The Manchester event is organised jointly by the NDA and its Site Licence Companies with the key goal of creating greater visibility of opportunities for suppliers, and for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) in particular.
The day, themed ‘Connect and Collaborate’, was formally opened by Baroness Verma, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Department of Energy & Climate Change, who spoke about the importance of the supply chain and of such events in contributing towards creating the right environment for business success. The Baroness also toured the exhibition stands and spoke individually to many of the exhibitors.
The main hall featured 260 exhibition stands, staffed by a wide range of technical and service suppliers, alongside information stands representing the NDA, all the SLCs, government bodies and regeneration organisations.
An Innovation Zone show-cased leading-edge nuclear technologies and hosted a number of demonstrations during the day. The NDA’s R&D team also launched a new brochure outlining the benefits to decommissioning of investment in technological initiatives.
Among the other popular features for 2014 were:
- a first-time attendance by the Ministry of Defence, Defence Equipment and Support and Submarines Operating Centre, with a presentation by Rear Admiral Mike Wareham
- presentation of NDA Estate awards to recognise suppliers who have gone the ‘extra mile’, worked on successful collaborative projects or deployed innovative technology
Ron Gorham, the NDA’s Head of Supply Chain Optimisation and SME Champion, said:
“This event is now in its fourth 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 carefully to feedback from 2013 and aimed to provide more space for business stands and informal discussions.
“The success of our mission depends on vibrant, dynamic businesses that can provide solutions to the many challenges we have across the NDA Estate. 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 three years to encourage and support the supply chain. These include a simplification of contract flow-down requirements, adopting HMG’s Contract Finder as the single, web-based portal for forthcoming tendering opportunities, a requirement for prompt payment of sub-contractors, establishment of national and regional steering groups for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs), and a mentoring scheme for smaller businesses.
“It was fantastic. The quality of exhibitors and delegates in attendance was at a level very rarely seen at any event held in the UK” Thomas Graham& Sons
“Another superb event – the best yet” PaCTeC EPS Ltd
“The perfect forum for raising our business profile and it really exceeded all of our expectations” MechaTech Systems
“We managed to engender quite a bit of interest in our work”Institute for Collaborative Working