London – 17th April, 2017 – The ElecTech Council today announced that it has submitted a comprehensive response on behalf of the newly named ElecTech industry sector to the BEIS Industrial Strategy green paper consultation. It calls on the government to recognise and leverage the ElecTech sector as a dynamic, fast-moving and influential industry sector touching everyone’s lives, driving productivity, economic prosperity and growth, ensuring all regions and demographics across the UK benefit from progress towards an ever smarter, more connected society. The ElecTech Council – formerly known as ESCO – highlighted the importance for UK government and industry to recognise and leverage the enormous value of ‘horizontal’ industry sectors such as ElecTech in driving innovation, growth, productivity and global leadership in a post-Brexit UK economy.
ElecTech is the new name for a broad but highly fragmented industry sector that brings together more than 45,000 companies large and small employing more than 1 million people, representing almost 6% (around £100 billion) of UK GDP. It represents a substantial part of the UK’s technology businesses sharing a skills-based agenda around electronics and semiconductors, electro-technical hardware, together with firmware software products and services.
“When discussing industrial strategies, industry sectors have mostly been thought of as vertical industry groups that have common interests based on a set of related products” says Tony King-Smith, CEO of The ElecTech Council. “We believe the government must recognise the tremendous value of also embracing horizontal sectors for the UK economy, based on industry groups where a set of related skills are the binding force. We call on the government to ensure they include horizontal industry sector deals leveraging the substantial and broad-based return on investment across every region of the UK, by actively supporting strong horizontal industry sectors like ElecTech in their future Industrial Strategy policy planning. We also urge the government to use significant UK ElecTech success stories to showcase to global markets the considerable and unique strengths of the UK’s ElecTech skills base, making the UK one of the best places in the world to base and grow world-class ElecTech businesses”.
In defining a new industrial sector driven by innovation, the ElecTech Council is tackling a key challenge: the government and general public’s perception of “tech”. Most people believe the innovation in tech resides only in the software running on anything from computers in datacentres to apps on their phones. However software needs hardware to run on – and that’s ElecTech.
Thanks to the sheer breadth of ground-breaking innovations in ElecTech, the world has been transformed over the past 20 years. It is innovation in ElecTech that enables the future, from integration of supercomputing into low cost chips for mobile phones, to moving billions of bits of data through our mobile and broadband communications networks every second, to intelligent batteries and charging systems, smart factories leveraging Industry 4.0 ElecTech, the smart meters and smart grid infrastructure vital to our increasingly electrified future and more.
It is ElecTech that has enabled products from phones to drones to be transformed so quickly from specialist equipment costing hundreds of thousands of pounds to something costing a few hundred pounds or less available to everyone. As a world leader in everything from high performance computers and graphics, to mobile communications, AI, AR/VR, the IOT, electric motor technologies, industrial motor controllers through to controls for the latest jet engines and Formula 1 telemetry and much more, the UK is respected the world over for its ElecTech capabilities.
“The ElecTech Council looks forward to working closely with many of the vertical industry sector organisations and institutions” concluded King-Smith. “Our ElecTech businesses are not waiting for anyone – we already have significant initiatives underway including stimulating STEM education, apprenticeships from technician to degree through the Trailblazer scheme and international standards and regulation. We need the government to come alongside us to ensure the UK is recognised as a world leader in ElecTech.”
More information on the made by The ElecTech Council can be accessed at their website www.electechuk.net (launching shortly).
What is ElecTech?
When people think of “tech”, they usually think of the software running anything from apps on mobile phones to massive software applications and databases running in cloud servers in data centres. ElecTech is the hardware without which tech cannot exist; it is the hardware on which all software tech runs, and the firmware that connects software to hardware.
The term “ElecTech” has been created by The ElecTech Council as an easy way of referring to a substantial, but highly fragmented horizontal industry sector driven by a common skills agenda, rather than product-centric agenda of vertical industry sectors such as automotive or aerospace. ElecTech covers all businesses, institutions and academia involved in everything from research and manufacturing through to installation, maintenance and support of:
- Electronics hardware: semiconductor chips, communications, sensors, control
- Electro-technical hardware: electricity infrastructure, automation, lighting, motors
- Firmware: software that controls electronics and electro-technical hardware and connects it to software applications
Almost every form of tech you can think of relies on ElecTech, for example:
- Fintech relies on ElecTech computers, and increasingly specialised ElecTech computation accelerators.
- Agritech relies on ElecTech embedded software and specialised electronics in farming equipment and facilities.
- The IOT (Internet of Things) relies on cost-effective, low cost smart sensors with integrated communications.
- Smart homes rely on ElecTech controls for heating and hot water, LED lighting, communications and increasingly power conversion.
- Smart factories built on Industry 4.0 technologies, which comprise ElecTech robots, communications, power distribution and sensors
- The creative industries rely on ElecTech to power the advanced graphics and enormous compute power used to create CGI effects, as well as the ElecTech used to turn images into high quality digital content and communicate it to everyone’s home and mobile.
ElecTech is everywhere!
What’s an example of the influence and reach of Electech?
The future of electric autonomous vehicles (EAVs) – both cars and trucks – is an great example of just how influential ElecTech is. Just think of all the places where ElecTech is essential for every vehicle:
- Electric motors with smart control
- Intelligent batteries and charging systems
- Artificial Intelligence (AI) in each vehicle to enable it to be autonomous regardless of whether it is connected to the mobile network or not
- Mobile connectivity, including cellular (3G/4G/5G), Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and Vehicel to Vehicle (V2V)
- Smart graphics-rich dashboards
- Driver and passenger entertainment
- LED lighting
- Digital control of per-wheel braking and energy regeneration systems
- Front and rear view cameras, plus proximity and security cameras
- Radar and Lidar sensors
The future of EAVs relies on major innovations on everything from smart charging and battery networks, to enormous onboard intelligence for the real-time intelligence needed to control the car. The future relies ion innovative hardware, not just software.
What is a horizontal industry sector?
A horizontal industry sector is one where the members share a common set of skills. For ElecTech, these skills are strongly STEM-based, including electrical and electronic engineering, computer science and industrial design. The skills span every level of training from basic technicians through to PhDs. It also embraces a broad base of general skills needed to operate any business in the ElecTech sector.
This is in contrast to most traditional industry sectors such as automotive or aerospace, that are based on the design and manufacture of a class of products or services. While the output from such industry sectors can be more easily understood, stimulation of an industry sector can require a complex set of initiatives that often result in benefits for a relatively small number of companies.
When industrial strategies are focused on a horizontal sector, broad-reaching benefits can be enjoyed by many more companies across all regions and demographics, since the common skills agenda results in resources that are useful to many vertical industry sectors. A horizontal industry sector strategy complements those developed for both established and emerging vertical industry sectors, ensuring the UK economy has the skills base needed to respond to demand for an ever-changing landscape of products and services addressing global markets driven by smart, connected technologies.
To ensure everyone in every industrial sector understands ElecTech’s impact, we’re collaborating with InnovateUK to create a set of easy to understand roadmaps that help government and every vertical industry sector better understand the cross-industry benefits of a strong ElecTech sector. Through this, we aim to make clear the benefit of ElecTech to all industry sectors large and small, both well-established and emerging.
Who is The ElecTech Council?
The ElecTech Council is a new organisation, borne from the Electronics Systems Community known as ESCO since 2011, representing one of the largest “horizontal” skills-based industry sectors.
The ElecTech Council has been established by three key trade organisations: BEAMA, Gambica, and the NMI, supported by government representatives from BEIS and InnovateUK as well as key institutions including the BSI and the IET. Senior executives from a wide range of ElecTech businesses form a key part of the Council, representing companies including Altran, ARM, Emerson, Glenn Dimplex Group, Rolls Royce, Schneider, Siemens, Vertizan and Watchstone group. A wide range of other trade bodies and companies are also actively involved including ECA, ECSN, ESTnet (Wales) and The Electronics Group (formerly Electronics Yorkshire)
The CEO of the Electech Council is Tony King-Smith, an electronics industry veteran with more than 35 years industry experience with companies such as British Aerospace, Panasonic and Imagination Technologies.
See more at www.electechuk.net (launching shortly)
The ElecTech Council Press Contact:
Tony King-Smith, CEO firstname.lastname@example.org