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7 March, 2006 - 17:41 By Staff Reporter

Radar device company’s firm footing in Germany

An engineering technology company has its feet firmly on the ground in Germany thanks to UK Trade & Investment.An engineering technology company has its feet firmly on the ground in Germany thanks to UK Trade & Investment.

Aperio, which specialises in non-destructive investigation and geophysical surveys in the built environment, has won new business in Germany.

The company, based in Bottisham, Cambridge, uses radar devices that penetrate into the ground to identify what lies beneath. Its machinery can travel at traffic speed along a road, building up a picture of the thickness of the sub-surface – which means less disruption to traffic flows – and no need for holes to be dug in the road.

Now it has been contracted to use its non-destructive testing technology to analyse a section of the A8 near Munich.

Aperio enrolled on the UKTI-funded Passport to Export programme three years ago. This provided funding to help develop marketing collateral and exhibition graphics for international shows, attendance at international conferences and a visit to an industry forum staged at the British Embassy in Johannesburg, South Africa.

UKTI also helped fund a market research trip to Frankfurt, Germany. Trade experts at the British Embassy in Germany had identified several potential partners before their arrival and the Aperio team interviewed them with the help of regional international trade development manager, David Earp.

Aperio decided to go into partnership with BGI, based in Kassel. The two parties are setting up a joint venture to deliver Aperio services in Germany and in other European countries where BGI has branches.

Jon Baston-Pitt, managing director of Aperio said: “From our discussions with David Earp we realised we had to be more focused and decided to concentrate on the ‘pavements’ industry. UKTI was the catalyst for this kind of focused thinking.

“We were looking for a partner which would take on our technology with enthusiasm, but which had the infrastructure to support it. UKTI introduced us to BGI and managed the process, helping us with planning strategy.

“In the summer we travelled the autobahn for three weeks, gathering information on 2,500 km of the German motorway network.

“This information will soon be online at www.revealdatabase.co.uk so clients can see what information is available and order it easily. This is a sort of ‘pay-as-you-go’ service for pavement engineers.”

And Jon Baston-Pitt said he had learned the value of being proactive. He said: “UKTI encouraged us to get out there and start shaking some trees. You only get out what you put in to business.”

David Earp, regional international trade development manager said: “Aperio first set out with the intention to look at international markets but they weren’t sure how.

“With my help they began to focus more closely. They changed direction and incr-eased resources for their UK business so directors could study international trade.”

David Earp said a key factor to their success was this open-minded attitude. He said: “They were willing to take advice and now their future looks bright.”

• For further information see:www.revealdatabase.com and www.aperio-bgi.de

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