Successful Greater Irvine Chamber-Led Delegation to UK Showing FDI Progress

Wednesday, March 06, 2019

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The Greater Irvine Chamber in February led a delegation focused on foreign direct investment and composed of Irvine city officials, executives, and lifescience and technology experts to London, where they formally interviewed company executives from those industry sectors who are considering expansion to the U.S.

“Two previous missions and a lot of groundwork and follow-up has enhanced the reputation of Irvine in the U.K. so that company executives were eager to meet with us and discuss expansion opportunities,” said Linda DiMario, executive vice president, Greater Irvine Chamber.

“Our foreign direct investment work is gaining measureable traction and progress among U.K. lifescience companies ready for expansion. While hosting a Thought Leaders panel with the Association of British Healthtech Industries (ABHI) at London & Partners, Giovanna Forte, CEO of Forte Medical announced to the audience her intention to expand to Irvine because of the support she has received from our lifescience community. This company and at least five others have announced their intent to expand here. This pipeline of new companies has the potential to bring millions of new dollars into our economy and grow our high-paying lifescience and technology sector jobs for residents.”

Of the 22 U.K. companies, 11 were designated as expansion-ready and a high priority for follow-up by the Chamber’s economic development team. Several of these companies are now planning site visits in Irvine as early as this spring.

Executives from all 22 companies will be extended an invitation to attend the 2019 Irvine Lifescience Showcase, featuring the Medical Technology Innovation Forum, hosted by OCTANe, Orange County’s leading technology accelerator/seed funder for startup companies, and customized attention from Irvine Ready!, a support system of 80 volunteer experts prepared to assist one-on-one with taxes, logistics, HR, legal, VISAs, and other decision-making criteria in preparation for expansion to the U.S. 

During the 2017 and 2018 missions, to Cambridge and London, the Irvine delegation met with a combined 70 U.K. companies, connected with more than 150 British contacts, and established working relationships with two of the U.K.’s most prestigious associations in the lifescience field: One Nucleus and the Association of British Healthtech Industries, which are still heavily involved in identifying and facilitating connections with expansion-ready companies.

The United Kingdom was identified as the region with the greatest potential for expansion to the U.S. in the lifescience and technology sectors through primary research conducted by the Greater Irvine Chamber in partnership with OCO Global, a leading authority on foreign investment.

The Irvine delegation, led by Greater Irvine Chamber President and CEO Bryan Starr, and Executive Vice President Linda DiMario, includes Irvine city officials John Russo, Irvine City Manager, and Kaitlyn Nguyen, manager of Economic Development; and executives Leigh Volkland, senior director, Government Affairs, Edwards Lifesciences; Bill Carpou, CEO, OCTANe; Kate Klimow, chief administrative officer and director of External Relations, UCI Applied Innovation; Jason Lantgen, vice president, Jones Lang LaSalle; Lynn Stewart, director, Business Development, Center for International Trade Development, California State University, Fullerton; Carlos Oregon, vice president, Thinkbox Technology Group; Andy Downer, vice president, Horizon Consumer Science and British American Business Council Orange County; Steven Small, chief scientific officer, UCI Medical Center, Medical Innovation Institute; and Sesha Neervannan, senior vice president, Pharmaceutical Development, Allergan. In addition, the delegation is supported on the ground by OCO Global, the U.S. Embassy, U.S. Commercial Service, U.K. Department of International Trade, and London & Partners.

For more information on investment opportunities in Irvine, contact Linda DiMario.

Category: Chamber News, Economic Development, Economic News