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Chamber's International Development Committee Leads Foreign Direct Investment Delegation to UK

Friday, February 24, 2017

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The Greater Irvine Chamber’s International Development Committee (IDC) led an exploratory Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) delegation on a mission to the United Kingdom the week of February 13-17, 2017.

Marv Sepe, COO of CTC Global and Leigh Volkland, senior director of Government Affairs, co-chairs of the IDC, worked with Chamber leadership and the business community to launch this initiative. The goal of the mission is to identify and encourage U.K.-based life science companies to invest in Irvine/Orange County by relocation, expansion, research and development, or startup partnerships.

“The strength of Irvine’s life science industry sector fueled the Chamber’s decision to take our unique opportunities to the attention of the U.K.’s robust life science sector,” said Linda DiMario, vice president of Economic Development & Tourism, Greater Irvine Chamber. “Our objective was to raise our profile among qualified companies looking to establish a presence in the U.S. and California and leverage a variety of business partnerships.”

Two full days of meetings in London, one full day in Cambridge, and one full day in Manchester included a power-packed schedule of meetings, events, and forums with over 75 life science organizations, life science corporate park tenants, and individual companies interested in Irvine/Orange County or considering doing business on the West Coast. A concluding reception was hosted for more than 80 companies and organizations at the Tower Bridge Glass Walkway on February 16.

The delegation included prominent leaders among the business community: Leigh Volkland, Edwards Lifesciences; Bill Carpou, OCTANe; Kate Klimow, UCI; Jason Lantgen, Jones Lang LaSalle; Lynn Stewart, Center for International Trade Development; and DiMario and Diana Le of the Greater Irvine Chamber of Commerce. The delegation’s ambitious itinerary and schedule of meetings was supported on the ground by OCO Global, the U.S. Embassy, U.S. Commercial Service, Select U.S.A., Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, One Nucleus, and the London offices of K & L Gates.

“The positive response to our impressive delegation and all that Irvine and Orange County offers only enhances our ability to compete more effectively with the established life science centers such as those in Boston and San Diego, which will accelerate our capacity to help grow our sector and the economy,” DiMario said.

An intensive and customized follow-up with more than 20 companies looking to establish a business relationship or presence in Irvine is now underway. Qualified prospects and influencers will be invited to an Irvine Showcase in October wrapped around OCTANe’s Medical Technology Innovation Forum.


Photo: Delegation members, left to right:

  •  Jason Lantgen, Vice President and Market Lead for Technology and Life Sciences practice group at Jones Lang LaSalle Orange County
  • Kate Klimow, Associate Vice Chancellor and Chief of Staff, Strategic Communications & Public Affairs for UCI
  • Leigh Volkland, Senior Director, Government Affairs for Edwards Lifesciences
  • Lynn Stewart, Director, Center for International Trade Development
  • Bill Carpou, President & CEO, OCTANe
  • Linda DiMario, VP of Economic Development & Tourism, Greater Irvine Chamber of Commerce
  • Diana Le, Manager of Business & International Development, Greater Irvine Chamber of Commerce
  • Colin McCullagh, Director UK & Ireland, OCO Global

Category: Chamber News

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