In just over a week’s time UK Trade and Investment along with the Department for Business Innovation and Skills, Advanced Propulsion Centre, and Innovate UK will head out to Japan to the largest automotive technology conference in Asia for automotive engineers. JSAE is a technology-centred exposition attended by 80,000 visitors over three days, with 400 Japanese and foreign companies showcasing their technology. The UK will be front and centre, with a dedicated UK stand showcasing 12 UK companies and their products.
Japan and UK working together
JSAE is an event I’ve attended before, along with colleagues from BIS, the APC and Innovate UK. We bring a number of UK companies here each year to help form new relationships, helping UK exports as well as bringing investment in from Japanese companies setting up sites in the UK. This strong relationship between UK and Japan is exciting as Japan produce over 7 million cars a year, and this presents a significant opportunity for UK suppliers. The UK already has strong links with Japanese companies, including Nissan based in Sunderland producing 750,000 cars a year, utilising UK parts and suppliers.
Business opportunities for the UK
The technology developed by UK companies, often with the help of Innovate UK or the APC funding, is of real interest to the Japanese market. Several Japanese companies have set up business units in the UK over the past 5 years, allowing them to benefit from working with UK experts, with the UK benefitting from investment and jobs
The UK presence includes a large UK branded stand for 19 companies and 6 organisations at the show, and a UK technical session in the show forum. This will highlight opportunities in the UK and include presentations from companies such as Magnomatics, an SME with an Innovative friction-free gearbox through to McLaren Automotive.
A focus of the UK offering is the high capabilities of UK companies in Low Carbon technology. The team includes companies such as Hyperdrive, who offer high-energy battery packs and managements systems, essential for the increasing number of vehicles using batteries for traction power. There is also a focus on the funding available to companies developing low carbon technology in the UK, with tens of millions to be available through Innovate UK and OLEV for mid technology readiness level (TRL) work, and up to £100m through the APC for higher TRLs. This makes the UK an attractive place to invest in.
Connected & Autonomous Vehicles
There is also a focus on Connected and Autonomous Vehicles, with funding available and also skills and capabilities through the Transport Systems Catapult. This will be a significant part of JSAE this year, with the UK offering world leading capabilities in this exciting new area
While we’re there
It’s going to be a busy time in Japan as we work hard to maximise the opportunities for UK businesses. You can follow what we’re up to through our Twitter and other social media channels.
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