Semiconductors in the Midlands: New cluster snapshot published

Date posted: January 18, 2024
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Semi conductor report

A new Midlands Engine cluster snapshot finds the design, development and production of semi conductors offers significant opportunities for the region’s economy.

As the building blocks of microchips, semiconductors form the basis of all modern electronic systems so their importance to the global economy is critical and is forecast to reach $1 trillion by 2030.

There is currently a global race to develop, build and maintain end-to-end supply chains, underpinned by economic growth potential and firming up national security.

The UK’s National Semiconductor Strategy focuses on the UK’s strategic advantages: semiconductor design, cutting edge compound semiconductors, and a world-leading R&D ecosystem.

A key objective for the UK is safeguarding the supply of semiconductors through periods of global disruption, including by building a more resilient end-to-end supply chain.

This report, published with data provided by the Data City, showcases the role the Midlands is playing as part of this and looks at the cluster through four ecosystems:

Business ecosystem

The report finds that the Midlands is home to 16% of the UK semi conductor business population with the number of companies in our region growing by 51% between 2013 and 2022.

Firms are spread across the region, developing and designing cutting edge products from Teledyne Microwave in Lincoln to Advanced Epi in Leamington Spa.

Innovation ecosystem

Midlands universities are already helping to create the R&D ecosystem identified in the government’s national strategy.

Institutions have received £4.6m worth of funding since 2017 which went on to fund projects such as University of Warwick’s ESCAPE – ‘End-end Supply Chain Development for Automotive Power Electronics’ – critical to building that resilient supply chain set out by the national strategy.

Other projects funded by this include the University of Nottingham’s EPI2SEM Facility who sets out to design smaller semi conductors that are more versatile for use in quantum materials, manufacturing processes and nanotechnology.

Talent ecosystem

There are over 4,000 people employed in the sector with a strong concentration in Lincoln thanks to the notable employers referenced in the report. Elsewhere across the region there are spatial concentrations of employees in Leicester and Nottinghamshire, as well as the research expertise in Warwickshire.

Investment ecosystem

The Midlands has received a relatively low level of public innovation funding compared to its proportion of UK industry, receiving only 6% of Innovate UK funding.

Read the full report here

“Semi conductors” is one of the five critical technologies identified in the UK Science and Technology Framework (2023) and the International Technology Strategy.

You can find the others here:

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