Market opportunities for Indo-UK collaboration in semicon, electronics, green energy

Dave Gorshkov, sector champion, UKTI.

Dave Gorshkov, sector champion, UKTI.

If you can recall, the UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) has been steadfastly pursuing a strategic initiative in India, with the intention to be a part of the growing electronics market in India.

In fact, UKTI partnered the India Semiconductor Association (ISA) during the ISA Vision Summit 2010 to explore the potential of how the UK and Indian semiconductor industries can work together to create powerful solutions for customers in India, the UK and the rest of the world.

UKTI, along with ISA, organized an industry meeting with Dave Gorshkov, sector champion for the UK government on ICT, electronics and semiconductors, UKTI, to discuss market opportunities for possible Indo-UK collaboration in the future.

UK areas of opportunities
According to Gorshkov, some of the UK areas of opportunities include central and regional government support, G-Cloud, Digital Britain and 21CN (BT’s 21st Century Network program), green data centers and smart grid opportunities, intelligent transport (ITS), congestion charging, CCTVs, etc.

There are several opportunities as well in the upcoming international sports events such as the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London, the 2014 Commenwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland, the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England and Cardiff (Wales), and the 2018 World Cup Soccer (UK has bid for this).

Now, all of these sporting events indeed present a host of opportunities, not only for India, but for other interested nations, won’t they?

Gorshkov highlighted that the UK is the growing ground for consumer electronics. For instance, it has a high mobile broadband penetration, with over 23.3 percent in 3G. Displays, especially flat panel displays (FPDs), have been taken up most rapidly in the UK. UK technologists, such as CDT (Cambridge Display Technology), have key expertise in next generation low power display technologies.

Digital TV is yet another booming area in the UK, with over 80 percent penetration. Consumers are already adopting HDTV and/or PVR STBs from Amstrad and Pace. In design, he added that UK based designers are playing a key role in helping the world’s consumer electronics players in creating world class products.

The UK government is also investing in technologies for government services. It is investing around £17 billion per annum in technologies. The UK government has plans to establish a private cloud computing infrastructure called G-Cloud, which will include IaaS, PaaS and SaaS solutions. It is investing £3.2 billion over the next five years.

The Digital Britain Report is the Government’s strategic vision for ensuring that the UK is at the leading edge of the global digital economy. Yet another initiative, the 21CN, is BT’s global, software driven customer network that introduces a new, simpler portfolio of next generation services. It is the foundation for BT’s transformation into a global, software-driven communications business. The UK has also undertaken several initiatives in developing the infrastructure for green data centers.

Besides semiconductors and electronics, several opportunities also exist in green energy. For instance, smart metering, electric vehicles and LEDs.

On electric vehicles, Gorshkov raised some queries, pointing at opportunities: “Where is the energy going to come from? How is that load going to be controlled?” On LEDs, he noted that the output was not yet as good as incandescent lamps. “The bottleneck is its power supply, which is not designed to last 10 years!”

The UK is also among, if not probably, the world’s largest CCTV and video analytics market. There is an installed base of 4.3 million cameras growing to 9-10 million in the next five to ten years. Approximately £4.5 billion pa has been spent on CCTV and surveillance systems/services.

Eight market opps for ICT players
Gorshkov also listed eight other opportunities for ICT players — areas of possible collaboration between India and the UK.

These are: crowd protection, digital signage, integrated home electronics, technologies for financial businesses, technologies for healthcare, information security, next generation broadband access, and next generation IT platform and services.

He concluded, “UK companies and universities are willing to either work with international companies or partner with them.” Gorshkov cited examples of Silicon Glen — the high tech sector of Scotland, the Welsh cluster, and Britain’s M4 corridor.

So, there you have it! There are opportunities galore for interested Indian companies to work with UK technology companies and universities!

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