Transatlantic visit puts Stoke’s ceramics expertise on the map


Stoke-on-Trent’s world-leading ceramics expertise came under the spotlight as aninnovative materials technology companyhosted a fact-finding mission for American partners to showcase the city’s skills.

Almost 50 representatives visited Lucideon’s global headquarters in Penkhull (14 and 15 June) to see first-hand the company’s pioneering work in materials.

They saw first-hand the site’s multi-million pound facilities and equipment, which include construction testing labs that have helped deliver a solution to tackle the fall-out from Chernobyl, state-of-the-art pharmaceutical labs, and a world-renowned centre in advanced sintering technology, awarded £1.9 million from the Government’s Regional Growth Fund due to its potential to make a major environmental and economic impact.

The USA is a key strategic growth region for Lucideon, which has laboratories and offices in North and South Carolina, and New York State, with the visit involving American-based staff from the company, as well as their partners, making the journey across the Atlantic.

The visit concluded with a glittering ball at the King’s Hall, Stoke, and a prize giving ceremony for staff.

Tony Kinsella, chief executive of Lucideon, said: “This has been the biggest international visit we have ever hosted and it was a great opportunity to showcase our expertise and skills, and amplify the message globally.

“Our colleagues have now returned to the USA with a significant amount of knowledge of services and will be able to contextualise those when talking to clients. This is critical for us to tap into the fast-paced, ever-changing global economy.

“We win when we work as teams and businesses who have teamed up with US partners are seeing more opportunities for growth and gaining from the considerable experience and expertise on both sides of the Atlantic.

“This was a great opportunity to put Stoke-on-Trent firmly on the map and celebrate our unique heritage and ambition for the future.

“As well as the business opportunities linked to the visit, the visitors also had a considerable impact on the local Staffordshire economy, with hotel rooms and tours of major landmarks – as well as a celebratory ball in Stoke-on-Trent – all included in the itinerary.”

Lucideon originated from Stoke-on-Trent’s British Ceramics Research Association, established in 1948, in the heartland of the ceramics industry – and is now at the cutting-edge of research, innovation and commercialisation in materials.

Today it employs more than 200 staff around the world with the vast majority based in Stoke-on-Trent, providing highly skilled opportunities in an area looking to utilise its historic links to the Potteries industry to tap into new and emerging technologies in both the traditional and advanced ceramics markets.

The company is a lead partner in the city’s proposed Ceramic Park development, where it plans to set up a National Advanced Sintering Centre (NASC) to attract global partners providing national and international investment. It is currently working with 10 of the UK’s most renowned Higher Education Institutions to bring the NASC to the city.

The facility would be joined by the Applied Materials Research, Innovation and Commercialisation Company (AMRICC), which is being supported by Lucideon to fast-track advanced materials and materials processes into commercial products.