The UK Infrastructure Bank (UKIB) has announced it is ploughing £60m worth of equity into Pragmatic Semiconductor.
Based in the northeast of England, Pragmatic will use the investment to increase the speed of its production and create new manufacturing lines in its Durham site.
Pragmatic chief, David Moore, said the funding is “a clear testament to the massive opportunity for our innovative technology to enable item-level intelligence in virtually any object on the planet.
“Scaling our manufacturing capacity on the UK’s first ever 300mm wafer production lines at our site in Durham will enable us to deliver hundreds of billions of chips to customers worldwide over the coming decade.”
The cash injection is part of a £162m funding round, alongside co-investor M&G’s Catalyst. Other new investors in Pragmatic include Northern Gritstone, Localglobe and Evolution Partners.
UKIB has a double mission to support projects which are accelerating the transition to net zero and encourage regional, local and economic growth.
The £60m is said to be creating 500 “highly skilled jobs” and boosting the development of the North-East Advanced Material Electronics (NEAME) cluster.
UKIB boss John Flint said: “The Bank has an important role to play in unlocking finance to scale up domestic supply chains, like semiconductors, which are critical to the UK’s transition to net zero.
“Our investment in Pragmatic backs a British business to accelerate development of a first-of-a-kind technology which not only cuts the carbon emissions of semiconductor production, but which will drive growth in the local economy in the North-East.”
The UK government laid out its semiconductor strategy earlier this year, committing £1bn to the industry.
But some chip companies like Paragraf have slated this as insufficient and said they would be better off in the US.
Commenting on today’s announcement, technology secretary Michelle Donelan, said: “I am determined to ensure firms like Pragmatic can stay and scale here in the UK, harnessing our unique strengths to unlock innovation, create high-skilled jobs, and cement our status as a global superpower in science and technology.”