The ElecTech Council
Formerly known as ESCO, The ElecTech Council is a group of leading UK companies and industry organisations, supported by several UK government departments, to represent and drive support for the ElecTech industry sector.
The ElecTech Council’s purpose is to find ways to bring the diverse ElecTech community together, promoting to government, industry and the public the significance of ElecTech to the future of the UK economy, to most industrial sectors, and the opportunities offered by electech for our children for generations to come.
The ElecTech sector is comprised of the electronics, electrical and electro-technical hardware industries, alongside the embedded software and systems industries who develop the low level software that makes hardware work. It brings together businesses, academia, organisations and individuals working in electronics, power electronics, opto-electronics, electro-technical and embedded software (the low level software that controls hardware). These are combined to create embedded systems (boxes of electronics and electrical hardware, and the embedded software that controls them).
ElecTech is what is known as a “horizontal” industry sector: representing shared skills and expertise that impacts many “vertical” sectors . Many well-known industry sectors such as automative or aerospace are “vertical” industry sectors, grouped around common products and the components used to make them. One goal of The ElecTech Council is to get government to support horizontal sectors like ElecTech because they deliver better “bang for the buck” across large parts of the UK economy.
ElecTech touches almost every aspect of our lives, and is at the heart of many of the revolutions powering our increasingly connected, mobile society. ElecTech is omnipresent, from mobile phone chips to transformers delivering electrical power to homes and offices, to sensors making everything more connected and responsive, and from powerful electric motors powering everything from cars and ships down to the tiniest medical nanopump. ElecTech is everywhere – and the UK is an undisputed leader in it.
TechWorks is a new type of industry association at the core of the UK deep tech community with an ambition to harness our fantastic engineering and innovation to develop the UK’s positon as a global technology super-power. Our ambition is to significantly enhance the UK’s position as a leading node in the global technology development ecosystem. We believe that deep technology development is critical to the UK’s future.
The common factor that brings together everyone in the ElecTech community is skills. Its the one topic that matters most to business leaders across every aspect of the diverse ElecTech industry.
ElecTech is built on a very well-defined set of skills: electronics & electrical engineering and embedded computing.
Basically, what we believe is that if the UK invested more to build up our electech skills-based horizontal industry sector, the UK would benefit in so many ways across almost every industrial sector. They would get far more “band for their buck” than only investing in vertical sectors, because the electech skills base can create new products and drive innovation pretty much anywhere.
If the UK has a strong ElecTech sector, the UK would be in a far more powerful position to export globally and attract FDI (Foreign Direct Investment). Furthermore, a startup-driven culture prevalent across the ElecTech sector would stimulate innovation on a massive scale, benefiting everyone everywhere.
However at the moment the UK is falling behind increasingly. Too few students are applying for electrical and electronics engineering degrees compared to other disciplines. We feel this is due to a combination of lack of awareness by teachers of what a career in ElecTech offers kids (high paying; travel the world; secure; chance to work on lots of very cool stuff), and for government to recognise the value of these skills to the UK economy. BY working together we can change this.
Standards are regarded by many as little more than a never-ending wall of rules and regulations. However, standards in newer technologies can result in industry leadership, business growth and significant investment in our economy.
The reason standards can be used as a strategic economic weapon is that when new standards are adopted, there is a rush for companies to use them faster than their competitors. That means whoever has the most knowledge of these new standards attracts the attention of companies around the world keen to adopt what they’ve created. And that creates opportunities for the UK.
We’ve done this before. In mobile phone and gaming graphics, the UK created some of the world’s leading companies such as Imagination Technologies and ARM. Their success resulted in major companies around the world like Apple, Samsung and Sega investing in those technologies, which resulted in tremendous business success for those companies. Furthermore, the gaming and special effects industries in the UK could benefit from having access to some of the world’s leading authorities on computer graphics. This all was made possible by UK companies focusing on being some of the first to help create the new standards, and deliver products based on them.
Today, opportunities for innovation in standards abound. From the Internet of Things to embedded security; from AI and Machine Learning to 5G communications, UK companies have the capabilities to impact the world. And thanks to leading standards institutions like BSI, with operations in more than 80 countries and tremendous influence in countries such as China, we can be seen as industry leaders in the smart, connected era.