31 May 2023
South Wales Compound Semiconductor Cluster CSconnected forge links with SMARTNano Northern Ireland
During a recent review meeting of the South Wales Compound Semiconductor Cluster project CSconnected hosted by professor Paul Meredith at the new £50m Centre for Integrated Semiconductor Materials (CISM) at Swansea University, CSconnected hosted a visit by Mark Gubbins (director of development at Seagate Technology) —representing the SMARTNano Northern Ireland (NI) Cluster — as well as the Strength in Places Fund Programme Team.
“Collectively, CSconnected and SMARTNano NI represents 4000–5000 high-value-add manufacturing jobs which deliver a significant contribution to the UK economy, and both Clusters are globally recognized for delivering cutting-edge research, innovation and manufacturing,” says CSconnected chair Dr Wyn Meredith. “This is the first step in forging closer links between the Northern Ireland and South Wales in the area of advanced semiconductors, nanomaterials and associated manufacturing processes,” he adds.
Administered by the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), the £316m Strength in Places Fund helps areas of the UK to build on existing strengths in research and innovation to deliver benefits for their local economy. Projects focus on a self-defined area anywhere in the UK, not limited by nations or regions, with a defined critical mass of expertise, infrastructure and capability.
“UKRI has made an investment of >£65m to accelerate economic growth in these Clusters and we have a lot to learn from each other in complimentary areas of research, skills development and manufacturing scale up,” says SMARTNano NI’s Dr Mark Gubbins. “We are particularly keen to act as a single voice to UK government to stress the importance of supporting compound semiconductors and associated nanomaterials in the recently announced UK Semiconductor strategy.”