U.K. Joins EU's Chips Joint Undertaking to Bolster Semiconductor Research

U.K. Joins EU's Chips Joint Undertaking to Bolster Semiconductor Research

The U.K. government has announced its participation in the EU's Chips Joint Undertaking (Chips JU) as a participating state, granting British semiconductor researchers and businesses access to a €1.3 billion ($1.4 billion) pool for collaborative research and development projects. This move is expected to boost the UK's semiconductor sector and secure its position in the global chip supply chain.

The Department for Science, Innovation and Technology will provide an initial £5 million ($6.3 million) this year, delivered through Innovate UK, with an additional £30 million ($37.7 million) expected to support further research between 2025 and 2027.

The Chips JU (formerly known as the Key Digital Technologies Joint Undertaking) is part of Horizon Europe, the EU's key funding program for research and innovation. The initiative aims to enhance technological capacity and innovation in state-of-the-art chips on a large scale, pooling resources from the EU, its Member States, associated third countries, and private sector stakeholders.

With an augmented budget, the initiative now wields nearly €11 billion, aimed at fostering research, development, innovation, and future manufacturing capacities within the European semiconductor ecosystem. This investment is a clear indication of Europe's ambition to assert its digital sovereignty and become a beacon of innovation and resilience in the semiconductor industry.

The UK joined Horizon Europe last year through a bespoke agreement with the EU, providing UK companies and research institutions with unparalleled opportunities to lead global projects in various fields, from health to AI.

The UK's membership in the Chips JU will now allow it to collaborate more closely with European partners on semiconductor innovation. As a Participating State, the UK will also have a role in setting research priorities and funding decisions as the fund evolves in the years ahead.

The move was announced by Technology Minister Saqib Bhatti at a conference of global semiconductor leaders in London. Bhatti stated, "Our membership of the Chips Joint Undertaking will boost Britain’s strengths in semiconductor science and research to secure our position in the global chip supply chain."

Jari Kinaret, Chips JU Executive Director, welcomed the UK's participation, saying, "We are very happy to welcome the UK to the Chips Joint Undertaking as a participating state. We are looking forward to working with the UK partners to develop the European industrial ecosystem in microelectronics and its applications."

The Chips JU's focus for 2024, which includes semiconductors for automotive applications and the open-source RISC-V architecture, aligns well with UK research expertise. This synergy is expected to facilitate groundbreaking advancements in semiconductor technology, potentially leading to more efficient and cost-effective chip designs.

The U.K.'s decision to join the EU's Chips JU shows its commitment to advancing semiconductor research and strengthening its position in the global chip supply chain. By collaborating with European partners and accessing significant funding opportunities, the U.K. aims to foster innovation and maintain its leadership in this crucial technological field.

Let’s stay in touch. Get the latest AI news from Maginative in your inbox.