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Scottish Semiconductor Scaleups Get Boost From New Team Up

David Paul


Scottish Semiconductor Scaleups
Heriot-Watt University and Santa Clara-based Silicon Catalyst will work together to drive the development of semiconductor technologies.

A California semiconductor incubator is teaming-up with Heriot-Watt University (HWU) to boost the development and launch of firms utilising next-gen semiconductor tech.

Silicon Catalyst and HWU have shared ‘strategic objectives’ which focus on developing high-growth opportunities, equipping Scottish-based semiconductor companies to transform into scale-ups.

Through its Global Research Innovation and Discovery facility (GRID), HWU said it is focused on “commercialising high-impact research that delivers economic and social value”.

Silicon Catalyst is the only incubator focused exclusively on accelerating semiconductor hardware start-ups and scale-ups. It adds an ecosystem of 50 in-kind partners and over 200 expert executive advisors to “help these start-ups succeed”.

David Richardson, chief entrepreneurial executive, Heriot-Watt University, said: “GRID offers bespoke support to ambitious scale-ups developing innovative solutions to global challenges.

“The partnership with SiliconCatalyst.UK emphasises our commitment to the development of a global ecosystem by building on our specialisms and applying these to catalyse new collaborations, investment and jobs.”

Silicon Catalyst has a created a network that lowers the capital expenses associated with the design and fabrication of silicon-based ICs, sensors, and MEMS devices by providing advanced design tools and services from a comprehensive network of In-Kind Partners (IKPs).

The firm’s portfolio companies utilise IKP tools and services including design tools, simulation software, design services, foundry PDK access and MPW runs, test program development, tester access, banking, and legal services.

Commenting on the partnership, Sean Redmond, managing partner, Silicon Catalyst said: “Semiconductor start-up opportunities have changed dramatically over the last few years. We have entered a period of semiconductor industry hyper-scale, having just experienced annual industry growth of 30%.

“Never has so much demand been created by so few new innovations. Scotland has a rich tradition of successful global semiconductor success.

“The silicon glen is very much alive and bubbling with new semiconductor ideas and inventions to create the next wave of fabulous disruptive semiconductor start-ups.”


Professor Steve McLaughlin, incoming deputy principal research and impact, Heriot-Watt University added: “In 2021, Heriot-Watt University is celebrating the 200th anniversary of its founding in Scotland.

“Now a global institution, the University has renowned strengths in the practical application of specialist research and a wealth of knowledge and expertise across quantum optics, semiconductor physics, material science, nonlinear photonics and the industrial application of photonics.

“I look forward to collaborating with SiliconCatalyst.UK, propelling impactful research initiatives and accelerating commercialisation to strengthen and ensure the continued growth of the semiconductor industry.”

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David Paul

Staff Writer, DIGIT

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