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Compound semiconductors: new Catapult centre in Wales

Staff writer |
New Compound Semiconductor Applications Catapult centre to drive innovation in multi-billion pound market.

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Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne has announced that the new Compound Semiconductor Applications Catapult will be based in Wales and receive £10 million a year of government support up to 2020-2021.

The Catapults are a network of world-leading centres designed to transform the UK's capability for innovation in specific areas and drive economic growth.

They are overseen by Innovate UK and join entrepreneurs, engineers and scientists with state-of-the-art facilities that allow them to create new products and services.

The chief executive of Innovate UK, Dr Ruth McKernan, said: "Innovate UK is committed, through our 5-point plan, to developing the Catapult centres as national networks for innovation.

"These provide businesses with access to critical assets, research and expertise. Compound semiconductors is an area of UK strength and this new Catapult will reinforce our strong position in this important and growing technology. This is excellent news."

Compound semiconductors are at the heart of many devices we use today, from smart phones to tablets and satellite communication systems.

They are are central to development of the 5G network, new high-efficiency lighting, power electronics for the next generation of electric vehicles and new imaging techniques for a variety of uses from security to health diagnostics.

The global market for compound semiconductors is expected to be £125 billion by 2020.

The Catapult for semiconductors will be the 11th Catapult centre. Catapults already exist in: cell therapy, high value manufacturing, offshore renewable energy, satellite applications, digital, transport systems, future cities, energy systems, precision medicine, and medicine technologies.

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