The Memorandum of Understanding between Nuclear South West, a partnership of industry, academia and the public sector, and French group Nucleopolis will see the two organisations work together to connect companies with £50 billion worth of nuclear investments in South West England.
It will also help businesses tap into a £1 billion market in Normandy.
Nucleopolis, the nuclear division of Normandie Energies, brings together the expertise of nearly 100 French organisations, covering research, industry and training, in the fields of energy, health and risk management. The nuclear sector employs around 28,000 people in Normandy.
“This agreement is hugely important to us as it helps build awareness of the South West as a destination for companies to invest in and do business with the nuclear supply chain,” said Matt Burley, Nuclear South West’s chairman.
“France is recognised as being one of the most advanced nuclear nations and Nucleopolis has a significant role to play in helping the industry to grow. We look forward to developing our relationship with Nucleopolis and working closely to bring opportunities to the South West and France.”
As part of the agreement, the organisations will share knowledge and opportunities in the nuclear industry and encourage their respective members to explore opportunities to work together.
This includes a business match-making session for companies interested in export and investment.
Nuclear West said the agreement had followed more than 500 enquiries made to it and its partners during its recent attendance at the World Nuclear Exhibition in Paris. It added that it is working through these to establish further opportunities to build links with clusters in countries including Canada, Japan and South Africa.
South West-based SMEs, large companies and training providers currently supply £15 billion worth of work to the UK’s nuclear sector.
The region is also home to Hinkley Point C, which will be the first new nuclear power station in the UK for a generation. Over 60% of the project’s £20 billion construction value is predicted to go to UK companies.