The government has responded to a report released late last year on the UK semiconductor industry.
The report, released by the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Committee, details recommendations on how the UK semiconductor industry needs to improve to keep up with global development. It also emphasises the urgency to publish the UK’s long-awaited semiconductor strategy.
The Department of Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) released the response to the report in early February. It is the latest in a chain of government responses to increased calls for government support for the semiconductor industry.
Some of the main points covered in the response included:
· The UK is currently working with international allies to guarantee and safeguard the security of the UK chip supply
· It is important to protect the UK semiconductor industry from external national security threats
· Cooperation and communication between the industry and the government should be established and maintained
· The UK should not try and be self-sufficient, but should focus on its strengths and form partnerships to complete the supply chain
Among other topics discussed in the response is the recent purchase of Newport Wafer Fab by Nexperia. Due to certain concerns, Nexperia has been asked by the BEIS to sell 86% or more of the fab. The DCMS declined to comment any further on the matter because of future potential judicial review proceedings.
On a final note the DCMS said it would work closely with all government departments, the BEIS and the Department for International Trade to make the publication and execution of the UK’s semiconductor strategy successful for the industry. The response did not, however, give a timeline for when to expect the long-anticipated strategy.
A quick recap
The UK semiconductor strategy has been in the works for around two years at this point. It is yet to be released. Apparently, it was due to be published in November 2022, but there is still no sign of it.
Many tech-oriented organisations, committees and unions are calling for more urgency on the part of the government. Even before the strategy was announced, people were petitioning for more funding and priority on the UK’s chip industry.
Days after the government response was published, the BEIS, who submitted the original report, was disbanded by the Prime Minister. It has been replaced with the Department of Energy Security and Net Zero
There is still much anticipation for the coming semiconductor industry strategy and the changes it may bring.
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