After nearly two decades leading the sector, Subsea UK has officially become the Global Underwater Hub as focus increasingly turns to global export opportunities.
Tuesday 16 November marks the first day of operation for the Global Underwater Hub (GUH), a new strategically focused organisation that aims to make the UK’s £8bn underwater industry one of the country’s largest and fastest-growing industries.
With support from both the UK and Scottish Government the organisation has evolved from Subsea UK which, after nearly two decades as the globally recognised champion of the UK’s underwater industry, has helped position the UK as the world leader in subsea technology and expertise.
The new organisation aims to accelerate the drive to net zero while creating high-value, sustainable jobs and exports.
This is all the more important as forecasts for the underwater industry expect the global market to nearly triple in the coming decades, from £50bn today to £140bn by 2035.
The UK currently holds one-third of the market share in offshore energy, but given expectations for the wider marine economy, competition from other countries is increasing.
The group says the transition has been some three years in the making. Led and governed by industry, the GUH will retain the experience, knowledge, network, and membership of Subsea UK, and will harness the UK’s combined underwater expertise in engineering, environmental science, technology, services and skills, to enable companies to successfully compete globally in the underwater sectors of offshore energy, defence, aquaculture, telecoms and subsea mining.
GUH will help provide market intelligence, expertise, contacts and specialist support to attract new investment and capitalise on the opportunities presented by the energy transition and the blue economy.
While its headquarters will remain in Westhill, Aberdeen, it will be joined by hubs in north England and south England in 2022.
Research group the National Subsea Research Initiative (NSRI) has already been integrated into the GUH’s organisation following a decision earlier this year.
An official opening is planned for the hub early next year.
“To be successful globally, the underwater sector must continue to look outwards and not just inwards at UK content,” said GUH chief executive Neil Gordon.
“The real value to the UK’s economy will come from a vibrant underwater industry that can compete successfully on the world stage and diversify its capability, skills and technologies for use across a multitude of sectors.”