The fourth annual Nuclear South West Conference and Showcase took place over 2 days this October, with more than 200 delegates getting together to share the latest opportunities and engaging in discussions on how to accelerate innovation in the nuclear sector.
What with the largest building site in Europe - Hinkley Point C - located in the region, and a whole eco-system built up around it to bring this multibillion pound infrastructure project to fruition, the Nuclear South West conference is viewed as a landmark event for the UK nuclear sector. That being so, the conference provided a unique chance for businesses and organisations to showcase their capabilities to potential customers and learn about the future direction of nuclear in the UK.
On day 1 of the conference, delegates (who had travelled from as far afield as China) were given a guided tour of the Hinkley Point C site before spending the afternoon at the National College for Nuclear in Cannington, where the likes of South West Nuclear Hub, Bristol Robotics Lab and AMS Nuclear Engineering gave demonstrations of their exciting new innovations.
Having spent the previous day learning about latest developments in the nuclear industry, on day 2 the conference decamped to The McMillan Theatre in Bridgwater, where delegates heard from 10 industry guest speakers, including Tom Greatrex, CEO, Nuclear Industry Association and Andy Storer, CEO, NAMRC and Nuclear Sector Deal. More than 100 1-2-1 matchmaking sessions also took place (thanks to the support of the Enterprise Europe Network) which helped 46 company delegates connect and do business.
Commenting on the success of the event chair of Nuclear South West Matt Burley said:
“The opportunity for local and South West suppliers is both large and complex but we have an excellent solution in place to manage that. It’s always fascinating to hear from the supply chain about the sheer size and scale of delivering a project like Hinkley Point C. It’s been great to hear about our multi billion pound pipeline - the contracts and opportunities for businesses here in the nuclear sector are huge.”
Andy Bates from Business West says:
"NSW2019 shows how Nuclear South West is fully aligned to the UK’s goal of becoming a net-zero carbon economy by 2050, whilst also recognising that the nuclear industry must be cost efficient and globally competitive, in its drive to meet the UK’s increasing need for clean energy.
"Building on the South West’s rich heritage in advanced engineering and digital technologies, it’s great to see first-hand how these sectors are bringing new innovations to the whole nuclear supply chain. Innovations that will drive down costs, increase productivity, create high skilled jobs and position the UK as a world leader in new nuclear."
The event was sponsored by South West Nuclear Hub, Nationwide Platforms, National College for Nuclear, Frazer-Nash Consultancy and framatome, and delivered by Business West on behalf of Nuclear South West.
Nuclear South West is a joint venture between Business West, EEN, HotSW LEP, Hinkley Supply Chain Programme, National College for Nuclear, WoE LEP, SWMAS, Somerset Chamber of Commerce, Somerset Energy Innovation Centre and EDF & HPC, and enables businesses to access networking, promotional opportunities and nuclear sector related advice and information.
For more information visit: https://nuclearsouthwest.co.uk/join