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Chips with Everything

This report examines the semiconductor industry in the UK to identify how this cluster has grown over the past 30 years.

This report examines the semiconductor industry in the UK to identify how this cluster has grown over the past 30 years.

Key findings:

  • Challenges facing the semiconductor industry include difficulties in recruiting good quality graduates, access to finance for start-ups and creating incentives for growing large companies in the UK.
  • The industry has created a number of skills and research initiatives. But there are some issues which fall to government to resolve.
  • Investment in networks, whether university or private sector-led, can help grow clusters.
  • Incubation models can work to promote growth of new companies.
  • The success of these interventions depends on sustaining the small base funding that supports such networks and incubators.

The UK has a vibrant semiconductor industry. UK companies compete in global semiconductor markets by combining technological innovation with business model innovation. In doing so, these companies make an important contribution towards the UK’s economic success, with the UK semiconductor market worth $6 billion in 2009 – third in Europe, behind France and Germany.

 

Equally the industry has an important impact at the regional level, and the South West semiconductor cluster is one of the largest silicon design clusters in the world.

 

This report examines the challenges facing the South West’s semi-conductor industry in order to increase understanding of how government, with very limited resources, can effectively support innovative, high-tech companies and regional clusters.

 

Authors
Louise Marston, Shantha Shanmugalingam, Stian Westlake

Authors

Stian Westlake

Stian Westlake

Stian Westlake

Executive Director of Policy and Research

Stian led Nesta's Policy and Research team. His research interests included the measurement of innovation and its effects on productivity, the role of high-growth businesses in the e...

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Louise Marston

Louise Marston

Louise Marston

Director of Innovation Policy and Futures

Louise was Director of Innovation Policy and Futures within the Policy and Research team. She managed Nesta's work on innovation policy and technology futures. She previously worked ...

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