UK appoints semiconductor advisory panel

UK appoints semiconductor advisory panel

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

The UK government has announced the advisory panel that it proposed as part of the semiconductor strategy.

The semiconductor advisory panel will be made up of ten experts from across the semiconductor sector, with representatives from business and technology, alongside experts in venture capital, skills and research, to develop a workable policy for supporting the industry in the UK.

The panel includes Richard Grisenthwaite, Chief Architect at ARM and Americo Lemos, CEO of materials firm IQE. The panel will also include Dr Eben Upton, CEO of the Raspberry Pi Foundation, Amelia Armour, a partner at the leading semiconductor venture capital firm Amadeus Capital Partners and Janet Collyer, Senior Independent Director at design house EnSilica and chair of Silicon Dice.

The panel is co-chaired by Technology Minister Paul Scully and former Chief Executive of Dialog Semiconductor Dr Jalal Bagherli (see today’s XMOS interview on eeNews Europe with Mark Lippett) to provide the Government with advice and feedback on how it can support companies involved in the delivery of semiconductor products and ensure critical British industries have safe and steady access to the chips they need to drive innovation and grow the economy. 

Future meetings will focus on how to nurture skills, improving access to finance, and developing stronger international collaboration, setting out how industry can work directly with Government to achieve these goals.

“Properly engaging and listening to the experts at the heart of researching, designing and producing semiconductors is essential if we’re serious about growing our domestic sector, protecting our national security, and unleashing rapid innovation across the British economy,” said Technology Minister Paul Scully.

“The Semiconductor Advisory Panel serves as the perfect way for industry and Government to work together closely on this critical industry so that we can deliver on our Semiconductor Strategy.”

“Through the Panel, I hope to support increasing the number of women choosing a career in UK semiconductors at all levels to C-suite and to support connecting UK based design to resilient mass production manufacturing networks,” said Collyer.

Other members include Prof. John Goodenough – Chair in Microelectronic Systems, University of Sheffield, Rae Hyndman, managing Director of Clas-SiC Wafer Fab in Scotland, Dr Andy Sellars of the Compound Semiconductor Applications Catapult and Scott White, Executive Director of Pragmatic Semiconductor who has been a leading voice in the need for the strategy and support for the industry.

“[This] presents a remarkable opportunity to bridge the gap between industrial executives, academia and national government. Each member brings a unique perspective and expertise, making it an ideal platform to collaborate with national government in shaping an effective policy for our industrial sector,” said co-chair Dr Jalal Bagherli.

“Our primary objective is to develop a comprehensive policy that fosters the growth of semiconductor industry while providing the necessary support for startups to thrive in today’s dynamic market. Additionally, our panel aims to address the crucial issue of mitigating risks to the supply chain of critical UK industries, safeguarding against potential disruptions.”

“Furthermore, we recognize the significance of establishing a robust talent pipeline to meet the evolving needs of the semiconductor sector. Through collaboration and strategic partnerships, this panel has the potential to drive positive change and create an environment conducive to innovation, economic growth, and job creation for the benefit of the UK as a whole.”

“It’s a great initiative to engage expertise from across the industry in support of government policy in this critical sector,” said White. “I appreciate the opportunity to help guide the successful implementation of the UK’s semiconductor strategy to address key national priorities that fundamentally depend on semiconductors.

“There is no doubt that the UK can be globally competitive with the next generation of semiconductors by seizing a leading role in innovative technologies and growing the manufacturing base of those technologies here,” he said.

“It will need strong focus to ensure that planned interventions meet the objectives of the semiconductor strategy, but I look forward to working with my colleagues on the panel to help the Government achieve these goals and enable the sector to deliver sustained long-term value for the UK.

The panel will meet every two months from now, agreeing key actions for both industry and government to take to further the sector. While the panel is a small, focused group of leading industry figures, it will engage broadly across the sector and government will continue to speak to a wide range of players across the UK semiconductor industry.

The Government has also today announced details of the UK’s first semiconductor design incubator, which will give early-stage semiconductor companies in the UK technical and business support they need to bring new products to the market.

The pilot scheme will be run by Silicon Catalyst.UK to nurture semiconductor start-ups from across the UK through an extensive nine-month incubator programme, and the details are in today’s interview on eeNews Europe with UK managing director Sean Redmond.


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