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June 2022

Community response to BEIS inquiry on Semiconductor Industry in the UK

The Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has announced a call for evidence on the strength and weaknesses of the semiconductor industry in the UK.
The text of the inquiry is reproduced below and full details are available at:

This inquiry is clearly of major significance for our community covering both the industrial landscape in the UK but also the role of research and innovation.

The inquiry is open to all submissions from individuals and organisations alike. The closing date for submissions is 14th June.

The National Epitaxy Facility will be submitting evidence based on its role within the UK research environment in this field.

If you wish to contribute to the National Facility’s submission, as part of a community focussed initiative, please email your comments in line with the terms of reference of the inquiry (outlined on the website above) to by the 10th June 2022.

We will then ensure that your comments are included in the overall narrative from the Facility.
Please note, you may submit comments and evidence to the Facility in addition to your own individual submission to BEIS if you wish.


The new inquiry comes amidst an ongoing global shortage of semiconductors that has caused widespread disruption to supply chains. This has impacted the production of popular products like the Mini and the PlayStation 5.

Semiconductor materials are essential in electronics and are used in computer chips in everything from fridge freezers to airliners.

While the UK’s largest microchip is subject to a controversial takeover bid from Chinese-owned Nexperia, manufacturers elsewhere, such as the US, Japan and the European Union, have been heavily investing in expanding their facilities. The Committee will also examine the opportunities for collaboration with such allies.

Semiconductors are also a ‘dual use’ item – things that can be used both in civilian and military products – and as such access to them is a matter of national security. This is particularly being felt right now with China trying to assert dominance in Southeast Asia, which includes Taiwan and South Korea where most of the world’s advanced silicon computer chip supply comes from. This, and fears that China could acquire cutting-edge British compound semiconductor designs are the reason behind concerns over Nexperia’s takeover of Newport Wafer Fab.