Britain to Join EU Semiconductor Research Programme

British semiconductor researchers and businesses now have enhanced access to research funding backed by the UK government and Horizon Europe, now the UK has joined EU’s ‘Chips Joint Undertaking’. By joining European Union efforts to develop and manufacture advanced semiconductors in Europe,and pledging 35 million pounds ($45 million) Britain is part of an overall 1.3 billion euro ($1.4 billion) research and innovation fund.

Both Britain and the EU have sought to secure a domestic semiconductor supply chain after the pandemic exposed their reliance on global chipmakers and key technologies owned by Chinese and U.S. companies. The combined boost will help push boundary of semiconductor design, improving tech used in all digital devices and advances the UK government’s plan to secure longer term growth.

The joining of the European chips initiative would allow companies in the British semiconductor sector to bid for grants from the bigger European fund. Semiconductors are widely, and increasingly, used in everyday devices, fuelling a global subsidy race to attract manufacturers and develop new technology.

The European Commission in January presented a package of plans aimed at improving economic security and preventing unwanted technology transfers to rivals such as China. With the European Chips Act, the EU will address semiconductor shortages and strengthen Europe’s technological leadership.

It will mobilise more than €43 billion of public and private investments and set measures to prepare, anticipate and swiftly respond to any future supply chain disruptions, together with Member States and our international partners.The EU last year passed a 43 billion euro subsidy programme in response to similar incentive packages introduced by China, the United States, Taiwan, South Korea and Japan.

Last year, Britain rejoined the Horizon Europe science programme, a key EU funding scheme for many types of research and innovation which administers the semiconductor initiative and has an overall budget of 95.5 billion euros. Britain was initially blocked from participating in Horizon because of disputes over post-Brexit trade rules.

(Source: Reuters / UK Government)

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