Semiconductor consortium established in NSW

Wednesday, 29 June, 2022

Semiconductor consortium established in NSW

A newly established consortium is set to drive sovereign semiconductor capability in NSW, in order to support critical local industries including health, defence and telecommunications.

The Semiconductor Sector Service Bureau (S3B) is funded by the NSW Government and will be located at Cicada Innovations, in the heart of Sydney’s Tech Central precinct. It brings together experts from The University of Sydney, Macquarie University, UNSW Sydney, CSIRO and the Australian National Fabrication Facility.

NSW Chief Scientist & Engineer Professor Hugh Durrant-Whyte said NSW has a clear competitive advantage when it comes to semiconductors, with most Australian companies already based in the state. He noted, “Each of the institutions forming this consortium has a long history of innovation within the sector, working closely with Australian leaders in semiconductor technology and major global firms.”

NSW Minister for Science, Innovation and Technology Alister Henskens said the semiconductor sector had been identified as a local strength in the recently released NSW 20-Year R&D Roadmap, presenting a golden opportunity to grow the economy.

“From computers and smartphones to military communications and medical devices, semiconductors (also known as ‘chips’) drive the technological devices we use every day and are indispensable to many global supply chains,” Henskens said.

“The semiconductor industry has been an engine for economic growth over the last 60 years and the S3B represents an enormous opportunity to secure a brighter future for NSW by accelerating our participation in the global semiconductor market.”

Serving as Inaugural Director of the S3B is Dr Nadia Court, from the Sydney Nanoscience Hub at The University of Sydney, who said the bureau will be the nexus of the semiconductor sector in NSW and Australia.

“The S3B will build connectivity and collaboration, and support commercial impact,” Court said. “It will play a key role in advocating for the sector, connecting companies and researchers with design and manufacturing capabilities globally.”

Associate Professor Torsten Lehmann will meanwhile lead UNSW’s involvement in S3B. He said he was very excited to have the opportunity to help expand the semiconductor sector in NSW.

“Compared with other parts of the world like Europe, Australia’s semiconductor sector is comparatively small,” Lehmann said. “This is a fantastic opportunity to grow the sector here and, given our talent and education levels, we should be a much bigger, global player in this space.”

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