March 13, 2024

US export opportunities showcased at Trade Envoy visit to Sci-Tech Daresbury

The Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to the US, Rt Hon Sir Conor Burns MP, has visited the national science and innovation campus at Sci-Tech Daresbury to share details of how businesses can take advantage of exporting opportunities on the other side of the Atlantic.

The US is the UK’s largest export market for goods and services, with businesses in the North West selling over £11bn of goods and services.

The session was designed for firms throughout the North West currently selling to the US or looking to enter the market for the first time. It provided valuable insights into topics including what the Atlantic Declaration and state level memoranda of understanding (MOUs) mean for businesses.

There was also the opportunity to hear from Department for Business and Trade (DBT) Export Champions from the North West, who shared their real-life experiences of successfully selling to the US.

Additionally, DBT International Trade Advisors were on hand to offer personalised advice on the support available for firms looking to crack this hugely attractive market.

The day also incorporated a site tour in which Mr. Burns and colleagues were shown key elements of Sci-Tech Daresbury and the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) facilities on campus

This included a meeting with IBM and its collaborative partner, STFC’s Hartree Centre. This collaboration has helped UK businesses and organisations of all sizes to explore and adopt supercomputing, data science and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies for enhanced productivity, smarter innovation and economic growth.

The tour also saw visits to two US firms who have chosen to base key parts of their international operations to the campus: specialty chemicals Lubrizol’s R&D laboratory and Silicon Valley quantum computing leaders PsiQuantum.

Lastly, the tour took to the bespoke factory facility created at STFC’s Daresbury Laboratory to build anode plane assemblies (APAs) for the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment (DUNE). When the DUNE opens in the US, many of the biggest components, the APAs, will have been built at STFC’s Daresbury Laboratory, as will some of the cryomodules for PIP-II, which will provide neutrinos for DUNE.

John Leake, Business Growth Director at Sci-Tech Daresbury, said:

“Today was hugely a valuable event for all who attended. I’d like to thank Rt Hon Sir Conor Burns for visiting our campus and sharing details with our attendees about the opportunities currently available for doing business in the US. I hope following the campus tour Mr. Burns leaves Sci-Tech Daresbury well aware of the important role our campus has to play in attracting inward investment companies from the USA to utilize the cutting-edge facilities on the campus and be part of the world-class network that is based here.”

Paul Vernon, Head of STFC’s Daresbury Laboratory, said:

“STFC has a long, established history of collaboration with our partners in the US, reflecting our commitment to innovation and advancing technology that can transform industries and the world we live in. Whether we’re developing cutting edge technologies essential to the DUNE experiment in South Dakota, or welcoming Silicon Valley’s PsiQuantum in its mission to build the world’s first commercial quantum computer, or through our long-term partnership with IBM, together we are innovating further and faster than ever before.

“It was a pleasure to showcase to Mr. Burns how we are contributing to groundbreaking discoveries both sides of the Atlantic.  This not only attracts highly skilled jobs and opportunities from around the world but also ensures a promising future for our next generations of scientists, engineers, and technicians."

Kate Royse, Director, STFC’s Hartree Centre, said:

“It was a pleasure to welcome Mr. Burns to STFC’s Hartree Centre today, to demonstrate how we are providing industry with access to the advanced digital technologies, expertise and training necessary to transform economic growth and change our lives for the better.

“I was also particularly excited to talk to him about our partnership with PsiQuantum, in its mission to build the technologies needed to realise the potential of quantum computing. By bringing together the experience and capabilities of both the Hartree Centre and PsiQuantum, we are developing practical industry applications for quantum technologies that will ensure the UK remains at the forefront of this field.”

Mark Thompson, Chief Technologist and Co-founder at PsiQuantum, said:

“It was a privilege to host Rt Hon Sir Conor Burns at our facilities here at Sci-Tech Daresbury and to show some of the first large-scale prototype modules we’re beginning to test as we scale towards a useful, fault-tolerant quantum computer. This isn't just about faster computing; it's about answering previously intractable problems and delivering real value across critical industries.”

Commenting on his visit, the Rt Hon Sir Conor Burns MP said:

“The North-West continues to punch above its weight exporting goods and services to the US and attracting dynamic American firms here. Today I was delighted to meet with some of the region’s most innovative companies at the national science and innovation campus at Sci-tech Daresbury to discuss and explore the benefits of deeper transatlantic ties, including through multiple innovative Memoranda of Understanding between the UK and individual US states which are enabling new opportunities to collaborate and develop commercial links.”