Launched in 2011, the Manchester event is organised jointly by the NDA and its Site Licence Companies with the key goal of opening up visibility of opportunity for suppliers, and for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs), in particular.
The day was formally opened by Baroness Verma, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Department of Energy & Climate Change, who said: “I was impressed to see so many people at this event. I understand this is probably the largest of its kind in Europe. I have an SME background and understand the challenges and opportunities faced by businesses represented at this event. The fact that we had such a strong international presence shows us that the opportunities for this sector are not just limited to the UK.” Around 200 businesses took exhibition space, alongside information stands representing the NDA, all the SLCs, Top Tier 2 suppliers, government bodies and regeneration organisations.
Among the new features for 2013 were: an innovation zone where leading-edge nuclear companies showcased their technologies and presented case studies. an international seminar with nuclear experts from other countries, who updated delegates on the overseas decommissioning market and opportunities that are available for UK companies. Representatives from Romania, Switzerland, Bulgaria, Taiwan, Germany, Japan and France gave outlines of how UK companies might approach their markets.
Also announced at the event were revisions to the NDA’s Intellectual Property terms and the introduction of mandatory prompt payment terms for the whole supply chain.
Ron Gorham, the NDA’s Head of Supply Chain Optimisation and SME Champion, said: “This event is now in its third year, and is becoming an important fixture in the calendar for businesses in the nuclear decommissioning market. “We are absolutely delighted that so many people were able to attend this year. We listened to feedback from 2012 and aimed to provide more space for business stands and for informal discussions.
The informal feedback so far suggests that it has worked extremely well. “The success of our mission depends on vibrant, dynamic businesses that can provide solutions to the many challenges. We remain committed to working with our supply chain, from the largest to the smallest players, to improve opportunities for involvement in decommissioning.” The event is part of a series of initiatives developed over the past two years to encourage and support the supply chain.
These include a simplification of contract flowdown requirements, adopting HMG’s Contract Finder as the single, web-based portal for forthcoming tendering opportunities, plus establishment of national and regional steering groups for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs).