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UK unveils £1B strategy to boost computer chip industry

May 22, 2023
electronics

The UK has unveiled its long-awaited semiconductor strategy, aiming to catch up with similar initiatives in Europe and the US.

The National Semiconductor Strategy announced by the government has pledged £200m into the UK semiconductor industry between 2023-25, and £1bn over the next decade.

Reuters reports that Britain’s plan, which has been in the works for around two years, is dwarfed by the $52.7 billion of U.S. chip subsidies and 43 billion euros ($47 billion) of proposed EU investment.

The money provided by the British government will be focused on research and development, design and intellectual property and on cutting-edge compound semiconductors. The first 200 million pounds will be provided between 2023 and 2025.

“Our new strategy focuses our efforts on where our strengths lie, in areas like research and design, so we can build our competitive edge on the global stage,” Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said.

The strategy is aimed at boosting the domestic chip industry, as well as alleviating supply chain disruption and protecting Britain’s national security.

Sunak, who’s in Japan for the summit of the Group of Seven major economies, and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida signed a semiconductor partnership Thursday to improve the supply chain for the components.

While companies in the sector welcomed publication of a strategy, they criticised the scale of support.

“£1bn over the next decade presents a drop in the ocean and is unlikely to elevate UK’s standing in the global semiconductor value chain,” semiconductor analyst Counterpoint Research’s senior analyst, Yang Wang, told Supply Management.

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