News in brief

IBM wins ICI work

IBM has won a seven-year contract to provide and manage ICI’s computing infrastructure. As part of the deal ICI will transfer management of its systems to IBM, which will standardise hardware, software and network design.

IMI Marston sell-off

IMI Marston, part of engineering group IMI, has sold its aerospace interests for £16.6m to US firm Hamilton Standard, part of United Technologies Corporation. Chief executive Gary Allen said the sale completed disposal of the group’s components engineering business as it focused on control systems.

BNFL wins access

BNFL has signed a five-year deal worth up to £20m to give it access to AEA Technology’s specialist facilities for handling radioactive material at Windscale.

Power switch

Nearly 3,000 UK industrial and commercial sites switched their electricity supplier between October and March, according to the energy market analysis firm Datamonitor.

Scots output down

Manufacturing output fell 1% in Scotland in the third quarter of 1998, compared to a fall of 0.1% in the UK. Strathclyde University’s Fraser of Allander Institute said this is largely due to a slow down in the electronics sector, which contracted 0.8% over the period.

Dry dock closure

Swansea Dry Dock has been closed by owner Ugland with the loss of 70 jobs, after the south Wales facility ran up a loss of more than £800,000. The company, which bought the docks six years ago and invested £2m in infrastructure, said the dry dock was too small and the pound too strong.

Win for Heriot-Watt

Heriot-Watt university has won four of 10 DTI-sponsored Smart awards in the new category of technology spinoffs.