The Department for International Trade (DIT) has kicked off its programme of Northern Powerhouse trade missions with delegates flying from Manchester to San Francisco for the MedTech Conference.
This is the first of 16 trade missions which will take companies from the Northern Powerhouse area to explore export opportunities available in overseas markets.
The four-day trip, which includes visits to San Jose and San Francisco, promotes the Northern Powerhouse’s MedTech innovation capabilities, facilitate trade and research & development collaborations, as well as target key entry points into the North American market.
With a tailored programme and one-to-one support from an International Trade Adviser, delegates will meet major partners including US group purchasing organisations which leverage the purchasing power of a group of businesses, hospital groups, distributors, insurers and investors.
International Trade Minister, Mark Garnier, said: “Trade missions provide an opportunity for UK businesses to promote their goods and services on a global scale. As an international economic department, we are supporting companies by providing bespoke support through international trade advisers and overseas posts, as well as through live export opportunities on our digital hub, great.gov.uk.”
DIT’s wider Northern Powerhouse trade mission programme will consist of 16 events from September 2017 to March 2018. The individual mission programmes are developed by DIT to connect businesses in the Northern Powerhouse with opportunities identified by DIT’s global network and have been designed to support a range of companies across a number of key sectors, including food and drink, creative, life sciences, and advanced manufacturing. Government has provided £15m to support Northern Powerhouse trade missions over the next four years.
The Northern Powerhouse has one of the largest clusters of orthopaedic, medical device & surgical companies in the UK. These clusters are home to medical manufacturing and device companies including Smith and Nephew, Waters, Surgical Innovations, Reckitt Benckiser, JRI Orthopaedics, Swann Morton and DePuy Synthes. The Northern Powerhouse also boasts two NIHR Diagnostic Evidence Cooperatives in Leeds and Newcastle help generate information on the clinical and cost-effectiveness of in vitro diagnostic devices which are important in helping to improve the way diseases are diagnosed.
The Northern Powerhouse exported £54 bn worth of goods in 2016 - 18% of the UK total. This is an increase of 3% on the previous year.