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Dev-Bank Wales MBO


15 April 2024

CSA Catapult has ‘Significant Impact’ on SMEs Securing Investment

A significant impact on SMEs and a skills programme for Welsh schools are among the achievements of Compound Semiconductor Applications (CSA) Catapult highlighted in its annual report.

The report for financial year 2022–23 demonstrates progress in the Catapult’s two focus areas — Net Zero and Future Telecoms — and describes how it has helped industry bring next generation compound semiconductor technologies to market.

CSA Catapult was established in 2018 by Innovate UK to help the UK become a global leader in compound semiconductors and is the UK’s authority on compound semiconductor applications and commercialisation.

Based in Imperial Park Celtic Way Newport, CSA Catapult is a centre of excellence with state-of-the-art equipment that specialises in the measurement, characterisation, integration and validation of compound semiconductor technology across four areas – power electronics, advanced packaging, radio frequency (RF) and microwave, and photonics.

In terms of SMEs, the report reveals new data which shows that, on average, since engaging with the Catapult, companies leveraged annual private investment of £85m and secured £26.5m of annual public sector investment.

This was compared to a counterfactual group who, on average, raised £46m annually from the private sector and relied on £10m of public sector investments.

A survey of CSA Catapult customers also revealed that 100% would work with the Catapult again and 89% would not have been able to progress with their product development if they hadn’t worked with the Catapult.

The report also highlights how supporting regional clusters to develop and accelerate compound semiconductor applications is a key part of CSA Catapult’s strategy.

It plays a key role in the South Wales compound semiconductor cluster, CSconnected, which is the world’s first compound semiconductor cluster. The cluster has 13 partners, including the Catapult, and is recognised as a world-leading centre of excellence in compound semiconductor research, innovation and manufacturing.

Chris Meadows, Director of CSconnected, said:

“Semiconductors represent one of the world’s largest and fastest growing industry sectors. Our dependence on semiconductors became abundantly clear during the Covid pandemic when demand for technologies enabled by our sector created severe shortages across many end markets.

“Specialising in compound semiconductor technologies, South Wales plays a key role within this essential industry sector that is at the heart of our digital world, from handsets to data centres, mobility and net zero applications, healthcare, robotics and AI.”

CSA Catapult has won £18.6m worth of collaborative R&D projects to date and has been involved in more than 200 industrial collaborations.

The Catapult has also been involved in more than 50 academic collaborations and has created 10 international partnerships.

A total of 2,827 jobs have been created or safeguarded within organisations that have worked with CSA Catapult to date.

The report also highlights the initiation of a strategic partnership with Siemens, the first of a kind for both companies in the UK, to accelerate the development of leading-edge power electronics capability.

In the financial year, the Catapult also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Cardiff University, which was announced shortly after a landmark breakthrough in which AI was proven to be extremely effective at designing and modelling power electronic converters.

In partnership with UK Electronic Skills Foundation (UKESF), CSA Catapult secured an Innovate UK-funded skills programme, Spark their Imagination; power their future, for schools and colleges in Wales which will roll out in 2024.

CSA Catapult was also recognised as a ‘Great Place to Work’ for the second year in row and cemented its continuous commitment to ED&I by signing the cross-Catapult ED&I Charter in March 2022.

Martin McHugh, CEO at CSA Catapult said:

“Our story this year is one of expansion to underpin the growing success of the UK compound semiconductor sector and build for its promising future, with support and collaboration from government, industry and academia.

“We have continued to deliver at pace against our four strategic areas: our technology centre of excellence, developing supply chains and skills, supporting UK clusters, and growing our own commercial income.

“As we continue to work towards the UK becoming a global leader in developing and commercialising new applications for compound semiconductors, I must acknowledge the continued passion and commitment of everyone at CSA Catapult and look forward to more success in the future.”

Download a copy of the annual report here.


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