Events > Northern Powerhouse Premier Trade Mission to Washington and Atlanta, USA

Northern Powerhouse Premier Trade Mission to Washington and Atlanta, USA
2 - 6 March 2020


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The Department for International Trade (DIT) is inviting established and experienced exporters or high-growth businesses in the life sciences and healthcare sectors to join a high-profile Northern Powerhouse trade mission to Washington and Atlanta. This is a unique opportunity for you to explore and develop trade and collaboration opportunities in the USA – our biggest single partner for trade and investment. The mission will visit two key centres for life sciences and healthcare – Washington and Atlanta. More information on what makes both destinations compelling destinations for UK companies interested in developing the US market is below.

Our aim for the mission is to showcase the best that the Northern Powerhouse has to offer in the life sciences and healthcare sectors. To be suitable for the trade mission, companies should be actively selling products or services in the healthcare and life sciences sectors and based in the Northern Powerhouse region (North East, North West, Yorkshire & Humber) and meet the following criteria:

•  Have a minimum annual turnover of £5m or 
•  Are high-growth businesses (minimum of £1m turnover or 10+ employees, that can evidence growth of at least 20% year-on-year for the last 3 years) or
•  Are high-growth businesses (minimum of £1m turnover or 10+ employees, that are can evidence plans to grow by at least 20% year-on-year for the next 2 consecutive years)

DIT will be happy to consider companies that do not meet the eligibility criteria but have a strong business case to join the mission.

Places for the mission will be in demand and we have tailored the eligibility criteria to match the profile of businesses that we feel will be best-placed to participate.

What’s Included?
The visit programme will be flexible to allow delegates some time to pursue their own programme of 1:1 appointments and attend events that may be of particular interest to them. Participating delegates will have access to the following group programme activities:

•    A pre-mission briefing and post-mission follow-up support session
•    Seminars, briefings and round-table events with industry and country experts
•    Participation in a dedicated Northern Powerhouse Life Science and Healthcare Showcase Event in Washington and Atlanta 
•    Reception events in Washington and Atlanta
•    An entry in the mission brochure to help facilitate networking and encourage meetings during the visit
•    Support throughout the mission from experienced in-market experts
•    Meetings with DIT overseas Commercial Officers

The trade mission agenda is as follows (but could change as we get closer to the departure date):

Sunday 1st March


Informal welcome to Washington (optional)                      

Monday 2nd March


Formal welcome by DIT, Washington politics/ecosystem and sectoral briefings with DIT, sector and government officials


Tour and meetings at National Institutes of Health


Networking reception at British Embassy with invited guests

Tuesday 3rd March


Northern Powerhouse Life Sciences and Healthcare Showcase event – optional, delegates present for 15 minutes at showcase event or follow own programme


Free for delegates’ own programmes, late afternoon/evening fly to Atlanta

Wednesday 4th March


Formal welcome by DIT, Atlanta politics/ecosystem and sectoral briefings with DIT, sector and government officials, networking lunch


Roundtable with UK companies that have located in SE USA, followed by tours of Emory University (Office of Tech Transfer) and the Shepherd Centre (one of the USA’s top rehabilitation hospitals) 


Dinner/reception with DIT Atlanta and invited guests

Thursday 5th March


Northern Powerhouse Life Sciences and Healthcare Showcase event – optional, delegates present for 15 minutes at showcase event or follow own programme


Free for individual programmes


Reception at Her Majesty’s Consul General’s residence

Friday 6th March


Tour of Anthem Healthcare Technology Hub, presentation by Georgia Tech, emerging technologies


Delegates free for own programmes or optional tour of UPS warehouse and workshop

Mission Officially Closes

Delegates free to return to UK or other destinations, such as HIMMS Conference in Orlando http://himss2020.org/ 

The trade mission group will be made-up of a maximum of 15 companies and the registration fee, payable when you formally apply to join the mission is £400 (including VAT).  If an additional delegate from a participating company wants to join the mission, the registration fee for the 2nd delegate will be £200 (including VAT).  We are restricting the maximum number of delegates from any participating company to 2 delegates.  Applications to join the mission cannot be accepted until full payment has also been received.

Companies will need to book and pay for their own flights to and from the UK and hotels, which are not included in the package cost and this should only be done after your place(s) on the mission has been formally confirmed, following receipt of your registration fee(s).  Whilst some food and drink will be provided at networking/receptions, delegates will also be responsible for their own in-market subsistence and travel i.e. flight from Washington to Atlanta, taxis etc.

For eligible SMEs, there may be a grant of £750 per company (not individual delegate) available – you need to discuss the availability of this with your local DIT Adviser.

Closing Date 
The closing date for expressions of interest is Friday, 10th January 2020 or when all 15 places on the mission are filled, whichever is sooner. Shortly after receiving your expression of interest, we will be in touch to confirm next steps.  

Why Washington? 
The US Capital region (DC, Maryland and Virginia) is home to the US Federal Government and industry that supports the largest employer in the USA. The capital region is connected to it all with 4 international Airports, major highways, ACELA train to New York in 2 hours and the Port of Baltimore. 

There is a thriving BioHealth and Life Science Industry in the Capital region; the region is 1st in NIH Research and Development contract awards, Federal Obligations for Research & Development and Concentration of Employed Doctoral Scientists. There are over 800 Biotech companies, 2,500 Life Science Firms, 70 federal labs and a 700% increase in VC funding in the last year. Amazon chose Arlington, Virginia as site for its second HQ, and the region is home to 15 Fortune 500 companies including Danaher, Leidos, and Discovery. Why, because it’s also more affordable – Rent for life science companies averaged $24.35 per sq. ft. in comparison to $47.39 in San Francisco and $49.61 in Boston. 

The Capital Health region has numerous elite academic, medical and research institutions, with Johns Hopkins, University of Maryland, Howard University, Virginia Tech, University of Virginia, American University and George Washington University all calling the capital region home. It is:

-    First in concertation of employed doctoral scientist in the US
-    The Capital region was first to map the human genome
-    First to develop a rapid test for Ebola. 
-    First to create an FDA approved blood test for colon cancer 
-    Home to the National Institute of Health, Food and Drug Administration, National Institute of Standards and Technology and industry leaders like GSK, AstraZeneca and Inova. 

The UK’s Department for International Trade at the British Embassy can help provide contacts within the US Federal Government’s various agencies, state leadership in the capital region, and industry. 

Why Atlanta? 
Considered the economic engine of the Southeast US, the state of Georgia has a GDP equivalent to Sweden and a bilateral trading relationship with the UK worth some $5.2 billion. At its heart sits Atlanta, a vibrant metropolis of increasing national importance: economically, socially and culturally. Well-known for hosting the 1996 Olympics and synonymous with its home-grown global brands such as Coca-Cola Company, UPS Inc, Delta Airlines and CNN, metro Atlanta boasts the third largest concentration of Fortune 500 companies in the US, along with the world’s busiest airport in Hartsfield-Jackson. Its strategic location on the east coast – bolstered by the Port of Savannah – means that 80% of the USA market can be reached in a two-hour flight – or less; or 80% of the market by land in just two days. 

A powerful hub for the rapidly growing bioscience industry and recognised as a key centre for global health, Atlanta is also home to the headquarters of renowned national and global biomedical health organizations, including the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), American Cancer Society, Arthritis Foundation, CARE, The Carter Center, and the Task Force for Global Health. 

Off the back of its strengths in logistics and world-class talent emerging from Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University (graduate biomedical engineering programme now ranks #3 in the USA), metro Atlanta has also become a leader in areas of cold chain storage, fill and finish haematology and immunology, medical devices, and health IT. Referred to as the health information technology capital of the USA, Georgia has over 200 Health IT companies, with the eight metro Atlanta companies ranked among the top 100 in the nation by Healthcare Informatics Magazine having cumulative revenues totalling close to £4.5 billion. The city’s leadership is cyber security, mobility and payments has also placed Atlanta at the forefront of innovation in consumer digital health.  

Join our mission and discover first-hand why UK healthcare companies such as Craneware, Intelligent Ultrasound, PredictX and Rainmaker Communications all chose Metro Atlanta as the city from which to launch and grow their US businesses. 

For further information:
E:    northeast@mobile.trade.gov.uk  
T:    +44 (0)345 136 0169



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British Embassy Washington
3100 Massachusetts Avenue

NW Washington DC