This week sees the first day of operation for the Global Underwater Hub (GUH), a new strategically focused organisation that will transform the UK’s £8bn underwater industry into one of the country’s largest and fastest-growing industries, accelerating the drive to net-zero and creating high value sustainable jobs and exports.
The UK and Scottish Government-supported organisation has evolved from Subsea UK which, after nearly two decades as the globally recognised champion of the UK’s underwater industry, has helped position the UK as the world leader in subsea technology and expertise.
Led and governed by industry, the GUH has retained the experience, knowledge, network, and membership of Subsea UK, and will harness the UK’s combined underwater expertise in engineering, environmental science, technology, services and skills, to enable companies to successfully compete globally in the underwater sectors of offshore energy, defence, aquaculture, telecoms and subsea mining.
The GUH has been launched after three years of planning and preparation, and is headquartered in Westhill, Aberdeen – recognised as a global centre of excellence in underwater engineering. The main base will be joined by hubs in north England and south England in 2022, connecting people, companies and locations through one national, geographically connected organisation.
As a new organisation, with a voracious appetite for innovative technologies, the GUH will provide access to the largest, cross-sector underwater community in the world and will offer commercially driven market intelligence, expertise, contacts and specialist support to attract new investment and capitalise on the opportunities presented by the energy transition and the blue economy.
“To be successful globally, the underwater sector must continue to look outwards and not just inwards at UK content,” said Neil Gordon, chief executive of the GUH.
The underwater industry is set to grow from £50bn to £140bn globally by 2035. The UK currently holds a third of the global market share in offshore energy, but with such rich prizes in the wider Blue Economy on offer, competition from other countries is increasing.
Neil added: “The real value to the UK’s economy will come from a vibrant underwater industry that can compete successfully on the world stage and diversify its capability, skills and technologies for use across a multitude of sectors.”
The official opening of the GUH is planned for early next year.