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Jonathan Perks:


"Isotope production in former Soviet Union Republics" - the comments of Jonathan Perks, CNCP Expert

Jonathan Perks, CNCP Commercial Partnership Specialist

CNCP plans to help nuclear centres in Kazakhstan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan form commercial relationships with British and other European companies in the framework of their diversification for prevention of possible proliferation of sensible nuclear knowledge.

We aim to create investment and trading relationships that will continue and flourish long after our respective governments have moved onto other priorities. We want the jobs created for former nuclear centre workers to multiply as these commercial relationships evolve. We would like the new businesses along with the mutual benefits and understanding from our joint work to continue strengthening once the CNCP grants stop.

One way to do this is to create trading relationships and joint venture companies that make long-term, commercial sense for all partners involved.

So, we will work to understand and improve awareness of the partnership opportunities offered between British firms and nuclear centres. In doing so we will clarify risks, mitigate them and facilitate partnership formation. We hope to bring together the nuclear centres' know-how, access to markets, sales, production, distribution and investment capital with that available from British companies, to tackle high technology market opportunities in both local and international markets.

Experience shows that this is a difficult task with many obstacles to be overcome. These include communication and access difficulties, along with the physical remoteness of some centres from markets. Successful partnerships must create a clear, sustainable, competitive advantage that is truly greater than the partners could create alone. For example one partner might provide special skills, technology or intellectual property, while the other provides privileged access to a growing market. Communicating and capturing this competitive advantage requires tolerance, flexibility, courage and determination on both sides. Each partner must be willing to compromise in order to reach a mutually beneficial agreement. They must also have stamina, because reaching such an agreement can take considerable time.

We have made progress in Russia already, by providing opportunities for face-to-face dialogue between potential partners and initiating collaborative projects in areas where we feel partnerships can create competitive advantage. Examples include:

  • An electronics manufacturing joint venture that combines Russian capital, production capability and access to market with British capital and know-how.
  • An agreement through which a British medical equipment company will increase its European and US market share by purchasing design and production services from a Russian centre.
  • A sales and distribution agreement whereby a new Russian factory will provide speciality gases to foreign customers.
  • If all goes to plan, these partnering agreements alone will attract several million pounds of private investment and create around 400 jobs. We hope to repeat this success in Kazakhstan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.

    We will provide more opportunities for interaction between potential partners. Where necessary our programme will help reduce early stage risks by providing grant support and practical help with market research and business planning.

    I find this work professionally challenging and personally fulfilling. In many ways it is the 'acid test' through which our nations' mutual pursuit of non-proliferation goals can be converted into sustainable relationships that transcend commercial, political and cultural barriers. In my view, this is worth striving for and I will work hard to make it happen.

    For more information about opportunities for commercial partnerships, please contact, Jonathan Perks, cncp@cncp.ru.

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