Intel has applied pressure on the government to get its semiconductor strategy published, as the UK continues to miss out on inward investment.
The US passed a $52bn subsidy package to computer chipmakers just last month, following the European Union’s €45bn cash pot announced in January – leaving the UK’s lack of domestic policy frustrating local manufacturers.
Intel has set aside €33bn to support semiconductor research and manufacturing in mainland Europe, with support from the EU, which the UK will be unable to access.
Frans Scheper, Intel’s new president in Europe and former Nexperia CEO, told The Times yesterday: “I think it is good [the UK is] making inquiries, but it needs to take the next step and make investments.
“The UK is an important market for Intel – we have almost 1,000 people working there. We don’t have any plans to build a new facility in the UK. There’s nothing to say we don’t want to invest there, but let’s be clear: the announced support of the European Union is helping us to make these investments.”
The UK is expected to publish its semiconductor strategy in September, City A.M. understands, which onlookers hope will cut “barriers to developing infrastructure and attracting the talent required for success in the sector” through proper investment, according to Simon Thomas, CEO of British chipmaker Paragraf yesterday.
Paul Kirkpatrick, partner at UK law firm Browne Jacobson called Intel’s investment “a call to action” from the UK government’s perspective.
“The UK is currently undertaking a review of the industry – however action needs to be taken swiftly to ensure that opportunities for investment into the UK are not missed by virtue of delayed action,” he told City A.M. yesterday. “There has been debate within the sector around what the government strategy might look like, but at this stage it is too early to tell and predict what the global impact might be.”