Most of us run into difficult situations at work. Problems we just don’t have answers to at our finger tips. Which material suits an application best, what adhesive is the correct one for the job, where to turn for an expert subcontractor, or which European standards really affect our business.

So on a recent visit to Sira to discover the latest in electro-optics design, I was pleased to learn about Supernet, a DTI service managed by the Pera Group that has been designed to provide small and medium sized businesses with direct access to an expert able to assist with their technology related problems. The service is available in the UK at no initial charge!

A call to the Supernet Action Line is dealt with by technically qualified team members who clarify your problem. Then, using their accumulated knowledge and a database of member skills, they select a Centre of Excellence within the UK that is best able to help. A nominated representative at each Centre of Excellence will then be contacted before details are passed on.

In this way, Supernet hopes to provide some solutions to the immediate challenges of helping UK companies keep up with technical advances, innovation and competition. The initial response is within 24 hours and initial free advice of up to two hours is given to each enquiry.

And it’s working already. Paul Taylor is the managing director of Bretby Gammatech – a company that provides a coal quality monitoring service to producers and users. His company had heard about CE marking, but were unsure how it would affect the company and its export plans. Through contact with Supernet, the company clarified the situation to its satisfaction through contact with a Centre Of Excellence.

Supernet Centres of Excellence include Cranfield University, TWI, the University of Sheffield, the National Physical Laboratory, the ERA and the Patent Office and many many others.

This great idea is one that many of you will appreciate, I’m sure. I wish I’d heard of it sooner. Pera can be reached on (01664) 501034. A number well worth keeping in the cardfile!

A DTI scheme could helps us all to solve difficult problems

Dave Wilson Editor