With the subsea and electronics industries facing similar challenges, the new deal will align two industry bodies’ strategies and connect their supply chains.
A new partnership between industry groups Subsea UK and TechWorks will help develop advanced underwater technology.
The agreement will unite the UK’s subsea and electronics industries, help to increase exports and create new jobs.
Under the partnership, Subsea UK and TechWorks will coordinate a range of initiatives to explore and encourage potential areas for collaboration among their supply chains to help their members strategically leverage technologies and opportunities that lead to high value growth.
Subsea UK represents the underwater engineering industry, which brings the UK annual revenues of almost £8 billion and supports 45,000 jobs. Though traditionally important for the oil & gas industry, the sector is extending into emerging sectors such as marine renewables and aquaculture.
TechWorks is a new type of industry association and is placed at the core of the UK deep tech sector. This creates business communities to empower innovation and collaboration under five areas of interest: automotive electronics, the internet of things, electronics manufacturing industry, power electronics and electronic systems.
Chief executive of Subsea UK Neil Gordon said: “The electronics industry, like the subsea industry, is often hidden from view. For example, the electronic systems in a car or the subsea infrastructure on the seabed, are largely unseen but critical to the functioning of a vehicle or the production of energy offshore.
“It quickly became apparent that we could work collaboratively to help the supply chain grow, enhancing UK capabilities in both industries and, through a joined-up supply chain strategy have more impact and more meaningful engagement with government.
“The technologies being developed by the electronics industry in, for example, electric vehicles drive systems, battery storage and navigation are very relevant in the advancement of underwater robotics and underwater artificial intelligence.
“In essence, working together, we can learn from and collaborate with the electronics industry to develop new advanced technologies for underwater operations.”
TechWorks chief executive of Alan Banks said: “The Deep Tech industries in the UK are going through unprecedented change and the best way to overcome the challenges and capitalise on the opportunities we face is by joining forces with likeminded organisations.
“Subsea UK is a wonderful example of where the like-minded thinking and collaborative spirit will make us stronger as we work together to forge stronger links between our sectors.
“There are many examples of where the technologies being developed and the scientific, engineering and design thinking challenges being overcome in the UK are applicable in both of our sectors.”