The Cardiff Capital Region City Deal, along with representatives of the Welsh and UK Governments, and IQE plc, came together to agree to the development of the Compound Semiconductor Foundry, which will assist in establishing the CS Connected Cluster.
The CS Connected Cluster intends to join international businesses, academics, and policymakers who are creating next-generation compound semi technology that can help position Wales as a world-leader in the field.
The agreement signing followed the Cardiff Capital Region (CCR) Regional Cabinet’s approval in May to give £37.9 million from the CCR City Deal’s Wider Investment Fund to establish a state-of-the-art compoundsemi foundry, which will cement its standing in the region as a facility that offers high-end production of compound semiconductors.
Agreement Aims to Support Establishment and Expansion of the CS Connected Cluster
Ultimately the agreement intends to promote the expansion of a compound semiconductor industrial cluster in the region. The CS Connected Cluster has the potential to leverage up to $375 million in private sector investment and create up to 2000 high skill jobs.
The cluster hopes to provide investors and contributors a return on the investment for the region and create hundreds of additional jobs in the wider supply chain related to the cluster. It is the first such investment since the leaders of the ten local authorities in the region formally signed the £1.2 billion CCR City Deal program on March 1.
The 10 Councils in the Regional Cabinet under the special purpose vehicle ‘CSC Foundry Limited’ / ‘LDC Ffowndri’ will own the facility in Newport. And, IQE plc will lease the space for compound semiconductor manufacturing and applications development, as part of its effort to help establish the first Compound Semiconductor Cluster, CS connected, in the region.
The project is not a grant or a loan but a commercial investment in which the 10 Councils share ownership of the foundry. The proposed project aims to return the original investment plus interest over its lifetime.