Press release

Chip innovators join forces with government to steer future of semiconductor sector

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.

Notes for editors

Panel Co-chair Dr Jalal Bagherli, Chairman, PTSL and Chair, Williams Advanced Engineering, 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.

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.

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, said:

I am thrilled to join the UK Semiconductor Advisory Panel. I started work as a graduate semiconductor design engineer followed by various leadership roles across the international semiconductor sector.

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.

Professor John Goodenough, Chair of Microelectronic Systems, Department of Electronic & Electrical Engineering, University of Sheffield, said:

I am honoured to help bring to life a vision where the UK is a leader in the global semiconductor industry.

I am excited to work across academic and industry ecosystems to inspire the next generation of engineers to join us on this important journey. One which will provide the semiconductor design and manufacturing capabilities that underpin multiple UK growth opportunities that deliver societal benefits in net-zero, AI and advanced communication.

Amelia Armour, Partner, Amadeus Capital Partners, said:

I’m excited to join the Advisory Panel as a representative of the VC sector. With a strategy now in place, the focus needs to shift towards how to practically support the growth of the UK semiconductor ecosystem and help foster the development of our specific areas of deep tech expertise.

Scott White, Executive Director, Pragmatic, said:

I am delighted to be appointed to the UK government’s Semiconductor Advisory Panel. It’s a great initiative to engage expertise from across the industry in support of government policy in this critical sector.

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.

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.

Dr Andy Sellars, Strategic Development Director, Compound Semiconductor Applications Catapult, said:

I am delighted to be appointed to the Semiconductor Advisory Panel chaired by Minister Paul Scully MP and Dr Jalal Bagherli. I look forward to working with the chairs and members of the panel, implementing the National Semiconductor Strategy to deliver resilience, economic and societal impact for the UK.

Find out more about the Semiconductor Advisory Panel.

Published 3 August 2023