BRITAIN will invest £1 billion in its semiconductor sector over the next decade as part of a long-awaited strategy that was immediately criticised by the industry for being too little to make a difference.
Chipmakers around the world have poured billions of dollars into the sector in recent years, with the US and Europe backing the development of new plants after the Covid-19 pandemic showed the risk of relying on Taiwan and China.
Britain’s plan, which has been in the works for around two years, is dwarfed by the $52.7bn of US chip subsidies and 43bn euros of proposed EU investment. But it focuses on the area where Britain excels, the design of semiconductors, used in everything from cars to smartphones and washing machines.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said it would help Britain build a “competitive edge on the global stage”. While companies in the sector welcomed publication of a strategy, they criticised the scale of support.