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Archive - Thursday, 19 April 2007
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College breaks new ground
THE Royal National College for the Blind in Hereford is entering overseas markets for the first time in its 130-year history, with help from UK Trade & Investment.
RNC, in College Road, is a specialist residential provider of teaching, training and supported employment for learners with visual impairment.
The RNC is the only college in the UK specialising in teaching and training visually impaired people to be awarded Beacon status by the Department for Education and Skills.
It has worked with a US software engineer to produce the T3, a revolutionary touch sensitive, multi-sensory device that provides instant audio feedback from tactile images for a standard PC or laptop computer.
About 18 months ago, RNC joined UK Trade & Investment's Passport initiative - a scheme that gives new exporters the training, planning and ongoing support they need to succeed overseas - to market the T3 and related products and services.
"UK Trade & Investment's commercial teams at the British Embassies in France, Germany, Denmark and Holland provided us with initial market intelligence on these countries," said business development manager Chris Stevenson.
"We have since made sales in all these markets, and in Germany we have formed a partnership with a distributor, who is working on German versions of the software. We are also exporting the T3 to Austria, Poland, Romania, Singapore and Switzerland.
"UK Trade & Investment has also supported us in market visits to France, Germany, Malaysia and China. We have found the market visits excellent for global networking - as a result of contacts we made in Malaysia, we secured sales in Poland. We have also delivered specialist training in Libya and Qatar."
The Royal National College for the Blind employs 200 people.