Wood has launched a new fund that will invest in technologies for nuclear decommissioning developed by small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).
The Wood Nuclear Innovation Fund was launched at the BECBC Nuclear Engagement Sector Group meeting in Warrington (21 June). It aims to bring about a step change in the decommissioning or dismantling process at nuclear facilities by finding new ways to minimise human intervention, increase productivity and optimise waste treatment, packing and routing.
Bob MacDonald, CEO of Specialist Technical Solutions at Wood (a BECBC member), said: “The UK government and Nuclear Decommissioning Authority want industry to deliver safer, cheaper and faster decommissioning and to meet this challenge, it will be necessary to deploy new or existing technologies in ingenious and innovative ways.
“Wood is already investing seedcorn funding in a number of areas, including our SIAL nuclear waste encapsulation technology, and now we are inviting SMEs to put forward investment-ready proposals.
“Successful investment by the fund will enable SMEs to grow and help us to achieve our objective of becoming the most sought after and trusted provider of waste management and decommissioning solutions.”
Wood’s technical experts will assess all proposals and successful SMEs will also be assisted by the commercial, operations and business development teams.
At the meeting, Nick Higginson, Decommissioning Operations Director at Wood, told more than 100 representatives of British and European member companies that the fund had been set up to uncoverexciting and innovative ideas from SMEs.
Nick added: “We want to work with companies out there who can use our facilities and expertise to move technology forward more quickly and make a difference to decommissioning.
“The fund is aimed at the nuclear sector, but we would be delighted if we find a technology that can also be applied in other sectors such as oil and gas.”
Also speaking at the same event was Emma-Jayne Gooch, Head of Supply Chain Development at Sellafield Ltd, who said: “It is really good to hear what Wood is doing. We’re very keen to do more with SMEs.”
For more information about the Wood Nuclear Innovation Fund, contact WoodNuclearInnovationFund@woodplc.com.
PHOTO: Nick Higginson of Wood