The UK is ‘missing out’ on semiconductor inward investment as international competition heats up, says a new parliamentary report.
MPs on the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee singled out cooperation with the US under the CHIPS Act and engagement with Taiwan as possible areas that could yield opportunities for the booming sector.
Globally, the semiconductor industry is worth more than $500bn (£414m) and, despite a recent dip in demand, is expected to expand to over $1 trillion (£827bn) by 2030.
Making international partnerships was also something to be explored in an overdue semiconductor strategy, the committee said, adding that the government should publish this without any further delay.
“The government is putting UK plc at significant risk by failing to take action in support of the semiconductor industry,” committee chair Darren Jones warned.
“Other countries are investing in the resilience of their semiconductor supply chains yet Ministers in the UK can’t even publish their semiconductor strategy on time.”
The report added that the semiconductor strategy should include “facilitating the design and construction of new fabs” – referring to semiconductor production plants.
It backed an ‘open fab’ in South Wales, which would allow any firm to produce at the facilities, thereby driving further growth in the industry.
“At the moment, it is all talk and no action as regards semiconductors, but now is the time for action,” co-founder and chief executive of the British graphene microchip firm Paragraf Simon Thomas said.