London, 25th January 2017: ESCO (the Electronics and Electrical Systems Council) today welcomed the UK government’s ‘Building our Industrial Strategy’ green paper as a tremendous opportunity to bring together policy makers with industry leaders, sector councils, trade bodies and innovation and education stakeholders to explore the potential to be derived from identifying and exploiting our UK industrial strengths. The ESCO Council’s key stakeholders believe that this starts an important consultation process that will lead to upgrading the UK’s industrial policies and strategies in ways that will have meaningful impact on the economy, and ensures that appropriate focus is given to key issues such as skills, immigration, productivity, inward investment and exports as we head towards a post-Brexit Britain.


“I believe Monday’s ‘Building our Industrial Strategy’ green paper has fired the starting gun for the most extensive consultation with industry for decades, hopefully resulting in a far more focused UK Industrial Strategy that fully embraces the innovation, strengths and opportunities in our electronics, electrical, electro-technical and embedded software industries ” says Tony King-Smith, newly-appointed CEO of ESCO. “Our industry has complained for far too long that it is under-valued and unrecognised – this is a unique opportunity for us to come together now as a unified and significant industry sector, and take action to change that.”


“It is heartening to see that R&D is recognised as a core pillar – something the Electronic and Electrical Systems businesses typically invest heavily in”, continues King-Smith. “We also believe that well-directed procurement, particularly in the NHS and Defence, can have a substantial impact by exploiting and accelerating the many strengths of the UK’s diverse, world-leading electronic, electrical and embedded businesses and skills. We also believe in industry playing a key role in solving the skills shortages: indeed we have been one of first industries to release both undergraduate and post-graduate apprenticeship schemes under the new ‘Trailblazers’ programme. So our goal now is to ensure that as the UK’s Industrial Strategy takes form over the coming months and years, we see growing recognition of our contribution and value to the UK economy.”


ESCO welcomes the fact that R&D, innovation procurement and skills have all been recognised in the green paper as key to the future of the UK. ESCO has stated many times that a new business-centric industrial strategy is vital for the future of the UK, and that a well-directed Industrial Strategy is a vital tool fuelling more start-ups, as well as faster scale-up and innovation in UK companies.


However, there’s a massive job ahead to get electronics and electrical systems, as well as the embedded software that controls all hardware, front and centre as a key driver of growth and economic success. ESCO will be working closely both with government, and bringing together the many highly specialised segments of our own industry to deliver a cohesive industrial community with one strong, unified voice, and ensure that it plays a key role in the future of post-Brexit Britain. ESCO therefore welcomes the initial consultation signalled by this green paper, and will respond comprehensively to the consultation on behalf of the electronics, electrical and embedded software and systems communities


Brian Holliday, Chairman of ESCO and Managing Director of Siemens Digital Factory in the UK says: “The UK electronics, electrical and electro-technical sector is a strong and growing contributor to the economy. ESCO intends to positively embrace Industrial Strategy, and harness the collective energy of all parts of our industry. Together we can collaborate to build on our innovation and infra-structure base to help create new start-ups, engender new technology skills, to encourage new regional investments and to ensure rewarding technology jobs are created across the UK”.


Since publishing its report in June 2013 in response to a request from government, ESCO has been working with industry leaders to ensure that the government remains aware of the value and achievements of the electronics and electrical systems community. With the publication of this green paper, led by BEIS but impacting many government departments such as DCMS, DIT, DExEU and DofE, a new chapter for UK industry has started. Through ESCO’s active participation in the shaping of the UKS Industrial Strategy, we believe big things can be achieved, benefiting everyone in the electronics and electrical systems community across the UK.


About the ESCO Council


The ESCO Council comprises leading companies, industrialists, trade associations and other representative bodies, providing a forum for the UK’s electrical and electronic systems industry to share experience, best practice and resource to address common issues. The ESCO Council also acts as a vital communications channel with Government departments and agencies to enable them to better work with and support our industry.


The Council includes senior executives from companies including Siemens, ARM, Altran, Emerson, Glenn Dimplex Group, Rolls Royce, Schneider, Vertizan and Watchstone Group; trade and industry organisations including BEAMA, BSI, Gambica, NMI, ECA, IIOM, ESTNet Wales and Electronics Yorkshire; with support and guidance from government including BEIS, InnovateUK and the KTN


For further information


Contact: Tony King-Smith, CEO ESCO –