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UK gets serious about semiconductors with the launch of a new institute

A semiconductor

The British government has launched the independent UK Semiconductor Institute to help bring together government, universities, and the private sector to help support its £1 billion-backed Semiconductor Strategy. Technology Minister Saqib Bhatti said that semiconductors underpin the economy and that this move is a “hugely significant milestone on our journey to becoming a sciene [sic] and tech superpower by 2030.”

The government has outlined its vision for the Institute. It explained that this independent organisation will ensure researchers have the tools they need to turn their research into market-ready products.

The government said that the institute will also act as a coordinated entry point for businesses and international parties that want to work with the UK semiconductor sector to innovate, research, and commercialise their products.

The government has been busy since the launch of its National Semiconductor Strategy one year ago. It has:

  • Launched ChipStart, a pilot incubator for start-ups that assists with technical and business issues to bring new products to market
  • Has invested £22 million two Innovation and Knowledge Centres in Bristol and Southampton to bring UK chip tech to the global market
  • The UK has gained access to Horizon Europe’s €1.3 billion Chips Joint Undertaking
  • Made sure the UK Infrastructure Bank can invest £22 billion of financial capacity into semiconductor manufacturers

The government said that the establishment of this Institute has been a big step towards the implementation of the UK Semiconductor Infrastructure Initiative that was announced in the National Semiconductor Strategy last year.

The new Institute will focus on areas where the UK is strong in semiconductors including in compound chips, design, and research and development.

Hopefully, the Institute can help the UK semiconductor industry get stronger. During the pandemic when global trade got disrupted, countries like the UK figured out they were over-reliant on China and needed to improve their domestic industry to soften future supply chain disruptions.

Source: Gov UK

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