On April 13th 2021, AESIN hosted its first virtual Auto Electronics Summit, welcoming guests from across the UK and Europe.

We had a fantastic selection of speakers including the President of SEMI Europe, Laith Altimime and CEO of the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) Ian Constance, covering topics such as CCAV (Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles), Industry Insights, Industry Supply Chain Focus, Harnessing Innovation Capability and a panel session on Operating Remotely.

The day was kicked off by AESIN Network Director, Paul Jarvie, as he welcomed the virtual crowd, providing a taste of what was to come. The first of our two Keynote Speakers then took to the digital stage as David Webb, Head of Innovation at CCAV provided an update on the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles with his presentation ‘Safe and Secure Connected & Automated Mobility’.

Paul Gadd, Deputy Director, UKRI was next up, as he shared the various UKRI funding opportunities, highlighting the importance of transport and the ever-evolving times we live in. Noting that the UK transport industry turnover is £135bn and in 2019 transport accounted for nearly a third of all carbon dioxide emissions.

“Petroleum products consumed in the UK:

  • 2020 – 60,500 thousand tonnes
  • 2050 – 7,100 thousand tonnes

Road vehicles in the UK:

  • 2020 – 38.8m, c1% electric
  • 2030 – forecast 8.5m electric cars
  • 2035 – forecast 17.5m”

After a short break we continued with the Industry Insights session. Jason Cracker, Transformation Director Changemaker, opened the session with his talk “rEVolutionary change and the trends to follow”. Jason delivered a very informative and engaging presentation, covering topics including Industry 4.0 and Supply Chain Tech, Connected Car, EV and Sustainability. A recurring theme throughout Jason’s presentation was the Peter Ducker quote “The greatest danger in times of turbulence is not the turbulence – it is to act with yesterday’s logic” as he iterated the point, do not use yesterday’s logic.

Following on from Jason we had CSA Catapult’s, Head of Collaborative R&D Dr Alastair McGibbon, providing an update on their journey to Net Zero as he highlighted the challenges for the CS Supply Chain. Then on to Dr Will Drury, Challenge Director, Driving the Electric Revolution with his presentation on ‘Developing the UK’s Clean & Resilient PEMD Supply Chains”.

After lunch we started the Industry Supply Chain Focus and Harnessing Innovation Technology sessions.

Ian Constance, CEO, Advanced Propulsion Centre set the scene by discussing where we are currently with Electric Vehicles and what we must do to meet Government targets, highlighting the strengths of the UK’s supply chain.

Darren Capes, ITS Policy Lead, Department for Transport then provided an update from a Government perspective on Autonomous Vehicles.

Then it was on to manufacturing looking at the UK Supply Chain. Gerry Thurgood, CEO Tetreon Technologies, demonstrated the dramatic changes in technology by comparing wafer size from the start of his career to today.

For the final part of the Supply Chain session, Laith Altimime, SEMI Europe President, provided an update on the impact COVID-19 has had on the Semiconductor Industry, commenting “Semiconductors are the heartbeat of the future”. Laith went on to highlight Semiconductor revenues over the years, stating that the year 2000 was $240B, 2019 was $450B and 2030 is forecasted to be $1T.

Continuing with the day, we welcomed Daniel Warner, CEO LGN and Clem Robertson, CEO R4DAR. Both Daniel and Clem touched on harnessing innovation capability and provided engaging and informative presentations.

The AESIN Summit was finished off by a panel of high calibre experts within the automotive electronics industry. Stewart Edmondson, CEO, UKESF hosted the panel and welcomed Neil Dickins, Founder IC Resources, Andy Birnie Senior Director Automotive BU & Manager NXP, Dr David Burrows, Senior Director ON Semiconductor and Heather Campbell, CommsMasters.

Stewart invited the panel to provide their opinion on the advantages and disadvantages of operating remotely and how it can affect people differently. The engaging discussion raised multiple informative points including how they found that age was a contributing factor to mental health when working from home and how younger people have the potential to struggle more from it. The panel also shared their views on how it can be difficult to manage large teams from home, Andy Birnie commenting that there are staff that he is yet to meet due to the pandemic.

To conclude, the AESIN Virtual Auto Electronics Summit was an event to remember. Experts from around the UK and further afield joined us to share their knowledge and experience to further advance the journey to automotive electronics and zero emissions.

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