News in brief

Scottish push

Scottish software companies hope to win an extra £6m in exports over the next two years by promoting their services through a US-based business centre. The centre in silicon valley in California will be run by Scottish Trade International, a government agency.

Electronic projection

By 2003 Britain’s IT and telecommunications industries will represent about 6% of GDP, said the Federation of the Electronic Industry’s newly appointed president, Ian Vance. During his one-year presidency Vance will tackle issues such as effective skills training and the need for more R&D investment.

Nuclear rap

The Nuclear Installations Inspectorate may prosecute the UK Atomic Energy Authority for a breach of its licence conditions over a 12-hour power failure at the Dounreay site last week. The three-man NII team is investigating the incident.

Missile boats filled

Vosper Thornycroft this week delivered two new missile boats to Qatar, completing the order for four 56m Barzan class vessels.

Foot in Brazil

Senior Engineering has bought three Brazilian companies based in Sao Paulo for £12m. Two of the companies, Deltaterm and Teflex manufacture automotive exhaust decouplers for major car producers, while the third, Tecne makes joints and hoses for the petrochemical and general industrial markets.

Year 2000 help

A 53-page guide to Year 2000 problems in machinery aimed at small and medium sized businesses has been published this week by the Institution of Electrical Engineers. The book focuses on the problems of embedded systems, and is available for £7 from IEE, PO Box 96, Stevenage Herts, SG1 2AY.