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8 January 2016

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

Epiwafer foundry and substrate maker IQE plc of Cardiff, Wales, UK and Cardiff University are to help spearhead a new £50m UK national Compound Semiconductor Applications Catapult to develop and manufacture next-generation compound semiconductors.

Announcing the £50m funding (£10m per year up to 2020-21) following a meeting in South Wales with IQE and Cardiff University, Chancellor George Osborne said that the investment will create a new compound semiconductor hub of excellence in South Wales as part of a UK network of Research and Development Catapults.

"The UK national centre in South Wales will develop compound semiconductors that are at the heart of modern technology," said Osborne in a speech to Cardiff's business leaders. "It will bring together scientists and businesses with expertise. It will create jobs and bring investment," he added.  

IQE and Cardiff University have already established the Compound Semiconductor Centre (formed in August), which will form a key resource for the new Catapult. The partnership aims to help to transform leading-edge research at Cardiff University's Institute for Compound Semiconductors (ICS) – to be built on the University's new £300m Innovation Campus – into new technologies and products.

"The launch of the £50m catapult is fantastic news for high-level manufacturing in Wales and for the Welsh economy," believes IQE's CEO & president Dr Drew Nelson. "The Compound Semiconductor Catapult will help provide the critical mass to launch the first compound semiconductor hub of its kind in the world, taking great academic research and seamlessly turning it into high-volume manufacturing, securing a global industrial and manufacturing platform for Wales and the UK," he adds.  

"The announcement is excellent news for innovation, industry and enterprise in South Wales and beyond," believes Cardiff University's vice-chancellor professor Colin Riordan. "It offers a real opportunity for Cardiff University and IQE to help establish Europe's first compound semiconductor cluster and create a world-class powerhouse to develop and commercialize next-generation technologies," he adds.   

"Compound semiconductors are the future key enabling technology driving advances across technologies including smart phones, energy, healthcare and transport," commented Welsh Government Economy and Science Minister Edwina Hart. "The funding will help create a compound semiconductor industry cluster of European scale and global reach in South Wales."

In November, the Welsh Government announced a £12m funding package to support the construction, fit-out and purchase of capital equipment for Cardiff University's Institute for Compound Semiconductors. The UK's Research Council Partnership Investment Fund has invested £17.3m to support the ICS. Also, through the Welsh Government's £50m Sêr Cymru program, last May professor Diana Huffaker of the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) was appointed to be ICS director (starting this month).

See related items:

CSC formally launched as first compound semiconductor cluster

CST's commercial director Wyn Meredith appointed director of IQE/Cardiff joint venture Compound Semiconductor Centre

IQE and Cardiff University establish JV to develop and commercialize compound semiconductor technologies in Europe

Cardiff University recruits UCLA's Huffaker to lead new research lab

Tags: IQE

Visit: http://compoundsemiconductorcentre.com

Visit: www.cardiff.ac.uk/innovation/campus-investment/translational-research-facility/

Visit: www.iqep.com

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