NMI teams with Silicon Catalyst for UK semiconductor startups

October 04, 2021 // By Nick Flaherty
NMI teams with Silicon Catalyst for UK semiconductor startups
SiliconCatalyst and the National Microelectronics Institute (NMI) have signed a five year agreement to boost semiconductor startups in the UK

Silicon Catalyst.UK’s parent company, Silicon Catalyst, is the world’s only incubator focused exclusively on funding semiconductor hardware start-ups. It brings together partners for design tools and foundries along with experienced semiconductor advisors such as John East, formerly of Actel, and Wally Rhines, formerly of TI and Mentor Graphics.

“NMI has always been the home of UK semiconductor as the trade association and interfacing with government to keep the industry moving in the right direction so its a perfect fit,” Sean Redmond, UK partner for Silicon Catalyst, told eeNews Europe

 “The NMI is membership driven and they want to grow their membership and from our perspective being able to jointly resource events is ideal, they have the organisation in the UK. We were just bowled away by the fact we got eight applications following our launch in June. There’s a lot of leg work for the due diligence and pre-screening so having the resource of the NMI is perfect as they are well connected and they have exactly the same objectives as us, especially in interfacing with government to help Uk semiconductor startup and design activity,” he said. The other partner for the UK arm of Silicon catalyst is US-based Ron Black, chairman of European RISC-V company Codasip. 

“It’s not just chip design, it all aspects of MEMS, Photonics, SoC, in terms of what you need to get to a business that can attract a Series A round,” he said. “I don’t think there has ever been a time when you could reach out to so many interesting opportunities where the skill sets in the UK have fantastic potential to be globally influential, with photonics, MEMS, SoC and all of those disruptive semiconductor technologies have a growing base of new invention-driven product activity.”

This also includes quantum hardware technologies.

“There’s still scepticism from investors on quantum but it’s the time to get there as a realistic market and one of the things we are doing with the NMI is engaging the university activities that have tremendous focus on quantum,” said Redmond. “It’s really a question of getting that into commercial activities.

Redmond expects to have one or two companies through the current screening but the next round will be assess another eight companies.

siliconcatalyst.com; nmi.org.uk

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