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General Election is a Critical Moment in Shaping the Future of Semiconductor, Quantum, and AI Industries in the UK – Leading Industry Body Ready to Engage with New Government

The upcoming General Election will be crucial to the UK’s future prosperity as the new government shapes policy which will impact the trajectory of many emerging technology industries such as AI, Quantum, Autonomous Mobility, Communications and the Semiconductor sector upon which they are all built. As the newly elected government will outline plans for these vital sectors, leading Deep Tech and Semiconductor industry body, TechWorks, highlights the need to ensure the UK remains a global player in these markets.

TechWorks, representing 270 companies and 20,000 employees across six sectors—Microelectronic and Photonic system design, Semiconductor manufacturing, Automotive electronics, IoT Cybersecurity, AI, and Power Electronics—is ready to engage with the next government, to build on the work done to date by the Dept for Science Innovation and Technology to help them develop a long-term plan to support the UK Semiconductor and Deep Tech industries.

Charles Sturman, CEO of TechWorks, comments, “The outcome of the general election will significantly influence the direction of the UK’s tech landscape. The UK, like many countries, finds itself in a difficult position today with strained budgets, lower productivity, and a significant trade deficit. However, we continue to demonstrate incredible innovation in science and technology through our universities and startups. This innovation can fuel growth and prosperity if we invest now to build productive business and supply chains, securing both our economic future and our National Security.”

 

The semiconductor industry – a driving force behind advances in AI, Quantum, Cryptocurrency and NetZero – has immense economic and geopolitical potential. Worth $600 billion in 2024, the global industry is expected to double to more than $1 trillion by 2030 and the wider supply chain including gas, chemicals and equipment suppliers adds significantly to this total. The UK is home to many successful chip companies and several globally relevant suppliers. However, the UK currently offers the lowest level of support to the semiconductor industry among the G7, and yet the economic gains from these industries are significant.

The US company nVidia, which was founded in the mid-90s, achieved £63 billion in revenue last year from selling chips used in AI. This represents 46% of the NHS primary care budget, and their corporate tax alone could contribute up to £10 billion to the UK economy. Growing such ‘unicorn companies’ in the UK is possible but requires a long-term strategy and strong public-private partnership.

 

Ahead of the election, TechWorks yesterday called for:

Cabinet Collaboration:     Working with industry at cabinet level to develop policies that extend beyond the current parliament, aiming to unlock the UK’s full potential.

Manufacturing Growth:   Supporting market growth by revising Capex support and or R&D Tax Credits to allow successful chip companies to grow with the markets they serve.

Strategic Funding:            Create schemes for matched funding or lead investment in strategic areas to grow UK chip companies, upgrade UK facilities and develop UK based supply chains to promote global leadership where the UK has strengths.

Domestic Incentives:        Encourage domestic demand and procurement to strengthen UK supply chains and increase national resilience.

Access to Capital:             Improve access to long-term capital through government-led initiatives, developing investors with an appetite for long term tech investment, fostering growth from small to large enterprises without foreign acquisition.

Skills Investment:            Focussed investment in our skills infrastructure is needed, from secondary schools through vocational training and higher education, to create a sustainable pipeline of future UK talent pipeline that we desperately need to support the Deep Tech sector.

 

Charles Sturman adds, “This election is a reset opportunity for the UK. The UK Deep Tech industry is ready to engage with the new government to ensure we harness our world-class innovation to create, scale and keep world-class technology industry in the UK. Investing in our future to remain globally competitive and truly become a technology superpower.