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Zone team eyes biometrics industry at international conference

More than 30 international businesses in the defence and security sector are involved in talks with Hereford Enterprise Zone as its campaign to attract overseas investment gathers pace.

The discussions come as the Zone’s management team prepares to meet with several potential investors at one of the sector’s key global events, Biometrics 2013, being held in London this month.

The three day conference focuses on solutions for identity management, authentication and security with biometrics; the technology field which concerns identification of individuals using biological traits, such as those based on retinal or iris scans, fingerprints of DNA.

Enterprise Zone chairman Bill Jackson said face-to-face meetings were due to take place during the conference, from October 15 to 17, with potential investors.

He said: “Biometrics 2013 is a fantastic opportunity to meet up with businesses specialising in this sector. The event will give us a further opportunity to talk about what the Zone can offer in terms of infrastructure, land and a skilled workforce, as well as the bonus of existing supply chains and expertise in the region, with nearby Qinetiq and GCHQ.”

The international campaign was launched this summer when the Zone targeted hundreds of companies working in the C4ISTAR specialism of the sector, (Command, Control, Communications and Computers, Information/Intelligence, Surveillance and Targeting), Biometrics and Cyber Security, and Defence Support Equipment.

Enterprise Zone managing director Mark Pearce added: “Biometrics is a growing industry globally, and we’re keen to talk to companies looking to expand their operations in the UK.

Skylon Park can offer 72-hectares of shovel ready land in Herefordshire, a county home to more than 85 companies are already operating in the defence and security sector.

“This is the right time to be talking about new business opportunities in the security world with the creation of the new Joint Cyber Reserve Unit announced by Defence Secretary Philip Hammond last month.

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