John Carine and Steve Hughes, NIASS was created in 2013. Why was it created? What gave you the idea? How did it come to be?
JC: Being part of the nuclear sector for most of our careers, we noticed how difficult it was for companies to get into the nuclear sector even though “new blood” is very much needed. When you speak to the end clients, the Site License Companies (SLCs) they are frustrated by the same approach and mentality and are encouraging some form of supply chain transformation. For new entrants to know about the tenders that are happening, decide whether or not it is worth bidding, and finding the right partners is a very expensive and time-consuming process. So NIASS was set up as a business development team that would be a less expensive and time-expedient way to find new business for organizations in the nuclear sector. NIASS also works with the SLCs to help improve their view of the supply chain capacity and capability.
SH: NIASS was originally formed by Jim McCormac and Phil Stanley and came to be because we all have very specific and different experiences of the nuclear sector from working in organizations within New Build, Defence, Plant Life Extension and Decommissioning areas. We have access to a number of nuclear sector subject matter experts who can come into a project with their specific skills set at short notice. The team has worked within SMEs, larger organizations and the SLCs which all have different operational issues and demands giving NIASS a more robust offering.
What do you think are your specific advantages in business development?
JC: Our complementary experience for one, and a very deep and local knowledge of our markets from a technical and commercial point of view of course, but also when it comes to local points of entry and contacts. I find that essential to gather intelligence and have the most up-to-date and relevant information.
SH: NIASS works in such a way that if our clients win, we win, so commercially speaking this is our best argument and that’s why it works. Furthermore, since our customers are companies that do not compete and are like-minded in terms of collaborative working, it also allows for building long-term relationships and partnerships with efficient communication between all parties.
How is your view of the nuclear sector in the UK?
JC and SH: We are optimistic and happy to see and be part of a nuclear renaissance at a time when it is most needed in the UK. A balanced energy mix is needed where Nuclear New Build can play a successful part in that, as well as supporting our national deterrent capability, extending the life of the existing stations to keep the light on and providing the resources and skills to successfully decommission the legacy facilities.
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