By Department for Science, Innovation and Technology and Paul Scully MP

Experts working at semiconductor titans will have first meeting today with Technology Minister Paul Scully at Imperial College.

  • Government forms expert semiconductor panel with leading names working together to boost UK semiconductor sector and grow the economy
  • Group will harness domestic semiconductor strengths, ensure secure supply of chips, and protect national security
  • Start-up incubator also launched to give innovators the resources and support needed to grow into tomorrow’s chip champions

Experts working at semiconductor titans such as Arm, IQE and Pragmatic will meet with Technology Minister Paul Scully today (Thursday 3th August) at Imperial College London, as part of the first meeting of the Semiconductor Advisory Panel.

With industry and government working hand in hand to deliver the National Semiconductor Strategy, it offers a twenty-year vision for the sector around three key goals: growing the domestic semiconductor sector, mitigating the risk of supply chain disruptions and protecting national security.

Semiconductors are an essential component of almost every electronic device we use, and as a result are vitally important for the modern world we live in. From phones and computers to ventilators and power stations, nearly every piece of technology in the world depends on them.

The 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.

This includes Richard Grisenthwaite, Chief Architect at Arm, the British-headquartered semiconductor firm that has designed billions of the world’s chips, and Americo Lemos, CEO of IQE, a leading British advanced semiconductor manufacturer. The panel will also include Dr Eben Upton, CEO of the Raspberry Pi Foundation, a UK charity ensuring wider access to technology through the development of ultra-low cost computers.

Co-chaired by Technology Minister Paul Scully and renowned industry veteran and former Chief Executive of Dialog Semiconductor Dr Jalal Bagherli, the panel will 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.

Technology Minister Paul Scully said:

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.

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.

In addition to the two co-chairs, the Semiconductor Advisory Panel includes:

Amelia Armour – Partner, Amadeus Capital Partners
Janet Collyer – Senior Independent Director at EnSilica, Independent NED at the Aerospace Technology Institute, Chair of the Board at Quantum Dice and at Machine Discovery
Prof. John Goodenough – Chair in Microelectronic Systems, University of Sheffield
Richard Grisenthwaite – Executive VP & Chief Architect, Arm
Rae Hyndman – Managing Director, Clas-SiC Wafer Fab
Americo Lemos – CEO, IQE
Dr Andy Sellars – Strategic Development Director, Compound Semiconductor Applications Catapult
Dr Eben Upton – CEO, Raspberry Pi
Scott White – Executive Director, Pragmatic

Co-chair Dr Jalal Bagherli said:

“I am thrilled to be a member and co-chair of the upcoming UK Semiconductor panel, which 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.”

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.

Richard Grisenthwaite, EVP and Chief Architect, Arm, said:

“The UK is home to a thriving technology ecosystem and Arm is proud to have its headquarters in Cambridge, as we continue our work to enhance every walk of life with Arm technology.”

“I look forward to serving on the Semiconductor Advisory Panel to ensure the UK has a strong place in the extraordinarily globalised semiconductor industry. We will focus on developing the UK’s already considerable strengths, while working with like-minded nations to ensure resilient supply chains.”

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, an experienced start-up accelerator, and will nurture semiconductor start-ups from across the UK through an extensive nine-month incubator programme.

Applications for companies wishing to join the first cohort of the 9-month incubator process (starting in the first week of October) can be made now on the Silicon Catalyst.UK website and will close on 15 September 2023.