24 UK companies were at CERN last week with STFC and the Department of International Trade hoping to win contracts to supply goods and services to the world’s largest lab.
The packed two-day programme included an introduction to CERN’s procurement process followed by highly targeted 1-2-1 meetings with project managers around the organisation who are likely to be issuing tenders over the next 12 months. The aim of the event is to position the UK companies to submit competitive and compliant bids, and win the contracts.
Shaun McBride and Robin Wilson from CMASS Ltd in Northern Ireland are regular participants in the trade missions and have successfully bid for quite a few contracts. For them, doing business with CERN helps them attract new customers:
“CERN is a globally recognised brand and being a supplier gives us kudos and credibility."
In response to feedback from previous trade missions, UK Export Finance came along for the first time to provide advice on the export practicalities of doing business with CERN. Hitesh Patel met each of the companies to talk through any specific issues that they have faced:
“The requirement to provide bonds and guarantees can put off some companies from working with CERN but I’ve been able to reassure the companies to engage with their bankers and that UKEF is on hand to provide support as needed.”
More than 150 meetings took place over the course of the two days, and it’s hoped that these contacts will turn into contracts over the forthcoming months.
If you want to supply CERN, or any of the international research facilities in which the UK participates, take a look at the tender opportunities.
Last updated: 25 February 2019