The UK acoustics industry contributes £4.6 billion to the country’s economy annually, employing over 16,000 people, each generating over £65,000 in value, in 750 companies nationwide.

This does not include the contribution that good acoustic design makes to health and wellbeing of the population, nor for that matter the cost to the National Health Service of noise pollution from a lack of acoustical design.

Acoustics makes a significant contribution to markets as diverse as healthcare, defence and construction, yet as an industry it is hidden from view.

The UK acoustics industry has an identified turnover of £4.6 billion, generated by more than 750 different companies. These are distributed throughout the UK, the largest concentration of acoustics industrial activity is in the North West and South West of England and in Scotland. The industry is made up of over 98% small and medium sized enterprises (less than 250 employees), yet the 7% of medium and large operations generate over 80% of acoustics revenues.

The acoustics industry is underpinned by a vibrant knowledge base with over 200 active research grants, worth in excess of £150 million and involving over 47 separate UK universities. This research is supported by seven different research councils under UK Research and Innovation reflecting the multidisciplinary environment in which acoustics operates, from social and health to engineering sciences.

Our Conference Vision

Our vision for the conference is to generate discussions, share acoustic knowledge and research and the creation of networking opportunities for acousticians. This will be achieved by pulling on the vast experience and networks of IOA members to generate the provision of a high quality technical programme, with the opportunity for professional and social networking between delegates.

The majority of those working in acoustics within the UK do so in companies employing under 250 staff. These smaller organisations often do not have the ability to fund overseas travel for acousticians to attend major conferences.

By hosting INTER-NOISE within the UK we seek to make the conference more affordable for those working in these smaller companies.

Secondary Aims

Acoustics engineering in all its forms interacts with all aspects of society and our health and wellbeing, yet its value and importance is unheard by the public and politicians. Acoustical design and engineering is therefore often a Cinderella science in the eyes of other professionals. The IOA therefore has 3 secondary aims for the conference:

  1. To use the conference as an opportunity to engage with politicians and the public to spread an understanding of the importance of good acoustical design in all aspects of society. This will help raise the value of acoustics and acousticians to the wider professional community. This will be achieved by working with partners to engage with senior politicians, gaining press and online coverage of the conference and using this to promote a short video for the public on the importance of acoustics to health and wellbeing. Glasgow, which has over 90 public parks means, “dear green place” and is designated as an autistic friendly city, all of which can be linked to the promotion of soundscapes and the role of acoustics in our health and wellbeing.
  2. To inspire in young people an understanding of and desire to study acoustics. This will be achieved by a series of targeted workshops with schools.
  3. To generate a legacy fund to promote a wider understanding of acoustics and to provide support for students studying acoustics. (Note this is in addition to the £5,000 for travel bursaries for students included in the conference budget).