London – 11th May, 2017 – The ElecTech Council today welcomed the launch of TechWorks, led by some of UK industry’s most influential ElecTech business leaders including Sir Hossein Yassaie, Hermann Hauser, Simon Segars and Stan Boland. Their focus on ‘Deep Tech’ to fuel growth in startups and scale-ups, building on the energy and global reach of the UK’s top ElecTech companies together with strong support from the investment community, demonstrates the ability of the ElecTech community to make disruptive innovation reality in almost every industry sector, and cross-sector.
“It’s time the government recognised that any Industrial Strategy that hopes to stimulate innovation, grow jobs, scale-up companies or improve productivity must deliver focused initiatives leveraging the strength of our ElecTech industries here in the UK” said Tony King-Smith, CEO of The ElecTech Council. “The launch of TechWorks shows the calibre and influence of senior business people in our ElecTech industries, and their ambitions to use technology innovation to drive substantial economic growth. We call on the government to harness and leverage this energetic, fast-moving community quickly, before it’s too late.”
The UK has one of the world’s most influential, innovative and dynamic electronics, electro-technical and embedded software industries (together known as ‘the ElecTech industry sector’), with a skills base and global influence envied by many countries. Examples are numerous, including:
- more than 95% of all software world-wide runs on UK-designed computers (CPUs); indeed computing itself was born here in the UK in the early 19th century!
- the user experience on almost anything with a touchscreen, including the most advanced smartphones and tablets relies on graphics processors (GPUs) designed in the UK
- Formula 1 and Formula E racing technologies originate mostly in the UK, finding their way across not only the global car and truck industry, but far beyond
New innovations continue to be created in the UK in everything from 5G communications, AI, AR/VR and robotics through to advanced metrology, consumer and industrial robotics, smart home controls, IOT security, connected jet engines and more. We have the intellectual muscle within our UK ElecTech community to make UK stronger on the world’s tech stage in a post-Brexit world.
The Deep Tech community championed by TechWorks is a great example of how entrepreneurs and business innovators are breaking down traditional industrial barriers to create new truly disruptive technologies and businesses. ElecTech is fundamental to many of them – without the ElecTech hardware platforms, most ‘tech’ simply cannot exist!
But we need the people to make it happen. “While the immigration debate rages, nothing concrete is being done`” continued King-Smith. “Through lack of action, we risk losing too many non-UK high-calibre graduates from around the world trained here in the UK by our own world-class universities then lost to Europe and Asia – skilled resources desperately needed by UK ElecTech and Deep Tech companies large and small. And if the ongoing weakness in our ElecTech skills base results in ElecTech and Deep Tech businesses looking elsewhere to grow in our fast-moving sector – despite the skills we already have here in the UK – we also risk losing some of our best UK graduates, highly experienced engineers and entrepreneurs – ‘Techxit’ as Sir Hossein Yassaie refers to it. Government needs to really get behind our ElecTech industries and academic institutions, with policies aimed at growing our ElecTech STEM-based skills base, together with strategic immigration policies to keep and attract the skills we need here in the UK from Europe and around the world.”
The ElecTech Council sees the digitalisation of manufacturing using ‘Industry 4.0’ technologies such as robotics, power, sensor and communications technologies (which all rely on ElecTech) as one of the key initiatives government needs to use to stimulate growth – and UK ElecTech. Concludes King-Smith: “As part of any industrial strategy we need well-considered business incentives, developed in close collaboration with business and financial communities, to stimulate more manufacturing here in the UK, enabling us to grow exports. ‘Industry 4.0’ is a wake-up call: manufacturing no longer needs to rely on low labour costs, so need no longer be automatically outsourced to Asia. More manufacturing needs to come back to the UK, creating more jobs, attracting more investment, and improving productivity.”
The ElecTech Council is working closely with initiatives such as the ‘Industrial Digitalisation Review’ led by Juergen Maier, the ‘Each Home Counts Review’ led by Peter Bonfield, and strategic standards initiatives led by the BSI, as well as collaborating closely with vertical industry sectors such as automotive and aerospace. It submitted a comprehensive response to the recent Industrial Strategy consultation green paper, and works closely with BEIS and other government departments exploring how ElecTech can help make the UK stronger. It is also working with InnovateUK to define roadmaps showing how ElecTech influences innovation across many industry sectors.
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 UK’s largest “horizontal” skills-based industry sectors. ElecTech represents more than 45,000 companies employing more than 1,000,000 people.
The ElecTech Council has been established by three key trade organisations: BEAMA, Gambica, and TechWorks (formerly 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 senior executive experience with multi-national companies such as British Aerospace, Panasonic and Imagination Technologies.
The ElecTech Council Contact: