Power Electronics - the global power electronics market is estimated at £135 billion and growing at a rate of 10% per annum.
The growth of electric motive power in the automotive and aerospace sectors are particularly strong as is energy conversion in the energy generation, transmission and distribution sectors.
The lack of cohesion and representation, insufficient collaboration across industry sectors and supply chain barriers and the gaps between universities, SMEs and start-ups and industry are well recognised.
The UK's strength and future opportunity is seen clearly in four sectors where Power Electronics is fundamental to enabling rapid growth and innovation:
b) Energy generation, transmission and distribution
c) Consumer electronics and lighting
d) Industrial drives.
The BIS sponsored report on Power Electronics (October 2011) found that "Power Electronics plays to the strengths and aspirations of the UK. It is a high-growth, high-added-value and high-value per employee technology."
It demands cross-functional, multi-disciplinary teams of engineers capable of meeting the demands of the complex integration challenges this presents - a capability in which, it could be argued, the UK leads the world." Within the key challenges for the UK were "The emergence of disruptive technologies which can rapidly transform sectors of the market in which the UK has existing strengths" and the consequential requirement for UK industry to keep pace with even incremental innovation.
There are developments and requirements for power electronics across the full power spectrum from multi-GW systems within energy generation and distribution through to Nanowatt requirements within the sensor networks and energy harvesting sector. This group will provide a platform for all parts of the supply chain and academics to share information, ideas and contacts.