ScienceScope, based at Downside School near Bath, develops technology to teach children about the ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) and connected devices.
The deal with the National Institute for Education in Singapore will see the company build an IoT lab on-site and provide every school in Singapore with 300 micro:bits, one of ScienceScope’s flagship products, over the next 3 years.
In the United Arab Emirates (UAE), ScienceScope was awarded a grant from Expo 2020 Dubai to build an IoT school project at 2 schools. The schools will receive IoT weather stations and IoT development kits as part of a pilot scheme which could be rolled out to other schools in the Gulf region.
The micro:bit is a pocket-sized codable computer that encourages young people to get creative with technology and code their own projects, including designing video games. A million were handed out to 11-years-olds across the UK in a partnership with the BBC 2 years ago.
Both deals were enabled through support from the Department for International Trade (DIT). Most recently, DIT assisted the business to attend global education training and technology show, Bett Middle East in Abu Dhabi, with support from DIT as part of Exporting is GREAT campaign, which encourages SMEs to export their products.
DIT also put the business in touch with an export manager on-the-ground in Dubai and thanks to this the business now sells 80% of its products overseas.
David Crellin, Chief Executive and Founder of ScienceScope, said:
When we first started exporting to Singapore, DIT’s team helped us to forge strong relationships with our new overseas customers from the get-go. They’ve taken a real interest in our business and guided us towards fantastic opportunities in new markets, also encouraging us to attend international trade shows. They also gave us the idea to bid for the Expo 2020 Live grant. For any company that’s thinking of exporting, my advice would be to go for it.
It can be challenging at first because there are lots of things to consider, from paperwork to cultural differences with clients, but this can easily be overcome by working with DIT experts.
The best advice I could give to a firm looking to export for the first time or increase their international sales would be to attend relevant trade shows as nothing beats meeting potential buyers face-to-face. If we can do it, so can many other local firms.
Paul Shand, DIT’s Head of the South West, said:
ScienceScope is a fantastic example of a pioneering British business setting the bar high in its sector. The company has been incredibly successful in finding markets ready for its innovative products that allow pupils and teachers to learn and teach to their full potential.
We’re delighted to have supported the company by setting up introductions to potential new customers. The guidance we provide is all part of our focus to convert more of the region’s businesses into successful exporters, so companies don’t have to go through the exporting process alone.
Firms looking for support should visit great.gov.uk which has information on live export opportunities and includes general information on exporting and events.