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New Project to Drive Growth and Innovation in the South Wales Compound Semiconductor Cluster

01st November 2023

Cardiff University, in partnership with Swansea University, is set to play a role in driving economic growth, innovation, and addressing regional needs as it secures a share of £41 million in a project aimed at accelerating UK economic growth and addressing regional needs.

The South Wales Compound Semiconductor Place Based Impact Accelerator Account (PBIAA) led by Cardiff University’s Institute for Compound Semiconductors and in partnership with Swansea University’s Centre for Integrative Semiconductor Materials, is at the forefront of these transformational endeavours.  

Funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), this joint-initiative aims to bridge critical skills gaps by providing specialised training to the workforce, attracting academics and researchers from across the UK with expertise in compound semiconductors to establish themselves in South Wales, and promote an environment that fosters innovation and engagement by:

  • upskilling staff in existing companies with high-level, specialist, practical skills
  • training new entrants to the compound semiconductors workforce
  • inspiring a greater number of entrants to the workforce

Chris Meadows, Director of CSconnected, said:

Cardiff and Swansea Universities illustrates the importance of a collective effort to advance CSconnected and position the cluster at the forefront of driving economic growth and innovation in the South Wales. This project will enable us to bridge skills gaps, attract talent, with the vision to create an innovation-rich ecosystem.

Peter Smowton, Head of School, Physics and Astronomy and Managing Director, Institute for Compound Semiconductors at Cardiff University, said:

We are excited to be starting on the next stage of Cluster development. This will include promoting the opportunities available in compound semiconductors to the general public, leading specialised training in compound semiconductor manufacturing and promoting a culture of innovation; all focussed on driving employment in compound semiconductors.

Paul Meredith, Director of the Centre for Integrative Semiconductor Materials at Swansea University, said:

We are delighted to be working with our partners at Cardiff University to support the ongoing and nationally leading efforts of our regional semiconductor cluster. This project will drive impact from our collective research and development efforts and utilize > £100M of recent investments in world-class innovation assets.

Cardiff and Swansea Universities are joining force in a collective effort to accelerate the growth of CSconnected, the South Wales Compound Semiconductor Cluster, in the coming years by bridging skills gaps and attracting top talent, with the vision of supporting a thriving ecosystem of innovation in the region.

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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