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Connecting Strengths in Places

30th May 2023

Strengthening Innovation links between SMART Places

Newport, 30 May 2023: The South Wales compound semiconductor cluster is pleased to have hosted a visit by Mark Gubbins from SMARTNano Northern Ireland (NI) Cluster and the Strength in Places Fund Programme Team during a review meeting of the CSconnected UKRI supported project. The meeting was hosted by Professor Paul Meredith at the brand new £50M Centre for Integrated Semiconductor Materials at Swansea University.

Dr Wyn Meredith, Chair of CSconnected, commented:

Together, 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 recognised for delivering cutting edge research, innovation and manufacturing. 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.

Dr Mark Gubbins of SMARTNano NI, said:

Collectively, 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. 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.”

Wyn Meredith and Mark Gubbins at CISM

The UKRI administered (£316M) Strength in Places Fund helps areas of the UK 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.

Visit from SMARTNano at CISM


Mark Gubbins

Chris Meadows
Camille Colombier

About CSconnected

CSconnected is the collective brand for a growing number of advanced semiconductor related activities in Wales, home to a unique community of academic institutions, prototyping facilities and global, high-volume manufacturing capabilities that collaborate across a range of research and innovation programs. CSconnected is uniquely positioned to develop a global advantage in a sovereign, key enabling technology which will allow Wales and the UK to increase trade globally in critical sectors such as 5G communications, autonomous and electric vehicles, advanced medical devices, and consumer electronics of the future.

In 2020, CSconnected received government funding provided through UK Research and Innovation’s flagship Strength in Places Fund (SIPF). The 55-month CSconnected SIPF project has a total value of £43million, supported by £25million of UKRI funds. It builds on Wales's regional strengths and integrates research excellence with a unique regional supply chain in compound semiconductor manufacturing.

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