According to the British government organisation which helps UK-based companies to succeed in the wider global economy, UK Trade & Investment (UKTI), it is currently helping some 76 UK companies pitch for business with the European particle physics laboratory, CERN. Apparently, CERN spent a massive £110 million ($175.75 million) on such supply contracts last year.

UKTI is working with the Science & Technology Facilities Council (STFC) to bring senior procurement officials to the UK who are looking to fulfil contracts in areas such as IT, mechanical engineering and electronics. The UK companies will be meeting with CERN officials at two roadshows, the first of which is to be held at the STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in Oxfordshire today while the second will be tomorrow at the STFC Daresbury Research Laboratory in Cheshire.

Sir Andrew Cahn, UK Trade & Investment Chief Executive says "Working with CERN is not only a feather in the cap for a British company but also an excellent business opportunity. Firms which meet the highest scientific standards required by this facility win not only business but also a world-class endorsement of their innovation and quality."

John Womersley, Director of Science Programmes at STFC, added: "This is a fantastic opportunity for UK businesses to be involved in one of the world’s most exciting scientific projects, and for the UK to reap some of the benefits of the major scientific investment made by the Science & Technology Facilities Council in CERN."

UK firms that are winning business at CERN include:

  • ELITE, from Enniskillen in Northern Ireland, won a contract for £68,000 to produce power packs for the new magnet protection system of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC).
  • Didcot’s Qudos Technology (RAL) designed, constructed and commissioned the large clean-room for the Tracker Integration Facility (TIF).
  • TM Engineers, from Kingswinford in the West Midlands, manufactured the CMS electromagnetic calorimeter endcap support structures.
  • Cemgraft Electronics from Newbury, Berkshire, provided half of the 700 ROBin cards in ATLAS.
  • eXception EMS, from Calne in Wiltshire, manufactured the tracker front-end drivers for CMS, an electronic system designed and developed at RAL.