UK unveils £1 bn semiconductor strategy

The British government revealed a new £1 billion semiconductor strategy on Friday, with plans to invest in infrastructure, research, and security as the country attempts to diversify its chip supply chain.

The idea would “protect supply chains from disruption and protect technology from national security risks,” according to a statement from the UK government’s department for business, energy, and industrial strategy.

Between now and 2025, the investment would be worth up to £200 million ($215 million).

The department claimed that the new 20-year strategy would “boost the UK’s strengths and skills in design, R&D, and compound semiconductors, while helping to grow domestic chip firms across the UK.”

It comes as European carmaker Stellantis has warned that if the British government does not change Brexit trade regulations to simplify the supply of batteries for electric vehicles, of which semiconductor technology is a major component, it may close certain UK operations.

During a visit to Tokyo on Thursday, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak hailed more than $22 billion in Japanese investment in the UK, but he acknowledged carmakers’ concerns over Brexit trade rules as he confirmed talks with the European Union.

“Semiconductors underpin the devices we use every day and will be crucial to advancing the technologies of tomorrow,” Sunak was quoted as saying in the 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,” he added

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