New techUK e-net network aims to fix up smart chip makers with the companies that need their skills
Industry body techUK has announced the formation of techUK-e.net, a forum designed to put electronics firms in touch with enterprises and small businesses that need their products.
The new forum, at www.etn-uk.com, “connects the supply side and the demand side of the industry”, said techUK director of electronics, Ashley Evans. By so doing it will help electronics firms and academics reach the markets they need, while supplying British IT companies with the technology they require to contribute to Britain’s economy.
Electronics is the bedrock
“The UK’s electronics industry contributes £80 Billion to the UK economy (5.4 percent of the UK’s GDP) and is the bedrock of the UK’s tech sector,” said Evans. “Electronics technology is the enabler that drives innovation across every market sector.”
But the industry has a very complex value chain, and it may be difficult for organisations to make contact with the partners they need, says techUK: “The growth of the global market place has changed the face of electronics in the UK over the past decade. Electronics UK’s strength and capability now lies in niche, high value markets, typically defined by complex, low volume products that deliver innovative or high quality features.”
The new forum has been formed by merger with an existing membership body, the Electronics Technology Network (ETN), which consists of 6000 individual members working in the electronics sector, all of whom need to find new outlets for their research and development. The largest technology network in the UK, ETN is mostly made up of people from small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs), who may not have resources to promote their technology through other channels, techUK told TechWeekEurope.
techUK has 850 members who tend to be larger organisations, employing some 500,000 people between them, which makes up roughly half of all tech sector jobs in the UK, the body says.
While much of the electronics industry has gone to large firms making economies of scale in cheap manufacturing, techUK believes the UK’s role should be to provide talented technology SMEs which deliver innovative products into global markets, perhaps supplying global brands with underlying technology – a model which has been well demonstrated by the UK’s leading chip designers ARM and Imagination.
The new organisation plans to hold brokerage and partnering events for specific market sector, or working with individual multinationals. The markets in view include defence & security, nuclear,healthcare, oil and gas and industrial controls.