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New network has the element of supplies.

Byline: KELLEY PRICE kelley.price@eveninggazette.co.uk

A TRIO of engineering companies has set up a new network to fly the flag for the Teesside supply chain.

Teesside Engineering Network (TEN) will highlight new business opportunities - and help stop work on big projects being poached by companies out of the area.

Stockton firm Francis Brown has won half-a-million pounds in new orders for offshore energy projects since the New Year.

But managing director Jamie Brown says the company's success is not down to having a dedicated business development resource.

"There doesn't seem to be the vehicles out there for people to find out what's going on," he claims.

"Larger companies have business development and marketing departments, but smaller companies like ourselves just don't have a department doing research on projects that are coming up. Being in a room with like-minded people is a great opportunity that SMEs don't normally get."

He got together with Rob Johnson, director of Axiom Engineering Associates to set up TEN - and was quickly joined by Catherine Griffiths, of Industrial & Marine Hydraulics.

All three think there's a demand for a network like TEN - and a recent launch event that saw more than 70 delegates attend seems to have proved their point.

"There are a lot of good projects going on in the area," said Jamie, "we're trying to fly the flag for Teesside's engineering companies, get like-minded people to collaborate, so larger companies know we are here.

"We're thankful that we have NEPIC and Tees Valley Unlimited providing that role in a broader sense, but TEN is much more about engineering."

Engineering companies need to align themselves to bid for contracts, and larger companies need to be aware of the skills and experience available, he said.

"Without this trade of knowledge, work could unnecessarily slip outside our area."

The company has picked up several new contracts in offshore umbilicals for renewables, and oil and gas projects in Brazil, since the start of 2013.

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NETWORK: Jamie Brown, managing director of Francis Brown, who has helped set up the Teesside Engineering Network
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Feb 22, 2013
Words:347
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