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Subsea UK signs MoU with TechWorks to counter shared challenges

Subsea UK partnership
Neil Gordon, Chief Executive, Global Underwater Hub (Photo: Ross Johnston/Newsline Media)

Trade body Subsea UK has entered into a partnership with its counterpart in the electronics industry to unlock untapped opportunities.

Under the terms of the memorandum of understanding (MoU) with TechWorks, both organisations will align their strategies with the aim of creating new opportunities to increase exports and create jobs.

By opening up new potential for companies in each sector, both groups will foster collaboration to  further the development of new and advanced underwater technological solutions.

Described as NASA but on the seabed, the underwater engineering industry, represented by Subsea UK, deploys technology and services to unlock energy resources in oil and gas, as well as offshore wind.

The sector, which has annual revenues of almost £8 billion and supports around 45,000 jobs, is increasingly extending into emerging sectors such as marine renewables and aquaculture.

TechWorks, a new type of industry association, represent the UK deep tech sector, which creates business communities to empower innovation and collaboration.

It focuses on five main areas of interest – automotive electronics, the internet of things, electronics manufacturing industry, power electronics and electronic systems.

The MoU is designed to counter challenges that are currently facing subsea and electronics firms.

Both are “high-value, fast-growing, stand-alone industries”, which support thousands of UK jobs and work across a range of sectors providing often “hidden”, yet critical, technological solutions.

Subsea UK and TechWorks will co-ordinate a range of initiatives to explore and encourage potential areas for collaboration among their supply chains to help members strategically leverage technologies and opportunities that lead to high value growth.

Neil Gordon, chief executive of Subsea UK, 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.”

Alan Banks, chief executive of TechWorks, 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 likeminded 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”.

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