UK technology companies begin a week of conferences and workshops in San Francisco and the Silicon Valley area today in a bid to attract foreign investment and break into US markets.

The 20 cleantech companies attending the Clean and Cool Mission have been identified as those with innovative products that have high growth potential.

Companies in attendance include Cella Energy, Oxford Photovoltaics, and Highview Power Storage, who were Grand Prix and Energy category winners of The Engineer Awards 2011.

Back on our side of the Atlantic, the Cummins Innovation Centre is opening at Nottingham University today with the aim of developing the next generation of electrical machines for transportation, energy and industry.

The centre has been established following successful collaborations between Cummins and the university’s Faculty of Engineering, which has seen the two working on electromagnetic and thermal modelling of generators, high speed machines for turbochargers and other high-performance applications.

In a statement, Dr Chris Gerada, research director of the Cummins Innovation Centre, said: ‘This partnership with Cummins will strengthen the electrical machines research base at Nottingham and will form a true multidisciplinary team, which can effectively and holistically look at electrical machine systems and their integration within high-performance applications.’

Meanwhile the second European Titanium Conference takes place this Wednesday and Thursday at Tortworth Court Four Pillars Hotel, Bristol.

The organisers say the conference will feature the latest materials and manufacturing developments, including microstructure and texture, near net shape manufacturing, welding and joining, surface finishing and machining.

The conference will feature over 40 presentations from high profile speakers and will have industrialists, strategists, researchers, engineers, and academics in attendance. Organisations set to attend include Imperial College London, TWI, Rolls-Royce and Metalysis.

An opportunity exists this Thursday in South Yorkshire for A Level students to consider an apprenticeship instead of going to university.

The event, hosted by Semta, the National Apprenticeship Service, plus local authorities from Sheffield and Rotherham, is designed to give local students an opportunity to discover the benefits of becoming an apprentice, as well as the chance to meet local employers keen to take on apprentices.

Good news for job seekers comes from Bill Twigg, Semta’s apprenticeship director, who says 5,300 scientists, engineers and technologists need to be recruited in Yorkshire and Humber by 2016 and apprenticeships will be central to their development.

Finally, a free one-day conference entitled Clean and Energy Efficient Production takes place tomorrow at the IET, London.

Attendees will be able to meet company decision makers from China, India and Russia looking to purchase equipment and services that will help them fulfil obligations to use less energy and water and produce less waste in their factories.

Those in attendance will also be able to hear from UK manufacturing experts about their experiences and what the future holds.