in the construction of ITER.
The IBF11 event was an excellent opportunity for companies from across Europe to get the latest information on ITER progress and forthcoming tenders, and to make contacts with project staff and other industrialists. A tour of the ITER construction site at nearby Cadarache also brought the scale of the endeavour home to delegates who commented that ”ITER provides a great opportunity to show the world what UK companies can do.”
“We are now very aware of the scope and depth of the opportunities offered by the ITER project, and the associated challenges we need to gear up for to maximise these,” said Brian Cornah from Simon Carves Engineering Ltd, who attended the Forum. “Meeting up with so many well informed, active participants in the ITER project has been invaluable.”
“I found the ITER Business Forum and site visit experience mind-blowing and exciting,” commented Will Campbell, who represented JGC Engineering and Technical Services at the event. “The technical and engineering challenges in turning the science into reality are currently at the limit of human knowledge and it is therefore a must to have UK engineering expertise involved in expanding these boundaries.”
Marco di Maio from project management consultants Project Globe added: “The IBF was a great place to be if you wanted to catch up with the latest developments around ITER and F4E, and to network with the SMEs and big players of our fellow European countries.”
Also at the event were staff from CCFE who unveiled a new range of technology services based on the huge range of expertise gained over decades of fusion research at Culham. Including remote handling, heating systems, neutronics, fuel cycle, diagnostics, materials modelling and many types of engineering services, details of what CCFE can offer are now available at www.ccfe.ac.uk/technologyservices.aspx.
Dan Mistry, CCFE’s Fusion & Industry Manager, who co-ordinated the UK’s involvement in the ITER Business Forum, underlined the importance of more companies getting involved in ITER:
“We made a big impact at IBF, accounting for almost 10% of the delegates. I believe that UK companies have tremendous expertise, we are very competitive, we are used to delivering to time and cost, and we speak English, the main language of ITER. To receive contract alerts I encourage UK companies to register free of charge on my database at http://www.fusion-industry.org.uk/register.asp or contact me, firstname.lastname@example.org. Don’t miss out on these business opportunities and if they are not appropriate then please forward them to other UK companies.”