Wednesday, 13 Jun 2012
Peter Hogarth, Regional Director, UKTI East Midlands.
Derby firm demonstrate benefits of exporting: More staff and bigger premises
As the latest trade stats reveal exports for the East Midlands have hit £4.6 billion for the first quarter of 2012, increasing the annual export figure to £17.83bn in goods alone, a Derby research and development company are highlighting the rewards of exporting with help from UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) - for them it's more staff and bigger premises.
A delegation from China visited SCITEK in Derby to see the final stages of a year-long project to create a one-off £1.2 million neutron radiography machine.
The Chinese VIPs and experts from across the East Midlands saw the final run-through of the half tonne, 11 metre long system, which creates 3D images of the interiors of objects to identify items including corrosion in aircraft components, before it was packaged ready for shipment to China.
Since winning the contract to design the system for the Chinese Research Institute in June 2011, with help from UK Trade & Investment (UKTI), SCITEK have increased staff from 17 to 20 and are now looking at marketing similar systems to South Korea and Japan.
They are moving from a 5,500 sq ft premise at Jubilee Parkway to 22,000 sq ft purpose-built premises in Raynesway, to allow the firm to house its manufacturing facilities and provide new laboratories, test areas and office facilities that will allow accommodation of existing and future staff. SCITEK expects to increase its workforce by 50 per cent in the next five years as they work on developing business with Chinese high technology companies and new markets in Europe and the USA.
The system, created with input from Derby’s RadSci Consultancy, uses neutrons to build up three-dimensional pictures of the interiors of static objects or operating machinery. The technique is similar to X-rays and can be used to identify things like the make-up of, or damage within, archaeological objects.
UKTI expert advisers have worked with the company since 2005, enlisting the help of China specialist, Min Rose, and RadSci’s John Rogers.
Peter Hogarth, Regional Director for UK Trade & Investment East Midlands said:
“Our expert trade adviser, Peter Stevenson, has worked alongside the company for seven years, helping them complete this deal during this time. He has enlisted all manner of specialists from across the region along the way to help them through the export journey; providing information and help on everything from payments to training and from language barriers to delivery.
“It’s fantastic to see the project come to fruition. The process will now have an enormous knock-on effect on the local company; increasing their opportunities overseas, and the local economy; providing more jobs for local people.
“UK Trade & Investment is here to help any local firm to win contracts overseas and provide one-to-one support throughout. Call 0845 052 4001.”
Dr Marios Christodoulou, MD of SCITEK, said:
“Exporting is vital for the growth and sustainability of our company, accounting for 50 per cent of our overall sales.
“Since winning the contract we have been able to expand from 17 to 20 staff and are now looking at other overseas markets that might be interested in this exclusive design, with potential customers in South Korea and Japan.
“UKTI have been a fantastic help and I’d encourage anyone looking to increase their business to get in touch with them.”
Latest statistics from HMRC show that for the first quarter of 2012 the East Midlands hit £ 4.6 billion , increasing our annual export figure to £17.83bn in goods alone. This is the highest level exports have been since before the recession hit, almost achieving their highest annual value ever.
Sales to Asia & Oceania, principally India and China, are at their highest level ever, breaking through the £1bn barrier for the first time.