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Wessington Cryogenics long term success at CERN


For the past 30 years, Wessington Cryogenics has been winning contracts at CERN and since 1997 the company has been awarded over 770kCHF in contracts. Of this, 580kCHF is from the core CERN budget and 198kCHF is from visiting research teams and collaborations.

The company has supplied a variety of components to the facility and consequently receives a steady influx of small orders each year. Wessington Cryogenics predominately supply liquid helium and nitrogen dewars but they have also supplied custom cryostats and associated spares and accessories, which have been used around the CERN site.  

Olivier Pirotte from Cryogenic Group at CERN says “Wessington offer competitive quotations and the dewars they have supplied meet our technical requirements.”

Wessington Cryogenics reaped the benefits of attending the trade mission to CERN, a number of times, a collaborative venture between the Department for International Trade (DIT) and STFC. Attendance at this event enabled the company to build its network within CERN and strengthen its ties with the facility. Paul Rowe, the Managing Director from Wessington Cryogenics, would encourage companies interested in working at CERN to visit every so often to assist in building and maintaining their network of contacts and to help raise awareness of their company’s capabilities.

In addition to the contracts issued by CERN, Wessington Cryogenics has also profited through receiving contracts from the universities and institutes involved in the CERN experiments, for example Wessington supplied items for the ARIADNE Detector via the University of Liverpool. This is another important route for UK industry to benefit from the UK’s membership of CERN.

“We appreciate the professional support, flexibility and high quality standards in the realisation of custom vessels in collaboration with Wessington. This includes the provision of safety related tests and certificates” – Christian Regenfus, ETHZ/CERN.

Paul Rowe, the Managing Director at Wessington Cryogenics said: “Wessington have had a long and beneficial relationship with CERN for over 30 years. It is always an enjoyable experience visiting there to meet the various buyers and engineers working on so many different projects.  These visits have been to discuss live & current orders as well as infrequent trade missions as a means of meeting new contacts throughout CERN as well as other linked facilities such as ESRF & ILL. Having visited so many times over the years, it is always a pleasure to see so many of our vessels on site, in many of the individual labs and discussing first hand future projects and needs.”

Further information

CERN is funded by 23 Member States and an overall budget of over 1.1 billion Swiss francs per year. Of this CERN spends around £400M on direct procurement per year focused on the construction of scientific installations and running of the facility. In addition there are more than 600 institutes from around the world who work together to conduct the experiments at CERN. These experiments are funded by the participating institutes. CERN can procure items on behalf of the institutes or the institutes can follow their own procurement rules, these contract opportunities are separate to the direct procurement from CERN and not included in the industrial return coefficient.

STFC manages the UK subscription to CERN. UK membership of CERN gives our physicists and engineers access to the experiments and allows UK industry to bid for contracts and UK nationals to compete for jobs and research positions at CERN.

STFC funds a number of large international science facilities besides CERN. The STFC Business Opportunities team works to increase the return that the UK gets from tenders and contracts at these facilities by providing free assistance to UK companies and helping them to access tenders at these facilities.

The international laboratories include: CERN in Geneva, Switzerland; ESO in Garching, Germany; ESS in Lund, Sweden; SKA in the UK, South Africa and Australia; European X-FEL in Hamburg, Germany; the ESRF and the ILL in Grenoble, France; and FAIR in Darmstadt, Germany. We are not involved in contract opportunities for our national facilities.

If you would like to be alerted to upcoming tender opportunities or to hear about events to connect with the facilities please register with us.

Last updated: 03 February 2020


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