The UK government has released semiconductor strategy in an effort to secure the future of the UK technology industry The National Semiconductor Strategy and investing up to £200 million from 2023 -25 and up to £1 billion in the next decade through the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology.
The new UK Semiconductor Advisory Panel will ensure that government, academia, and industry are working together to deliver on the priorities set out in the Strategy.
The Governments objectives will be: to grow the domestic sector – building on UK strengths in IP and design, compound semiconductors and R & D; mitigate the risk of supply chain disruptions – increasing the resilience of the semiconductor-dependent critical sectors through domestic and international action; and to protect national security – using the levers available to protect the technology needed, whilst recognising the international markets and the need for the sector to grow.
CEO Simon Thomas of Paragraf, a Cambridge based chip producer, said that the money from the government would not cover a single basic chip plant. Amelia Armour, partner at venture capital firm Amadeus Capital Partners says: “The level of investment announced for the next two-year period is disappointing, especially considering the UK needs to try to keep pace with the investment levels announced as part of the EU and US Chip Acts,” she said.
US president Joe Biden’s CHIPS Act involves $52bn in financial support, while the EU’s European Chips Act will hand out €43bn.
Government officials have said that the sums involved were proportionate and said that the investment required to build a full microchip foundry was not justified by the returns.