Companies join race for Olympic contracts

Economy Minister Nigel Dodds today urged local companies to seize export opportunities developing from the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2012.

The ‘London 2012: Business Opportunities’ conference, jointly organised by Invest Northern Ireland and Constructing Excellence, was attended by around 150 senior executives from local companies across a range of sectors including construction, IT, security and materials handling.

Speaking at the event the Minister said: “The Olympics and Paralympics present a golden opportunity to Northern Ireland companies, both large and small, to be part of one of the biggest UK investment projects to date in infrastructure and facilities.

“The Executive, as part of the Programme for Government, is focusing on measures to strengthen the economy by encouraging and supporting smaller companies to bid for business developing from this massive project.

“Work on the development of facilities and infrastructure for the games is now gathering pace and local construction and IT companies have already secured significant Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) contracts.

Baronscourt Technology, which has its software development base in Londonderry, has been awarded a substantial contract to provide IT security solutions.”

The Minister continued: “These successes, as well as the achievements of other local companies in delivering products and services to other major projects, should help to counter any suggestions that smaller companies cannot hope to win business from such global events as the Olympic and Paralympic Games.”

In conclusion the Minister said: “Invest NI and Constructing Excellence are both ready to provide expert advice and wide ranging support to companies that are really determined to win business in the London Games. The opportunities are real and extensive, and I want to see many more of our companies being bold enough to pick up the baton and win in London. I am confident that they can and will.”

Lord Sebastian Coe, the former Olympic gold winning athlete who is now Chairman of the Organising Committee for the Games was amongst the keynote speakers at the event.

The conference highlighted the practical business support services available to companies from Invest NI and other organisations such as the ODA, the public body responsible for developing and building the new venues and infrastructure for the Games. The event was an integral part of the ODA’s commitment to ensure that the benefits arising from the design and delivery of the games are shared by all parts of the UK.

Companies already contracted to deliver services for the games and who were represented at the conference include CLM, a consortium of the US programme manager, CH2M Hill, Laing O’Rourke and Mace.