This February we attended UKAEA’s supply chain event at the Manufacturing Technology Centre in Coventry. This was a great opportunity to meet and mingle with senior management from UKAEA and hear about all of the projects and how to engage with them.
Projects and opportunities included:
– STEP, the UK fusion powerplant project
– Fusion Technology Facilities being developed at Culham and at Rotherham
– UKAEA’s new H3AT tritium research centre
– Contract opportunities on the international fusion project ITER.
Tim Bestwick, the Director of Business and Innovation opened the event, while Ian Chapman, the Chief Executive of UKAEA spoke about the transition period from EURATOM, and a brief overview of what the post-Brexit agreement would look like.
Antonia Jenkinson, the CFO discussed the campus objectives: outward approach, new equipment and apprenticeships. There was also a presentation from Christophe Dorschner, Head of Procurement on potential opportunities with ITER in France, and the support offered to new businesses from the WOIC (Welcome Office for International Companies).
Additionally, Benjamin Perier from F4E discussed the Demo Orientated Neutron Source (DONE) which will be built in the south of Spain, of which there are 594 unique contractors, 31 from the UK (5%). Paula Barham outlined the procurement objectives, challenges, and future tenders and described the procurement team and their objectives.
In terms of training and knowledge transfer, David Martin from OAS Apprentice Training outlined the different training opportunities available to businesses. While Heather Lewtas & Colin Walters from H3AT discussed secondments, training the next generation, collaborations and risk reduction projects.
Additionally, Rob Buckingham from RACE presented a brief overview of their facilities with different types of robots, as well as current collaborations, opportunities and objectives and Howard Wilson, provided an overview of the next stages for STEP.
We have now been collaborating with UKAEA and ITER for several years and we feel privileged to be part of these amazing projects. Supply events like this one, where we can find out more details about future plans and new opportunities are of great use to us.