LONDON – The CEOs the world's leading processor IP licensors, ARM Holdings plc and Imagination Technologies Group plc, have set aside their commercial rivalry to work together on a blueprint to boost electronics business in the UK.
Warren East of ARM Holdings plc and Sir Hossein Yassaie of Imagination sat together on a committee that has produced the ESCO report which suggests a number of initiatives to help grow electronics business in the UK.
ESCO stands for Electronic Systems: Challenges and Opportunities and the report supports changes made by the government with regard to R&D tax credits and seed funding for startups and suggests closer liaison between government and industry.
The ESCO report was commissioned by the UK government and produced under the chairmanship of Jamie Urquhart of Pond Ventures. The goal is to grow the annual sales value of the UK's electronics systems industry from £78 billion (about US$120 billion) in 2012 to £120 billion (about $180 billion) by 2020. If that can be achieved the sector would become a top-five UK employer and support more than one million jobs.
The report makes several recommendations including measures to improve supply chains, strategic procurement, and young people's skills; and the formation of a committee to identify future growth sectors. However, the report warns that failure to boost the role of electronics in UK wealth generation will have a negative impact on every industrial sector and the UK economy overall.
Warren East is leaving ARM but is still passionate about electronics.
"ARM has demonstrated that UK businesses can achieve global leadership from a UK base. To make sure that we produce more ARMs in the future, both business and government need to drive change. With the great potential that exists here we must ensure we create the right culture and climate in the UK to foster talent for the technology businesses of tomorrow," said Warren East of ARM, who incidentally leaves the company tomorrow (Friday, June 29).
Sir Hossein Yassaie, CEO of Imagination Technologies, ready to promote UK's engineering assets.
In the same statement Sir Hossein Yassaie, CEO of Imagination, said: "The UK has huge assets in terms of engineering, creative talent and manufacturing capabilities, but we need a long-term and stable strategy agreed between the industry and government that's driven by both with one voice."
The steering group that produced the report was: Jamie Urquhart of Pond Venture Partners; Steven Beaumont of the University of Glasgow; Warren East, CEO of ARM; Indro Mukerjee, CEO of Plastic Logic Ltd.; Keith Williams, managing director of Altran Praxis; Joe Willson of Emerson UK; Sir Hossein Yassaie, CEO of Imagination Technologies, and Chris Carr of the UK government's Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.
Other individuals cited for their contribution to the report included: Ian Phillips and Stephen Pattison of ARM and Tony King-Smith and Woz Ahmed of Imagination Technologies.
The UK government is gradually becoming more pro-active on the technology and manufacturing fronts: a change from the days of Margaret Thatcher.
However, what inspires me is not so much the government's involvement in this but that smart minds from the UK electronics environment knowing when to compete hard and when to cooperate for the common and national good.
This and other UK initiatives such as the one on Internet of Things by ESP-KTN are on the right track. I suppose it is easier to initiate and execute initiatives like these to address future growth sectors & markets for countries in the EU than in US. There are many STEM efforts in the US but they need to be closely tied to industrial partnerships.