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10 August 2018

Compound Semiconductor Applications Catapult to receive £51m from UK Catapult network

© Semiconductor Today Magazine / Juno PublishiPicture: Disco’s DAL7440 KABRA laser saw.

Secretary of State for Wales Alun Cairns has announced that the Compound Semiconductor Applications Catapult – Wales’ first and the UK’s newest Catapult – will open its Innovation Centre, based in South East Wales, in early 2019.

He also confirmed that the Catapult will receive £51m of grant funding from the £780m investment in the UK’s Catapult network, announced by UK Chancellor Philip Hammond as part of the Government’s industrial strategy. This builds on the £180m announced in July by Prime Minister Theresa May for centers in the North East, taking the total of additional funding to almost £1bn.

The Compound Semiconductor Applications Catapult is a not-for-profit organization focused on accelerating the adoption of compound semiconductors and on bringing applications to life. It aims to help the UK economy grow and works across the UK within a range of industry sectors from automotive to medical, and from digital communications to aerospace.

The Catapult has already employed 23 people and is set to create around 100 new jobs internally. By 2023 it aims to have helped to create 1000 new jobs within the businesses it has supported around the whole of the UK.

With analysts predicting that the world market for compound semiconductors will increase from $66bn today to over $300bn by 2030, the UK intends the Catapult to play a substantial part in tapping that growth.

“This investment in the Compound Semiconductor Applications Catapult cements Wales’ reputation as a leader in advanced electronics,” comments Cairns. “Bringing together academics and businesses to develop new technologies will support areas of our daily lives from the next-generation 5G mobile network to improving scanning at airport security. Our investment in this technology will help Welsh businesses exploit a hugely lucrative global market,” he adds.

“Our Catapult is a UK-wide center, based in Wales With immediate effect, this grant funding will allow the Catapult to create a critical mass of industry-leading expertise at the heart of the world’s first compound semiconductor cluster in South Wales,” says Compound Semiconductor Applications Catapult CEO Stephen Doran. “The transformative potential for compound semiconductors to meet the challenges of the future has never been higher, and our new Innovation Centre will make sure that Wales is at the forefront of this revolution.”

The Catapult Innovation Centre will house a design studio, laboratories and test facilities, supported by simulation and modeling tools and advanced capabilities. It will help companies to accelerate the development of new products using compound semiconductors.

The Compound Semiconductor Applications Catapult has also set out its strategy with the publication of its brochure ‘Launching the Compound Semiconductor Applications Catapult’, which was developed in collaboration and with input from over 150 companies in the sector.

The strategy focuses around three areas:

  • the Catapult’s new Innovation Centre;
  • designing and manufacturing a series of Evaluation Modules to help companies prototype systems; and
  • running a series of Challenge Programmes to identify how compound semiconductors can best address global challenges.

“So far we have had contact with more than 150 businesses from around the UK and that has allowed us to develop an in-depth understanding of the compound semiconductor market and create a strategy that will help us to support and collaborate with industry,” says Doran. “We are open for business and looking for great people to help us make these innovations happen.”

The Catapult is actively looking to fill positions across all levels of the organization and in particular its three technology areas: Power Electronics, Photonics, and Microwave and RF. Working with the Catapult can provide the opportunity to contribute and shape a business in its early stages with the stability of secured funding within which to operate. The Catapult aims to have a collaborative, supportive and inclusive culture, which will be reflected in its Innovation Centre with agile workspaces and settings for different types of working behaviour. The Catapult also claims a fast-moving entrepreneurial culture and a strong financial footing.

See related items:

Compound Semiconductor Applications Catapult appoints CEO

Compound Semiconductor Applications Catapult appoints chief operations officer

Compound Semiconductor Applications Catapult launches non-executive board

SPTS president Kevin Crofton appointed chairman of UK's Compound Semiconductor Applications Catapult

IQE and Cardiff University to help spearhead £50m UK Compound Semiconductor Applications Catapult

Tags: Power electronics RF power semiconductors Photonics

Visit: www.catapult.org.uk/catapult-centres

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