The UK government has formed a panel of semiconductor experts, including representatives from leading companies such as Arm, IQE, and PragmatIC, to collaborate on enhancing the domestic semiconductor sector, ensuring a secure supply of chips, and safeguarding national security.
This initiative is part of the National Semiconductor Strategy, which outlines a twenty-year vision focused on growing the sector, mitigating supply chain risks, and protecting national interests. Semiconductors play a crucial role in various electronic devices, from phones and computers to ventilators and power stations, making them vital for the modern world.
The panel comprises ten experts from the semiconductor sector, including professionals in business, technology, venture capital, skills, and research.
Notable members include Richard Grisenthwaite, Chief Architect at Arm, responsible for designing billions of chips worldwide, and Americo Lemos, CEO of IQE, a leading British advanced semiconductor manufacturer.
The panel also includes Dr. Eben Upton, CEO of the Raspberry Pi Foundation, a charity that promotes wider access to technology through the development of affordable computers.
Co-chaired by Technology Minister Paul Scully and industry veteran Dr. Jalal Bagherli, former Chief Executive of Dialog Semiconductor, the panel will provide advice and feedback to the government on supporting semiconductor companies, ensuring secure chip access for critical industries, promoting skills development, improving access to finance, and fostering international collaboration. Their input will be crucial in driving innovation, economic growth, and national security.
The panel will meet every two months to agree on key actions for industry and government to further the semiconductor sector. Although the panel consists of a small group of industry leaders, it will engage extensively with the sector, and the government will continue to consult a wide range of stakeholders in the UK semiconductor industry.
Richard Grisenthwaite, EVP and Chief Architect at Arm expressed his enthusiasm for serving on the Semiconductor Advisory Panel, highlighting the UK’s thriving technology ecosystem and the importance of resilient supply chains in the global semiconductor industry. He emphasized the need to leverage the UK’s existing strengths while collaborating with like-minded nations.
In addition, the UK government has announced the launch of the country’s first semiconductor design incubator. This incubator is run by Silicon Catalyst.
The UK, an experienced start-up accelerator, aims to provide technical and business support to early-stage semiconductor companies, nurturing them through a comprehensive nine-month incubation program.
Applications for the first cohort of the program, starting in October, are now open on the Silicon Catalyst.UK website until September 15, 2023.