The UK government has announced the creation of the UK Semiconductor Institute.

Intended to be a single point of contact for researchers, academics, and the public and private sector, the new independent institute will also be tasked with helping deliver the government’s national strategy, a £1 billion ($1.24bn) plan to support domestic semiconductor development that launched a year ago.

UK Government
The UK government has launched a Semiconductor Institute – Getty Images

It will also be responsible for growing the skills necessary for the sector, building on the £4.8 million ($6m) allocated by the UK government to support eleven skills programs across the UK.

It appears that funding for the new institute will come from the £1bn already pledged by the government, rather than through the allocation of any additional financial support.

“Semiconductors underpin all the technology that keeps our economy moving. Our strategy set out that we would grow the sector and make it resilient by focusing on what the British chip sector does best,” said technology minister Saqib Bhatti.

“Building on the early success of the strategy, the UK Semiconductor Institute will unify the semiconductor sector to focus our talented researchers on securing our status at the cutting edge of semiconductor science. This is a hugely significant milestone on our journey to becoming a science and tech superpower by 2030,” he added.

Under the National Semiconductor Strategy, first announced in May 2023, funding of £200m ($253m) will be available for businesses from 2023 to 2025, with the rest set to be handed out through to the end of 2033.

Since its launch, the UK government has also established its ChipStart pilot incubator program and allocated funding and support for two new semiconductor Innovation and Knowledge Centers (IKC) in Bristol and Southampton.

Each IKC site will receive £11 million ($13.9m) to bring new chip technologies to market and will provide researchers with access to prototyping technology and support through training for spinouts, workshops, and connections with industry players.

However, the financial support being offered to the sector by the UK government pales in comparison to the US Chips Act ($52bn) and the EU's European Chips Act ($46.3bn).

So far this year, the US government has already awarded over $30 billion in direct funding, in addition to subsidies and tax incentives, under its CHIPS and Science Act.