To strengthen the domestic industry and chip supply chains, Britain announced on Friday that it would invest £1 billion, or $1.26 billion, in its semiconductor sector.
The government’s newly formed Department for Science, Innovation, and Technology (DSIT) revealed that the government, in its efforts to boost Britain’s role in designing semiconductors that are used in everything from smartphones to cars and washing machines.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak conveyed in a statement: “Our new strategy focuses our efforts on where our strengths lie, in areas like research and design, so we can build our competitive edge on the global stage.”
Britain plans to invest £200 million between 2023 and 2025, eventually growing to up to £1 billion over the next decade.
Attending a meeting of leaders of the Group of Seven (G7) nations in Japan, Sunak met Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida to launch a “semiconductor partnership” cooperating on research and boosting supply chain resilience. Britain has entered into a similar agreement with South Korea.
Even though Britain announced plans to support investment in the chip manufacturing sector by the Autumn, it has stressed its strategy to design and research instead of making semiconductors.
The move comes after the chip shortages caused by the global shutdown while combating the COVID-19 pandemic, which affects industries and car manufacturers that rely heavily on semiconductors.
The European Union’s chip law also sought to attract investments totaling €43 billion, or around $47 billion, after the US announced $52.7 billion in chip subsidies last year. With the recent release of their semiconductor policies, countries like Japan, India, and South Korea have also expressed interest in manufacturing semiconductors.
The measures, which were made in part to address chip shortages and in part to better compete with Chinese technological initiatives, have prompted demands for the government to act more quickly in Britain.
According to research by a group of parliamentarians, Britain is particularly vulnerable to any potential interruption to chip supplies, such as if China were to invade Taiwan, the largest supplier of semiconductors in the world, since it lacks an end-to-end supply chain.
- Published By Team Timeswire