Government roundtable showcases Scotland’s semiconductor potential

The University of Glasgow, in collaboration with Technology Scotland and the Scottish Government, recently convened a high-level roundtable to discuss and promote Scotland’s pivotal role in delivering the UK’s Semiconductor Strategy.

The event, held on Thursday, April 25, at the Mazumdar-Shaw Advanced Research Centre (ARC), brought together over 35 leading representatives from government, industry, and academia.

The joint ministerial meeting was attended by Richard Lochhead MSP, Scottish Minister for Business, and Saqib Bhatti MP, UK Minister for Tech and the Digital Economy. Leading academics from the Universities of Glasgow, Edinburgh, and Strathclyde, alongside experts from the semiconductor industry, engaged in discussions highlighting Scotland’s unique semiconductor cluster.

The Scottish semiconductor cluster is recognised by IfM Engage and the Department of Science, Innovation, and Technology (DSIT) as one of six areas in the UK with significant potential in this field, and is part of a dynamic supercluster of critical enabling technologies, including semiconductors, quantum, photonics, AI, MedTech, and 5G/6G, driven by world-leading academic research and Industry leadership.

Support from the CSA Catapult, Innovate UK, and both the UK and Scottish Governments has further catalysed the semiconductor sector’s growth. The University of Glasgow is at the forefront of research and commercialisation through the James Watt Nanofabrication Centre. The JWNC is one of the UK’s leading facilities in nanofabrication, boasting a comprehensive and diverse setup that enhances semiconductor design and production capabilities in partnership with industry.

Following the roundtable, Minister Bhatti toured the JWNC cleanroom in the James Watt Building, accompanied by JWNC Director Martin Weides.

Professor Chris Pearce, Vice-Principal for Research and Knowledge Exchange and Chair of the roundtable said:  "It was a pleasure to bring together so many representatives from across Scotland to present the unique skillset and industrial base that we have in this field to Government Ministers."

 "We heard from experts on advanced packaging, wafer fab manufacturing, design, research, and global competitiveness who collectively made the case that Scotland is a leading driver of the UK’s semiconductor capability.
 
"The key takeaway from the roundtable is that the UK and Scottish Government’s must work collaboratively with academia and the private sector to bolster our capability in this internationally competitive sector - and this needs to be done through investment.

I’d like to thank both Minister Lochhead and Minister Bhatti for taking the time to listen to our proposals and feedbackand look forward to working with them closely going forward."