A new forum focused on raising the profile and importance of the power electronics industry was launched today.
The PowerelectronicsUK forum, an industry-led collaborative initiative in partnership with the government, has been set up to ensure that the UK is recognised as a world leader in power electronics to create jobs and attract investment.
Globally, the sector is worth £135bn, but those inside the industry are concerned that a lack of engineers and technicians in the talent pipeline is threatening the UK from sustaining its leading position.
Minister for Universities and Science David Willetts attended the launch at the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) in London to lend his support to the initiative
“This is a very important area of technology and a very important sector for the British economy,” he said. “This discipline underpins advances in performance efficiency and reliability; many low carbon technologies; it is making an essential contribution to the challenges we face in redesigning the grid as the pattern of power generation shifts; and it is very important for renewable power generation.”
The new forum has come about as a result of the government’s 2010 strategy document “Power Electronics: A Strategy for Success” and will be split into three working groups created to address key strategic areas for the sector in the UK – skills, technology and the supply chain.
It will also act as a one-stop shop for information on the UK’s capabilities with the Power Electronics Capability Directory holding details on over 100 organisations within the UK power electronics supply chain.
Steve Burgin, IET trustee and chairman of PowerelectronicsUK, said: “Power Electronics is at the heart of everyday life; from our laptops and mobile phones to our cars, trains, planes, energy networks and power stations.
“That means Power Electronics engineers are behind the way our lives work and vital to our future as well. Without power electronics engineers, Britain will have no smart grid, no offshore wind farms, and the economy as a whole will suffer.”
A new website has been launched to serve as a home for the Power Electronics community.