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New semiconductor institute to oversee UK computer chip sector

The UK Semiconductor Institute will bring together the Government, university researchers and the private sector (Alamy/PA)
The UK Semiconductor Institute will bring together the Government, university researchers and the private sector (Alamy/PA)

An independent institute to oversee national strategy on expanding the UK’s semiconductor industry is to be created, the Government has announced.

The UK Semiconductor Institute will bring together the Government, university researchers and the private sector to oversee growth in the computer chip sector, the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT) said.

The increasing global reliance on technology has seen semiconductors become recognised as an area of global strategic significance, with the rise of artificial intelligence already sparking further demand for more powerful chips.

Currently, production in the sector is dominated by Taiwan, but last year the Government launched a one billion-pound strategy to boost UK innovation.

DSIT said the new institute would be tasked with ensuring chip researchers have the tools and infrastructure needed to carry out their work and create market-ready products.

It would also act as an entry point for tech businesses and international partners who wish to work with the UK market around the technology.

Technology minister Saqib Bhatti, said: “Semiconductors underpin all the technology that keeps our economy moving.

“Our strategy set out that we would grow the sector and make it resilient by focusing on what the British chip sector does best.

“Building on the early success of the strategy, the UK Semiconductor Institute will unify the semiconductor sector to focus our talented researchers on securing our status at the cutting edge of semiconductor science.

“This is a hugely significant milestone on our journey to becoming a science and tech superpower by 2030.”

Julian David, chief executive of techUK, the trade body for tech firms in the UK, said: “The establishment of a UK Semiconductor Institute is welcomed by techUK and other members of the Chips Coalition, including Global Tech Advocates and TechWorks.

“We have worked with UK Government to develop the National Semiconductor Strategy and we look forward to turning that strategy into action.

“We are confident that this institute will serve as an authoritative and empowered body.

“By bringing together government, universities and the private sector, the institute will be pivotal in advancing R&D, skills development and fostering international collaboration. This collaboration will secure a robust and innovative future for the UK’s semiconductor landscape.

“The Chips Coalition looks forward to continuing to engage with the government in this endeavour and to witnessing the positive impact this institute will have on the UK’s growth.”