The UK government will financially support UK semiconductor companies as part of a strategy to develop the sector, Bloomberg reports, citing its own sources. The funding will include providing seed capital for start-ups, helping existing companies to scale up production, and providing new incentives for private venture capital.
The government plans to set up a semiconductor group to coordinate public and private support for ramping up production of complex semiconductors in the UK over the next three years. A specific amount of funding has not been announced, but a Bloomberg source indicates it could be in the billions of pounds. The state funding would come from existing programmes through the BBB (British Business Bank), the government's innovation agency Innovate UK and the UK National Security Strategic Investment Fund.
The investment in semiconductors is needed to reduce dependence on semiconductors from China. As Bloomberg notes, judging by the UK's plans, the supply of chips is an issue of great geopolitical and economic importance. The government is going to cooperate with EU countries to develop the semiconductor industry and share expertise, while investing billions of pounds in research and development.