UK launches £1.3M incubator ChipStart program

UK launches £1.3M incubator ChipStart program

The semiconductor industry took a turn for the worse after being hit by the coronavirus pandemic. The initial disruption occurred in key chip-producing regions where factories were forced to shut down. Although production and semiconductor revenue improved, increased demand from changing consumer habits and challenges in chip capacity allocation led to a global chip shortage. The growing need for advanced semiconductor technology is a driving force for the industry.

According to Statista, the semiconductor industry is projected to reach USD 630.9 billion in revenue by 2024. Additionally, despite the initial decrease in global semiconductor industry sales for the first six months of 2023, sales totaled $44.0 billion during August 2023, an increase of 1.9% compared to the July 2023 total of $43.2 billion, according to The Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA).

Adapting to these changing demands is imperative for the industry’s sustainability and growth. To meet these challenges, continuous innovation and strategic planning are essential. Fortunately, the UK has launched its £1.3 million incubator program to support British startups in solving complex global issues by designing semiconductor chips.

Minister for Technology Paul Scully said in a statement:

Semiconductors are the bedrock of our modern economy and an increasingly integral part of our lives. These firms are building on Britain’s research leadership to open doors to innovation and growth, while designing chips that could truly change the way we live our lives.

Whether they’re innovating how we support patients with Parkinson’s or are on the cusp of supercharging how AI is used, these firms are the brightest sparks in the UK’s thriving semiconductor industry. This incubator will make sure they have the skills they need to revolutionise the lives of people not only in the UK, but across the world.

ChipStart: Bridging Ideas to Market

Dubbed ChipStart, the two-year pilot program aims to support early-stage semiconductor design companies by offering technical and commercial assistance. Ultimately, this initiative will enable the companies to introduce new products to the market and enhance lives and livelihoods in the long run. Furthermore, the program will run two consecutive cohorts and end in March 2025.

The full list of incubator members includes:

SiliconCatalyst.UK, a leader in start-up accelerators, will deliver the program and provide access to and support for commercial design capability. This includes the full Silicon Catalyst ecosystem, access to design tools, IP, and prototyping capability. In addition, the accelerator will provide commercial expertise and bespoke mentorship. Experienced semiconductor industry executives will mentor and connect the startups to Silicon Catalyst’s global network. Finally, exposure to private capital will be provided, and the chosen incubator members will have access to the 270+ Silicon Catalyst advisors, Strategic Partners, and an extensive network of investment groups.

Silicon Catalyst CEO Sean Redmond said in a statement:

This is one of the most exciting times to start and grow a globally successful semiconductor company from the UK. The first group of 12 UK semiconductor startups to enter ChipStart UK incubator have been selected from 27 applications following two rounds of intensive panel interviews made up of semiconductor startup experts from the UK and Silicon Valley. Over the next 9 months we will shape and mould these outstanding new innovative companies into the next generation of semiconductor leaders.

About The Author

Gia Butt

Gia is an incoming university student at LUMS. She has a passion for all things literature, fashion, and content creation.

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