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IBF 2013: Galvanizing industry for ITER

-Sabine Portier, French Industrial Liaison Officer

The 2013 edition of IBF, in Toulon, attracted over 700 industry representatives from 24 countries. © Agence Iter France (Click to view larger version...)
The 2013 edition of IBF, in Toulon, attracted over 700 industry representatives from 24 countries. © Agence Iter France
One of the principal objectives of the ITER Business Forum is to promote industrial partnerships for ITER in Europe and abroad between primo-contractors to the project (Level 1), and potential subcontractors (Level 2 and beyond). The 2013 edition of IBF, held on 21-22 March in Toulon, attracted over 700 industry representatives from 24 countries.
 
Two weeks after the event, it's interesting to step back and assess the Forum's success. Were the companies that attended already known to the project? The statistics are now in. Of the 386 firms or organizations represented at IBF/13, a third (115) are Level 1 project contractors and another 97 have worked as subcontractors (Level 2, ...). When questioned, over 80 percent of companies expressed their objective to become (or remain) primo- or sub-contractors for the project.
 
We asked participants whether, in their view, the Forum was an efficient medium for companies to form business relationships and partnerships for the ITER project. 

Pascale Dauguet, Scientific Market Manager and International Expert for Air Liquide Advanced Technologies (France): "The exchanges we had with members of the ITER Organization and the European Domestic Agency F4E were fruitful, and gave us a good idea of the current status of the project. IBF/13 also offered our purchasing and project responsible officers the opportunity to meet new potential suppliers. We will now analyze the capacities of these suppliers with a view to optimizing our outsourcing. The contacts we formed are potentially very valuable to us, for our work for ITER but also for other Air Liquide Advanced Technologies projects. Having all of these actors in one place for several days was very useful!"

Of the 386 firms or organizations represented at IBF/13, a third (115) are Level 1 project contractors and another 97 have worked as subcontractors.© Agence Iter France (Click to view larger version...)
Of the 386 firms or organizations represented at IBF/13, a third (115) are Level 1 project contractors and another 97 have worked as subcontractors.© Agence Iter France
Kyung-Ho Park, Project Manager for Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., Ltd. (Korea): "It was very significant for the representatives of Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., Ltd. (HHI), the largest industrial company in the world, to be present at the IBF/13, which was quite well organized. HHI is manufacturing two sectors of ITER vacuum vessel as contractor to the Korean Domestic Agency and also the toroidal field coil structures (TFCS) which was awarded by the Japanese Domestic Agency. In the progress of manufacturing these core components of the ITER project, HHI has prepared and equipped various facilities and workshops tailored for ITER. HHI has also experienced many trials and errors, which have resulted in the acquisition of important knowhow and technology. We hope this kind of experience and knowhow can be used for project improvement and development in order to achieve expected results in the nearest future."

Jean-Luc Borel, Regional Director for KSB SAS (Germany): "Now in its third edition, IBF has become indispensable for the actors of the ITER project, especially the industrial companies. We were able to hear the latest on the project from the ITER Organization, from the European Domestic Agency, and from representatives of diverse areas of industry who are potential clients for an equipment supplier like KSB. The information we learned from the presentations was of a practical nature and immediately exploitable in terms of potential opportunities. The IBF/13 event brings together and federates the suppliers engaged in this complex scientific and industrial project. What's more, the communication tools developed by the French Industrial Committee (C2I) allow us to remain in touch with the project between two editions of IBF. As a potential Level 2 actor of the project, we were favourably surprised by the success and the quality of the one-to-one meetings that we participated in. Two examples: a meeting with an important French group—already a contractor for ITER (and a client of KSB's for valves )—became the opportunity to learn about current tender offers and opened our eyes to new regional associations. Our exchanges have continued beyond IBF in Toulon, and visits are planned. A second meeting with a group based in the PACA region has resulted in possible pump activities for KSB beyond the scope of ITER. As a last note, I would have to mention the quality of all the informal discussions that I was able to have during IBF/13..."


For doing business with ITER, Toulon was definitely the place to be. (Click to view larger version...)
For doing business with ITER, Toulon was definitely the place to be.
Michèle Debret, Major Project Commercial Manager for APAVE (France)
: "For APAVE, already heavily involved in the ITER project through contracts with the ITER Organization and the European Domestic Agency, IBF/13 was an excellent opportunity to consolidate and develop our exchanges with industrial companies and institutions working with the project. The event stands out for the following reasons: the quality of contracts, the international dimension of the Forum, the presence of high-level representatives of the ITER Organization and Industrial Liaison Officers, and excellent organization. In effect, a number of the industrial firms present had well-defined expectations for the partnerships they hoped to form for contracts underway or tender offers to come. Our exchanges were oriented toward practical opportunities for doing business together. Also, it is rare to find such an international selection of top industrial companies in one place—our interaction with them was extremely valuable, even beyond the scope of ITER. The movement around ITER is accelerating; component fabrication is underway all over the world. For APAVE, specialized in quality and risk management, important opportunities are ahead. IBF/13 acted as a galvanizer for industry around ITER and we are pleased to have participated."

Jean-Claude Cercassi, Business Development Manager / ITER & Large Scientific Instruments for CNIM Industrial Systems (France): "IBF/13 was particularly rich in people contacts—the five representatives of CNIM attended quite a number of conferences and obtained more than 40 meetings with ITER actors, partners and potential suppliers. I was impressed by the efficiency of the one-to-one meetings—the subjects were well defined, well prepared and a concrete plan of action resulted from most. It's true that the ITER project has reached maturity: 3D models are now being replaced by components and companies like CNIM have concrete projects to share and offers to build based on industrial partnerships. The ITER Business Forum has accompanied the project since its beginnings and the maturity can be felt—the conference program was consequential and the business meetings well organized. Perfect! Thanks to its implantation in Toulon and the fact that it was awarded the radial plate contract by the European Domestic Agency, CNIM was in the spotlight during IBF/13—for this I'd like to thank the organizing team. The ITER Business Forum is now a "must" for CNIM, because it contributes directly to the expansion of our activities for ITER and for fusion."

A strong French regional partnership

On 21 March 2013, the "Welcome Around ITER Partnership" was officially launched at the ITER Business Forum in Toulon. This is a strong French regional partnership, designed to welcome ITER companies and provide services matching their multiple needs (immigration, housing, relocation services, human resources, industrial partnerships, business setup). French entities making up the new partnership are: the Agence Iter France Welcome Office, the interface for accommodation in the area, operational solutions, joint hosting capacities, and visa and relocation services; Pôle Emploi, which provides tailor-made approaches for recruitment in the region; the French Industrial Committee (C2I), in charge of promoting partnerships between French industry and European or international companies; and the Welcome Office for International Companies (WOIC) which offers customized, confidential and free-of-charge support to companies seeking to implant their activity in the region.

Emmanuelle Bellange,
Head of the Welcome Office, Agence Iter France
Ruben Moreno Zubelzu, Business Development, ENSA (Spain):
"Participation in IBF/13 was a success for ENSA. After the conferences, the number of contacts with potential subcontractors or potential partners for new business opportunities increased significantly. The contract with ITER has been an opportunity for ENSA to participate in a project with international repercussions, working together with top-level technological companies."

Thomas MARTY - Project Manager ITER, ASTARE - Engineering Services, Westinghouse Electrique France (France/USA): "This year was the second time I attended the ITER Business Forum. Once again, the event was very fruitful. It was a great opportunity to get an update on project progress and learn about the future calls for tender planned by the ITER Organization but also the European and other Domestic Agencies. Westinghouse had many requests for one-to-one meetings and we were not able to answer all of them positively, although we established several very interesting contacts which I hope will lead to future cooperation around ITER or for the other activities of Westinghouse in France and the rest of the world. The previous IBF in Manosque led us to win the ITER Organization framework contract for design engineering and CAD services. We hope the contacts we have established and the information we have collected this year will also turn into similar achievements. In the context of such an active procurement phase for the project, I think many of this year's attendees are looking forward to another IBF next year."


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