After nearly two years in which we have all faced challenges operationally, economically, and personally, there is much to look forward to for the underwater sector in 2022 and we prepare for the new year with confidence. There is much to be optimistic about in terms of the energy transition and the blue economy.
For the past 18 years, Subsea UK has championed the underwater industry and it became recognised globally as its leading voice. As a self-sustaining, not-for-profit, industry-owned membership body, Subsea UK provided a range of trusted and valued services to help member companies. This was achieved with a small team and the backing of industry, as well as collaboration with key stakeholders.
Last month, Subsea UK evolved into the Global Underwater Hub (GUH), a cross industry body for the underwater sectors including, offshore renewables, ocean science, oil and gas, defence, and aquaculture. Realised through the concerted efforts of Subsea UK, Opportunity North East (ONE), Scottish Enterprise and the Oil & Gas Authority, who worked together to develop an exciting vision to connect and grow the UK’s underwater sector at home and globally.
With support from both the UK and Scottish governments, the creation of the GUH recognises the tremendous scale and potential of underwater engineering and technology as a valuable, standalone industry sector. Drawing on the resources of Subsea UK and additional entities in Scotland and the UK, the GUH harnesses all that the subsea industry has to offer and will leverage it towards future opportunities. It will provide the underwater industry with the right level of support at the right time, helping to develop the disruptive technology and new services required to delve deeper into existing and emerging opportunities, at home and abroad, in the energy transition, green recovery and the Blue Economy.
As Neil Gordon, chief executive of the GUH points out; “The global underwater industry opportunity is set to grow from £50bn to £140bn by 2035. The UK currently has a third of global market share but competition from other countries is increasing.
“The underwater industry will play a crucial role in achieving net-zero ambitions and there is a major growth opportunity for the UK underwater industry to scale up, creating new technology, exports, jobs and GVA. The GUH, as a strategic organisation will provide the support and infrastructure to capitalise on this opportunity and help deliver net-zero.”
As the sector looks forward to 2022 and beyond, the GUH will be adding to its physical presence in northeast Scotland, with hubs in two other strategic locations in both the north and south of England cementing nearly two decades of valued work with members by Subsea UK and catalysing connections throughout the UK.
As life continues to regain a sense of normality, the busy 2022 GUH events scene will include in-person, live and face-to-face gatherings across the UK and on the global stage. The events calendar includes local networking opportunities, showcase conferences, webinars in partnership with member companies, and also the recently devised ‘Introduction to Offshore Renewables’ online course run in partnership with the University of Strathclyde.
The GUH events offering will be substantially increased with the creation of a dynamic new multi-functional space at the organisation’s main office in Westhill, Aberdeen, which will allow the GUH to engage with members and stakeholders in all parts of the world. Existing, and now very familiar virtual technologies will be fully utilized, but new methods of event delivery and engagement will be used to increase communication between the GUH and its stakeholders, and expand the reach and benefits for the UK underwater sector.
February sees the return of Subsea Expo, the world’s largest annual subsea exhibition and conference, after a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic. Organised by the Global Underwater Hub, Subsea Expo is always a key event for companies operating in the underwater sector. More than 6,500 visitors attended the last conference and exhibition which also includes the Subsea Expo awards.
GUH Operations Director, Trish Banks, has led and organised the event since its inception in 2005. She says: “Subsea Expo highlights the capability and ingenuity across the underwater sector and we’re particularly excited to hold this conference and exhibition under the Global Underwater Hub banner as it gives us the chance to really introduce the new organization to our members, exhibitors and delegates, and explain to them how the GUH is helping to connect and grow the value of our member companies’ in the underwater space.”
As 2022 beckons, the Global Underwater Hub looks forward to continuing to grow the largest connected underwater community in the world.
Access, connect and grow – the core values of the GUH as it embraces the oceans of opportunity.